A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY AGAIN TO PLAY THEIR VICTIM CARD!

That was again in the air. What looked on air – looked like a genuine case – a disgruntled person approached Arvind Kejriwal – during one of his trademark self-obsessed events – this time to say thanks to Delhiites for the ‘odd-even’ scheme – to express her displeasure.

Okay, we may disagree by the way the lady chose to express her displeasure – by throwing ink and some pieces of paper (and a CD) – but we will certainly disagree with what followed – with the lady – and in general – especially with histrionics of the Aam Aadmi Party leaders.

As soon as the news broke, it became ‘the’ most important news of the ‘nation’ – as expected – and as expected – the AAP machinery went into overdrive – to squeeze in the maximum political mileage – to play the victim card – to get in the war of words that is getting so ugly with each passing day.

As soon as the news flashed – as soon as its images started getting viral – the AAP propaganda – yes, now we should say them a well oiled propaganda machinery – took to social media and media in full overdrive (with as much throttle speed as possible) – inhabiting nooks and corners of media and social media spaces – with their victim card – with their ‘good samaritan’ card.

In their trademark way – that has started making us cringe now – something that AAP totally disregards.

So, as soon as the news broke, everyone in AAP started shooting (and shouting at the top of their voices) that it was a political conspiracy – and plans to kill Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders were in making.

The party took no time in coming directly to its point – in getting direct confrontation with BJP and with the Delhi Police. In fact, the party looked desperate to catch political prospects from this ‘windfall development’ as the Punjab assembly polls are around the corner where the party is betting big.

And it was ironical!

Making a fuss around this issue by a party that owes its origin to the ‘common man’ – sending a common woman to jail – is condemnable. A disgruntled auto-rickshaw driver had slapped Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal forgave him and reached out to meet him – though he made a big public spectacle of it. But then, Kejriwal is not chief minister then.

He is chief minister now – and with a solid mandate – 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly. And after taking Delhi’s CM office second time in February 2015, he has shed all his inhibitions – including his ‘common man’ branding. Now, AAP is like any other party.

And like any other leader of any other political party, the Delhi CM did not show largesse this time. No one in AAP is talking about her now. Kejriwal did not go to meet her today.

Instead, its ministers, leaders and spokespersons are busy since yesterday in milking this incident to settle score with the Delhi Police, to target BJP and to show how everyone else is behind life (and times) of Arvind Kejriwal and AAP.

It all looks so gaudy – so funny now. And it will certainly reflect in electoral politics. The party that borrows its name from the ‘common man’ could have logically chosen to downplay the incident – with a genuine clemency for the lady.

But we all knew what was coming.

To continue..

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

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/

NOW WHO WILL BUY IT? NO ONE. EXCEPT AAP.

Well, today was another step in the ‘unravelling’ saga of the uncommon common man Arvind Kejriwal and his uncommon ‘common men’ party, the Aam Aadmi Party.

After presenting a budget that was not innovative enough to the promises he had made while he was asking for votes (apart from hiking budgetary allocation on education), his government today hiked the upper limit on the Value Added Tax (VAT) in Delhi by 10%.

That gives the Delhi government, led by Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party, flexibility to ‘manoeuvre”. Now, what will they ‘manoeuvre’, only they know. On its part, the government is saying the move is not about ‘price increase’.

Now who will buy it?

No one.

Except the AAP.

And there are reasons behind it.

In the run-up to the elections, the AAP announced many populist sops including free Wi-Fi, schools, hospitals, free water and low electricity tariff. The overall list is long and beyond scalable limits. Even Arvind Kejriwal admitted, after winning the absolute majority, that he was not looking at fulfilling ‘all the promises’ he had made.

Now, all that requires money and Kejriwal has already started the process, by subsidizing electricity and water. There are no innovative proposals to raise more money to fund these ‘populist measures’ but empty rhetoric like the one Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister, proposed today. His ‘common sense’ wisdom told us today that a common Delhiite was able to save some money (in thousands) thanks to his government’s anti-corruption efforts.

So, the ‘common’ Delhiites have more monetary resources to meet the ends now – with the AAP’s grace. That eases some of the burden of the populist promises. For others, some that the government wants to meet in light of the upcoming polls, with continuation of the most populist measures like subsidies of water and electricity, there are flexible ‘manoeuvrability’ measures like the one proposed today.

