AAP: THE PARTY OF SELF-GOALS

Ironic but it is true – as clearly written as the fact that the Aam Aadmi Party government is all ‘clear’ to remain in office in Delhi till February 2020.

Though its implications are as vague as the availability of political alternatives during any political election event in India!

After 10 months in the political office, it is now well established that AAP is a ‘hit and run’ or ‘shoot and scoot’ party with only ‘misses’ to its credit – a confirmation to something that was so far considered experimental inexperience or acceptable lapse of an honest intent.

That is gone now. The AAP government in Delhi in its second tenure has overrode and overwritten any and every positive in this regard.

We all now know, and know for good, that the party has always used this ‘hit and run’ as its strategy to score self-goals, to score political mileage, without considering values of political probity (and propriety) and without thinking about what will happen to the ‘cause of the politics of change’ – because they have failed miserably in proving their ‘grand allegations and charges on others’ so far – compounded with their rapid decline on ‘universal parameters of the politics of ethics’.

They will be hoping to hit the bull’s-eye and open their account, at least now, with verbal volleys and press conferences (with borrowed documents) in their trade-mark (and jaded) ways to level allegations of corruption against Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister. The matter pertains to ‘massive’ corruption allegations in DDCA (Delhi & District Cricket Association). Arun Jatley was DDCA president from 1999 to 2013 and AAP, Congress, Kirti Azad, former cricketer and BJP MP, Bishen Singh Bedi, former cricketer and many others have alleged that ‘DDCA had become a ‘den of corruption’ while Jaitley was the topmost functionary of the body’.

Well, the truth, if at all has to come out, will come with time and for now, it is indeed a grey area with loads of questions (and qualified suspicion) on AAP’s intentions that it is trying to defend Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary and is thus trying to deflect the course of intense debate around the issue. And to complicate the matter further, AAP doesn’t seem to have done its groundwork. Instead, it has taken help of documents on the DDCA scam that are already in the public domain while its response on allegations on Kejriwal’s PS has been nothing but a bunch of blatant ‘we are right, come what may’ statements.

Especially in the context of AAP’s long history of ‘hit and run’ allegations!

Like they always do with media outfits – their AAP bias and support for Narendra Modi. Based on its convenience and coverage on it, AAP has time and again alleged media outlets of targeting AAP by taking money from other political outfits – only to do blatant U-turns later.

The farmer suicide episode during AAP’s ‘Jantar Mantar’ rally is again a slap in the face of the party. AAP blamed the Delhi Police for ‘not acting in time to prevent suicide of the farmer, Gajendra Singh, but later on Arvind Kejriwal apologised for continuing with his speech even after Gajendra Singh had died.

Then there are ‘AAP allegations on Robert Vadra, Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra’s irrigation scam, his allegations against corporate houses and corporate scams, his allegations on Narendra Modi’s government in Gujarat and so on.

And mind you (anyway, most already know) that the party has earned a ‘logical notoriety’ of oversimplifying matters for political mileage, levelling allegations while on the go, never bothering to go deeper to dig facts and never bothering to go in the courts to get them proved.

But what once happened to be a strategic asset for the party with goals to achieve – to speak ferociously and consistently while pushing forward allegations of corruption in a matter – now looks like the party is ‘sounding phoney and is shouting over the top’ – and is trying to score political goals in every possible political development – with empty rhetoric, forgotten promises, forgotten values, unilateralism, authoritarianism and routine political sham – a rapid decline.

And it all has reduced the most promising political entrant in India’s recent political history into a party that is self-obsessed and is not realizing that such spectacles by it are now seen as scoring self-goals only.

Self-goals that are ultimately going to be its nemesis!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AAP: THE RAPID DECLINE

It has become quite an expected spectacle – recurring regularly – and every next time, it sounds more phoney than its previous role-play – entire gamut of AAP leaders (Aam Aadmi Party) coming in a huddle whenever there is any political or (administrative development) that goes against them or whenever anyone from AAP, including Arvind Kejriwal, is targeted – and launching a coordinated verbal tirade in full force against whosoever they feel is coming in their way.

In their way – now that may be interpreted in varied ways – and in the prevailing political circumstances – everyone, irrespective of the side of the controversy he or she is – feels that he or she is entitled to have his or her own way – and that the way he or she reacts is right and politically correct.

But what is interesting and (morally demotivating) in the case of AAP is that it is a party that had claimed skies on corruption while canvassing for votes but has done everything that is a sheer antithesis to that and that will ultimately prove its nemesis.

AAP must not forget that its rapid, miraculous political rise may well see a rapid decline if it keeps on betraying the stakeholders who voted for it – the common men.

And the party faces this clear and present danger – now in most clear and unequivocal terms.

AAP has presented before its voters a face that is largely elitist – making mockery of the values that it claimed enshrined its organizational constitution and even the name (Aam Aadmi Party – the party of the common men).

And the people Arvind Kejriwal and his party have defended vehemently, including his tainted former law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, have proved him wrong, time and again.

The party that had begged for another chance in Delhi and the party that had begged another chance in the name of the ‘common man’, has openly (and shamelessly) embraced a VIP culture that includes many hostile, ‘un-common-manesque’ incidents including the recent move of hiking MLA salary by 400% and the now ‘famous flip-flop on the Jan Lokpal Bill’.

When Delhi’s voters had given AAP another chance after its act of betrayal in February 2014 when Arvind Kejriwal had deserted Delhi to milk his prime-ministerial ambitions in Varanasi, what was on their mind was a regime and its governance based on concerns for ordinary folks in the street – and not what were the routine political promises.

In a sense, the unique strength that AAP had was its ‘inexperience’ in the political office and in the ‘political culture’.

But after AAP was given another chance by the electorate in Delhi in February 2015, we came to know the AAP members were inexperienced not in just ‘political culture and political office’, but they also lacked the conviction to ‘engage in constructive politics’.

And their ‘unwillingness’ to engage in ‘constructive politics and meaningful governance’ to gain the experience that will be ‘morally, socially and politically correct’ is proving a nightmare now.

Since their second inauguration in the national capital, AAP has been in news for wrong reasons mostly. The party has preferred to engage in confrontational politics with the Union Government, and buoyed by the experience of playing the ‘victim card’ in the assembly polls, it has decided to present itself as ‘facing brunt of its political opponents’ and as the sole champion of the ’cause of the common man’ in Indian politics.

But the party has consistently failed to go beyond mere rhetoric and words. The party, so far, has shown a shameless penchant in ‘not transforming’ its words (promises) into action. And as the time is passing, people are seeing through this charade.

After all, if they can show door to BJP in just nine months (through the Union Government rule in Delhi by its representative, the Lieutenant-Governor), why can’t they do the same with AAP? Yes, it is true that AAP is safely home, in Delhi assembly, for five years, but that cannot prevent people from making opinion against it.

The sad thing is, the party is not realizing it – and is thus increasingly getting irrelevant to the ’cause of the politics of change’ India desperately needs.

Instead, they are busy in playing dirty politics – using abusive words like ‘coward and psychopath for the elected prime minister of India’ – and making such a language synonymous with their political culture – using abusive and confrontational language in their day to day politics. With all merits, we can safely say that AAP spokespersons sound most sceptical and senseless in any ongoing political debate these days – ever since the party got another chance in Delhi.

And at times, when they are caught red handed and on the other side of the law, like it happened in Jitender Tomar case or in today’s case of raid against the Principal Secretary of Arvind Kerjriwal, their ‘we are right, come what may’ attitude deteriorates into a panic response that doesn’t consider anything and just spews and spews verbal volleys of distracted and misplaced opinions (or rants to be precise).

By their acts so far, they are proving the Delhi electorate wrong.

Well, this is certainly not political anarchy, the way political anarchy is known as!

AK-Twitter-Dec152015

Featured Image Courtesy: Arvind Kejriwal’s Twitter page

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE HAPPENED TO BE AN ‘AAM AADMI’!

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE WAS AN ‘AAM AADMI’

Once upon a time, during initial days of his political career, the ‘Aam Aadmi’ of Delhi, with a pan-India ambition, saw the opportunity in quickly metamorphosing his ‘activism to political activism’.

Once upon a time, there came a day, in an ‘alternative-hungry’ country, when he reaped unexpectedly rich dividend, taking his entourage to power corridors of Delhi.

Once upon a time, during those days of his first stint with ‘political power’, he realized his aspirations were much bigger and Delhi’s office was much smaller.

Once upon a time, after a brief experiment with his political initiation and the experience thereof, that ‘Aam Aadmi’ came to the conclusion that he had a distinct advantage that placed him in a better position – something that other ‘mainstream’ politicians couldn’t use – he could brand his style of politics as ‘political activism’ and he went to the extent to use such words like ‘anarchy’ or indulged in ‘unlawful but populist’ acts.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when he left people of Delhi for greener political pastures.

Once upon a time, after deserting Delhi, he saw the next big opportunity in Varanasi, but the decision backfired.

Once upon a time, after his political initiation and political experiences in Delhi and Varanasi, he was left with no other option but to head back to Delhi, the city that he had just deserted.

Once upon a time, while thinking so, he was also supported by such thoughts like what he did was quite common in Indian politics and with his ‘skill of saying sorry’, he could resuscitate his ‘political career’ in Delhi again.

Once upon a time, there came a time, after his ‘profuse flow of sorrys’, when Delhi not only resuscitated him, but made him the absolute ‘political king’ for five years. Obviously his political rival, including BJP and Congress, helped significantly in it.

Once upon a time, after regaining his political career and Delhi’s power corridors, that ‘Aam Aadmi’ decided it was ‘the time’ to come out of the garb of ‘political activism’ and practice ‘mainstream Indian politics’ full time.

Once upon a time, there came a day in his almost three year old political career, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ had the opportunity to shed his ‘mainstream political inhibitions’ finally.

Once upon a time, the day came finally in his ‘political life’ when he graduated to the grand narrative of Indian politics by throwing away people who could pose challenge to his hold over the party of ‘Aam Aadmis’ – and he did so in style and in one go.

Once upon a time, there came the day when he could finally crush the internal democracy in his party of ‘Aam Aadmis’.

Once upon a time, there came a time in his almost three year old political career, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ felt now was the time go full time ‘VVIP’.

Once upon a time, there came the next step in the political career of that ‘Aam Aadmi’ when he started acting, sounding and practicing ‘Khaas Aadmi’ the way Indian politicians do.

Once upon a time, while conceptualizing his future political roadmap, that ‘Khaas Aam Aadmi’ thought he could still follow greener pastures and the best way to do so was sounding ‘Delhiite’, while at the same time, engaging in confrontational politics with other ‘powers-that-be’.

Once upon a time, there came a time when that ‘Khaas Aam Aadmi’ began on the next step of his political journey in full throttle, junking all his previous promises that he made in the name of ‘political activism’- VIP culture, Jan Lokpal, anti-corruption fight, Aam Aadmi sort of life style, etc.

*’Aam Aadmi’ – Common Man
**’Khaas Aam Aadmi’ – Special Common Man

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE WAS AN ‘AAM AADMI’

Once upon a time, there was an ‘Aam Aadmi’.

Once upon a time, he sounded like an ‘Aam Aadmi’.

Once upon a time, he decided to fight for some cause.

Once upon a time, he decided that the cause would be the ‘Aam Aadmi’.

Once upon a time, there came a time, when he started extending his fight through television sets.

Once upon a time, there came a time, when he thought enough was enough.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when saw the next opportunity to further the cause.

Once upon a time, on one fine day, he decided the board a Delhi Metro train to Noida.

Once upon a time, on that day, and the days that followed, he kept himself absorbed in an assignment to raise a moment.

Once upon a time, during those days of intense conceptualizing, some people along with Anna Hazare came together and formed a group to start an anti-corruption struggle.

Once upon a time, there came a time in his life, when he could successfully be the part of that group where all claimed to be ‘Aam Aadmis’ and they identified an issue that ‘resonates with every ‘Aam Aadmi’ in India – corruption’.

Once upon a time, at that time, they chose to name their movement ‘Jan Lokpal’ agitation.

Once upon a time, under the banner of that movement, the team of ‘Aam Aadmis’ could build a strong anti-corruption movement mobilizing people across the country.

Once upon a time, with that movement, the team of ‘Aam Aadmis’ could force the government of the day to come to the negotiating table.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ could see the next opportunity – the opportunity that required him to take a different approach from some of his teammates.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ saw where the ‘next’ opportunity could take him and he decided to take political plunge.

Once upon a time, there came a day, when that ‘Aam Aadmi’ formed the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’.

Once upon a time, there came a day, very early in his political career, when he saw his emergence as the most popular leader of that ‘Aam Aadmi Party’.

Once upon a time, during initial days of his political initiation, he felt the need to draw his preferences accordingly.

To continue..

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE HAPPENED TO BE AN ‘AAM AADMI’!

*’Aam Aadmi’ – Common Man

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

IRONY IS THAT WE ARE FORCED TO ‘NOT BELIEVE’ ARVIND KEJRIWAL NOW..

Like always, in recent times, Arvind Kejriwal did something even this time that again brought satirical flavour to words that didn’t want to flow for him – like it has been happening for quite some time.

It is a sad old story now that Arvind Kejriwal, his political foray, his political party (AAP-Aam Aadmi Party) and his AAP government in Delhi, have been an absolute letdown from the ‘aspirational high’ of the ‘prospect of moral high they claimed to practice’.

He, his ministers, his MLAs and his ‘non-legislative’ party members have no qualms in presenting themselves as super VVIPs now – something that has been a political benchmark in India. They have even surpassed their political brethren in decorating themselves with ‘government positions (or positions on offer from the government)’ thus feeding on taxpayers’ money – freely and unaccountably.

Delhi is a small state, a half-state, a city state, but its largesse is ‘larger than life’ for this government of ‘common people’ that had claimed to be the ‘one-stop’ solution for ‘all woes of the common man’.

Instead, it is turning fast into a nightmare.

The AAP government in Delhi and the overall political culture besetting the party is like another ‘one-stop’ shop that plays with the electorate’s emotions/impulses to get its way in and which then forgets what it owes to the electorate for the rest of the tenure.

And why it hurts more in case of AAP?

Because we have more than enough bad reasons/negative developments to talk about it in its brief political history than any other political party of the day, especially when the party was trusted and entrusted by the electorate to fight the ‘prevailing political culture with multiple malaise’ – a political culture that is now AAP’s very own.

And continuing the ‘seemingly episodic endlessness’ here, he is again sharpening on his ‘pet demand’ of giving Delhi Police under him – amply magnified by the spate of unending law and order issues in the national capital – giving him thus the opportunity to hone his skills in his favourite pastime acts, i.e., targeting Narendra Modi, Union Government, Delhi’s L-G Najeeb Jung and Delhi Police – and not running and governing Delhi – that we all had so high hopes about. They will not take it, the deepening negative public opinion, but the acts like ‘over Rs. 500 crore publicity’ budget or dictatorial expulsion of many leaders from the party or the party’s frivolous stand on the Delhi’s Lokayukta would come back to haunt the party when it goes out to ask for votes again.

Two minor girls have been raped in Delhi and it is really, really worrying for all of us. Crimes against women and rape incidents across India are a blot on our national conscience and we need to desperately check the crisis, something where we have failed miserably so far.

But the irony is that we are forced to ‘not believe’ Arvind Kejriwal when he tweets asking the prime minister to ‘stop being stubborn and work with him’ and demanding again that ‘Delhi Police and Delhi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau’ be given under him.

Yes, the burden of incessant rape cases is unbearable but when Arvind Kejriwal politicises each and every development to further his own agenda, reacting contrary to the way he used to react, blaming Sheila Dikshit’s government for deteriorating law and order situation in Delhi, we cannot help the satirical ‘expression’ that naturally comes to our faces.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

VIP ANTI-VIPS

“Officials should show courtesy and consideration to MPs and MLAs. officials should rise to receive the public representatives and see them off too. Arrangements should be made in advance to receive them in office if a visit is already scheduled.”

“While responding to MPs and MLAs, the official would see that the communication is legit. Pre-printed or cyclo-styled replies should be avoided.”

Indian Express, September 1, 2015 (from the Delhi government circular with guidelines ‘on practices to be followed while dealing with MPs and MLAs’).

The circular has been issued by the government headed by a party that, ironically, was formed to struggle against anything that was ‘VIP’ in nature. To complete the ‘symbolism’ behind the intent, the party was named the ‘Aam Aadmi Party (the common men party). Sky high promises, raising sky high hopes, were made when some of the activists from the hugely successful (but ultimately botched up) anti-corruption movement had announced their political foray in the later half of 2012.

Arvind Kejriwal and his party practiced this, at least in public, before coming to the power once again in Delhi.

“In developed countries, even PMs wait at bus stands. Why can’t the same happen here. We want to end the VIP culture in this country.”

Arvind Kejriwal, BBC, February 14, 2015 – after taking oath as Delhi’s chief minister again.

From eschewing guards, placing his safety in the hands of “God”, to dressing in polyester shirts, Kejriwal has rejected these symbols of privilege enjoyed by a tiny minority of judges, civil servants and politicians in this city of 16 million people.

“When God decides otherwise, nobody can save you, whatever the number of bodyguards,” he told local media.

“I’ve been driving for the past few days. I stop at all red lights. I don’t think my time is wasted,” Kejriwal told lawmakers.

India Today – January 8, 2014 – during Arvind Kejriwal’s first term as the chief minister of Delhi.

Now, down the line three years, the promises sound sham and the lid is blown off with acts like this ‘circular’.

Arvind Kejriwal and his party have been openly VIP this time, after storing to the power corridors of Delhi with absolute majority winning 67 of 70 assembly seats.

Now no one, including Arvind Kejriwal, talks about ‘worthlessness of huge government bungalows for legislators’ or ‘big sized cars as their vehicles’ or ‘designated ministerial convoys’ or ‘unnecessary appointments of party members on public money’ or ‘massive advertising blitzkrieg on exchequer’s money’ and so on.

There have been many instances during this run of the AAP government in Delhi that prove what the AAP talked in the name of ‘anti-VIP measures’ was merely an election rhetoric – and once the purpose was solved with winning the Delhi assembly polls this year – after failures in running Delhi first time and in Lok Sabha elections last year – the party decided to shed the tag completely.

After all, the AAP is just yet another political party now – and as any ‘yet another political party’ is deeply rooted in practicing and promoting the ‘VIP culture’ – so is the AAP – like any other political party – like other political parties – that use the ‘symbolism’ of ‘anti-VIP culture’ to promote ‘VIP culture’ for their leaders – VIPs using anti-VIP persona to remain VIPs.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WELL, NOTHING LIKE REALITY CHECK HERE..

Well, I am again taking liberty from my self-made principles when it comes to writing – by using a tweet – from sources that usually don’t make for informed news elements. Social media feeds make for some great news stuff – but then one needs to be cautious about what to use, when to use and where to use.

This tweet from the media advisor of the Aam Aadmi Party’s numero-uno and Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tells how far the party of ‘freelance activists and full time politicians’ has moved from its stated ideals (and principles) when it had announced (or we can say now, going by the precedent based on the political trajectory of the AAP so far, it had boasted to mislead people) to enter politics – to clean it up – to make it truly common man centric – to run it as peoples’ mission.

We all know that is passé now, buried into the latest episode of the political history of India – a history where friends and foes are picked up or rejected based on their political tenability. There are numerous developments to talk about this sad demise of peoples’ hope to experiment with their political hopes. And this ‘expressivity’ by the media advisor of Arvind Kejriwal was just in line. Yesterday, he tweeted an article written on Scroll.com, a good website with basically good write-ups.

Nagendar Sharma ‏@sharmanagendar Aug 27
Reality check: Why it is too convenient to label Lalu Prasad’s reign as ‘jungle raj’ http://scroll.in/article/750963/reality-check-why-it-is-too-convenient-to-label-lalu-prasads-reign-as-jungle-raj … via @scroll_in

It was on a day when his boss was in Bihar, sharing various stages with Nitish Kumar. Nitish Kumar is Bihar’s chief minister and is taking on the BJP led National Democratic Alliance in the upcoming Bihar assembly polls slated to be held during October-November.

The BJP was the long-time partner of Nitish’s Janata Dal (United) until Nitish’s prime-ministerial ambitions led his take a different path, breaking the alliance.

Political analysts say Nitish has chance to win over Bihar again, irrespective of his party’s humiliating performance during the Lok Sabha polls last year as he is credited to lead Bihar to a path that started a process to undo the ‘bad elements’ percolated everywhere during 15 years of Lalu Yadav-Rabri Devi rule – but what is going against him – is – his alliance with that Lalu Yadav and his Rashtriya Janata Dal – and it could be acidic enough to corrode his winning chances.

And Arvind Kejriwal is extending his ‘moral’ and political support to this alliance. So, obviously, a propagandist party like the AAP would exploit all tools available to justify its acts – like it has done so far – without caring for public sentiments during this round of governance – trying to make Kejriwal larger than life in Delhi’s political circles with ‘grandiose and boastful ’ advertising campaigns.

The article is good in presenting premises but ends up making a premise – a central one – that the written political history of India has been unjust with and biased towards Lalu Prasad – a premise that can be said unilateral and biased. Bihar was ruined during Lalu days of governance – and the malaise was widespread, irrespective of class and caste – and Lalu’s humiliating political catharsis in Bihar’s electoral politics is a living example.

The AAP’s mouth organs speak in unilateral voice and see in a straight direction – as every political party does. This tweet and every other communication element is just doing the same – like this media advisor had adopted a practiced (and expected) silence on a question related to Swati Maliwal’s appointment as the chief of Delhi Commission of Women.

Now, as the goings say, this seems to the AAP’s real political character – like any other political party of India.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

PEOPLE ARE WATCHING CLOSELY MR. KERJRIWAL!

Well, there are many issues, many routine events and many developments – within a span of just six months – to write against the Aam Aadmi Pary and Arvind Kejriwal – that it, more than anything else, tells how fast has been the erosion of any value system – if the AAP had one.

It has been a rapid downward journey for the AAP since the historic high of February 2015 when it won a historical mandate cornering 67 of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly polls, improving miraculously on another miracle that it had thrown by emerging as the second largest party in 2013 assembly polls – just a year after its political foray.

Due to the turn of events, the AAP ended forming the government in Delhi. Then, the electorate had seen Congress’s support as the basic minimum to form the government and the AAP had tried to show that in spite of Congress’s support, the party was independently following its policies. The party had some tough questions to follow when it resigned in the name of ‘Jan Lokpal Bill’ because many saw it as an effort to try luck for greener pastures, i.e., prime-ministerial chair and the Lok Sabha elections.

Anyway, the party survived that. It miraculous electoral feat in February 2015 showed that. It also pushed the AAP to claim the legacy of the ’49 days’ that it was in the Delhi government during its first tenure.

But the aspirations, the hopes started taking a hit here – aspirations and hopes that gave the party such a rare, resounding mandate.

Arvind Kejriwal first got Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan kicked out of the party they had co-founded. Then he executed moves that told us that the AAP was fast becoming a party synonymous with Arvind Kejriwal and it had no political future without him.

And the process looks complete now.

No one in the AAP talks about the ‘Jan Lokpal Bill’ now.

Instead, Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers prefer to follow a politics of confrontation with the Narendra Modi led Union Government that has a direct political interest in Delhi and will try to exercise its power in whatever way possible through its representative, the Lieutenant-Governor.

Delhi is the national capital of India and therefore the Union Government needs to have deep stakes here. That makes Delhi a half-state for its elected government and like every government in Delhi, Kejriwal had to find a way out of it.

Instead, he chose to take on the Union Government asking for full statehood.

On August 14, his government will complete six months in office but he has nothing but empty rhetoric, spate of controversies and wasteful expenditure of public money in promoting a ‘Kejriwal cult’.

And what’s more, a fatigue is creeping in, to write even a critical piece on the AAP. The party that made ‘common man’ a leitmotif of its political rise needs to think how would it answer people who are increasing viewing it as just yet another political party with nothing new to offer. The AAP had promised change but the voter is finding the hard truth that the party has changed, and for worse. The AAP may or may not realize it but ‘uncommonness’ has become the new leitmotif of the party.

Voters are scrutinizing these developments. People are watching closely Mr. Kerjriwal!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AAP SHOULD NOT HAVE APPOINTED SWATI MALIWAL

In ‘an acceptance of defeat sort of way’ that was heavy on political overtures (intended to play ‘victim card’), Arvind Kejriwal, the chief-minister of Delhi, requested today that the Lieutenant-Governor should not shut the Delhi Commission of Women office – as he, ‘the elected chief minister of Delhi’ was accepting defeat.

He requested that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi should allow the Delhi government to function and should stop trying to rule Delhi through the L-G. His party even put advertisements for it in different parts of Delhi – from its Rs. 526 crore ‘kitty’ of advertising blitzkrieg.

What is happening in Delhi is the same old story, story that has become routine in Delhi’s political and social circles, a story that began on February 14, 2015 – a story of consistent downfall from the high pedestal of ‘claims to change the face of politics’.

And the latest development in the ongoing ‘Kejriwal Vs L-G or Kejriwal Vs Delhi Police or Kejriwal Vs Bassi or Union Government Vs Delhi Government’ series is no exception.

Every such development, every such move by the Aam Aadmi Party puts it in even more negative light because it the party had claimed to cleanse the politics of its malaise, had blamed others to be deep into corruption and impropriety. When Arvind Kejriwal and some other leaders of the hugely successful 2011 anti-corruption movement were announcing their political outfit, they had promised to remain common men. When they were canvassing for votes, their messages were packaged around needs of the common man.

Ideally, for a party following the line of probity in its every deed, any act that smokes even a little of impropriety should be an avoidable act. In fact, such acts must be avoided at any cost.

And so, the Aam Aadmi Party should not have appointed Swati Maliwal as the DCW chief in the first place – leave alone the ongoing battle with the L-G over the issue.

Complaints of senior AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas and Somnath Bharti are already with the DCW and they have been issued summons. The organization that was being run like a ‘kitty party’ as Swati Maliwal alleges, had termed ‘Kumar Vishwas and Somnath Bharti anti-social elements’.

And Swati Maliwal is related to that Aam Aadmi Party. She is wife of the AAP leader Naveen Jaihind. She has advised Arvind Kejriwal on different issues and has been associated with him for almost a decade now.

Ideally, on that ground, that makes a perfect case of conflict of interest, the AAP should not have even proposed her name.

But such a move could have been expected only from a party that followed principles of probity in every act – and the AAP of the day is not that party. The AAP leaders speak of principles but desist in following them in their acts.

It is a sad episode, again, of Indian politics – for Indian democracy – for its spirit to experiment with political options.

Arvind Kejriwal’s media advisor Nagendar Sharma today tweeted on Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi’s interview – “Was there a conflict of interest in @aajtak interview of Delhi Police Commissioner? Just asking!”.

I usually don’t write back on tweets but I wrote on it – “Wasn’t there conflict of interest in Swati Maliwal’s appointment? Complaints on Kumar Viswas and Somnath Bharti?”

As expected, Mr. Sharma didn’t answer.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ANOTHER SHAMBOLIC ACT BY AAP

It is not about that petrol and diesel are still cheaper in Delhi than neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

It is about betraying people once again and that too when the Aam Aadmi Party government is just five months old in the office – the five months that it completed only yesterday.

And the move by the AAP government has come just two weeks after denying to plan anything on this line.

After the uproar two weeks ago about the proposal to increase VAT, Raghav Chadda, the party’s spokesperson, had rushed to clarify: “We have reduced the penalty. We didn’t say that we are increasing the VAT. We have just tabled the amendment for the flexibility of VAT department.”

Let’s see what he had to say today. Today, he tried to shield behind verbal jugglery inundating his response with technical (financial) terms saying – “FMs of all North Indian States decided that fuel prices should be at uniform rates to avoid geographical tax arbitrage and trade malpractices.”

Well, public doesn’t understand such jargons and people who have voted for the AAP (or for that matter any other political party or government) react negatively to such developments.

And it will reflect in elections. The AAP, due to its ignorance, may not gauge it in Punjab polls, but the outcome will certainly be humiliating in Delhi if this streak continues. Five years on electoral scale are not too long.

And such a ‘hostile to public sentiments’ move came on a day when the BJP led Union Government reduced prices of petrol and diesel by Rs. 2 throughout the country. That made the AAP’s shabby response sound even more hypocritical.

Totally indefensible and Manish Sisodia’s response only added to it – (tax rates on Petrol-Diesel are being rationalised in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, HP, Chandigarh & UP under unified tax policy. 1st time in North India.)

It may be first time in India – this rationalization as said by Manish Sisodia, Arvind Kejriwal’s right hand and Delhi’s deputy chief-minister, may be debatable – but the AAP’s fall from grace after February 14, 2015, when it took oath for the second time, has been, unfortunately, an uninterrupted show.

And the continuing advertising blitzkrieg, on public’s money, is only adding to it. The message such acts by the AAP government send that the government has not been able to raise money and is insensitively indulging in acts to finance its populist measures and its wasteful expenditures.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/