No one is buying the government’s arguments and reports have already started saying that prices are to set to increase after the AAP government hiked the upper limit of the VAT from 20% to 30%.

On the contrary, the first policy move of the government post ‘Swaraj’ budget is set to increase prices of cooking fuels and fuel oils. That will have a cascading effect on other items for sure – as another ‘common sense’ wisdom says.

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

BHAGWAN IS ADVERTISEMENT KO SALAMAT RAKHE!

Saw the Aam Aadmi Party’s (Arvind Kejriwal’s) advertisements on a ‘news channel’ today.

And felt so confident after watching it that ‘the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal are on highway of success’.

And it is for the betterment of the masses and the classes that they want to take it further to them, to tell them – to communicate to them the good work Mr. Kejriwal is doing – so that it reaches far and wide – so that it reaches to ‘every possible family’.

After all, unlike the family in this advertisement, there are many families who don’t feel Kejriwal has done anything significant so far to affect their lives, even if there is a sea-change – at least to do while expressing themselves publicly.

They are so adamant that they are not believing even Kejriwal and it is hurting the good samaritans of the ‘good samaritan sort of party’. After all, they are not doing it for name, fame and money. They are doing for social well-being. They are doing it for the ‘politics of change’ to change ‘themselves’.

Therefore, it is a commendable act. I thought to do an analytical appreciation of the advertisement frame by frame but could not locate it on online platforms including YouTube and the AAP website. Hope, it will be here today, allowing me to do, what was left midway last night.

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

KEJRIWAL IS DOING MANY THINGS. KEJRIWAL IS NOT DOING ANYTHING.

Arvind Kejriwal’s government is doing many things.

Arvind Kejriwal’s government is not doing anything.

Both perspectives have their proponents and opponents. And that is ironical about it.

We did not hear the ‘rush to reform’ the system by the Aam Aadmi Party government like it was the last time. Apart from some populist measures of offering subsidies on electricity and water tariffs, the AAP government has done nothing significant. And it is going to complete 100 days in office on May 24.

During the campaigning phase, Arvind Kejriwal could easily be seen apologizing for deserting Delhi in just 49 days. And at the same time, he could be seen trying to sell the goodwill of those 49 days.

And after results, he found those 49 days a ‘better than thought’ proposition. We can find a link even on the AAP website talking achievements of the 49 days rule.

Yes, it is true the 49 days rule played a major role in better than expected poll outcome for the AAP. But the ‘better than expected’ results also tell that it was not an entirely won battle.

Because vote share of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) more or less remained the same.

And almost entire vote share of Congress went to the AAP. The BJP could not win it or a share of it, owing to its lackluster show during the President’s rule in Delhi through the Lieutenant-Governor.

That is not going to happen again. And there are reasons for it.

The AAP’s confrontationist approach figures majorly among that. Right from its inception, the AAP has been engaged in a sort of confrontationist politics. The AAP leaders kept on issuing statements against the Congress leaders even if its first government (the government of 49 days) was in office with Congress’s support.

They continue to do so, targeting everyone who is non-AAP politically (and administratively).

The AAP tried to create an atmosphere where it looked engaged in an anti-establishment confrontational politics even if it was taking or trying to take Congress’s support. It successfully created veil of a populist pro-common men approach.

And it followed some of it during its first, now hallowed 49 days of government, though, with errors.

Sample this – Arvind Kejriwal decided to end the VVIP culture in Delhi. He said he would not take the chief minister’s bungalow and other arrangements. His MLAs or he himself contradicted this stand. He was hooted on social media for accepting a VIP accommodation. It forced him to make U-turn on it. A larger than life Kejriwal, present on banners, posters and hoardings, on every nook and corner of Delhi, appealed Delhiites, from common men to auto drivers, to film corrupt officials on hidden cameras. His government took action against such officials. He offered subsidies for electricity and water for the months left in the year. To prove his political activism, he offered to give subsidies to them who had not paid their electricity bills on his request, before he became the CM. He also filed case against a prominent corporate house alleging corruption in fixing petroleum prices. And he reasoned his resignation behind a similar issue – on Jan Lokpal. He alleged the present political class of the time was not supporting his cause.

But after the humiliation of the Lok Sabha polls where his party created a record of ‘forfeitures’, he had to come back to Delhi again. He tried to form the government there, again with Congress’s support, if we go by the reports. Like this option had to fail, and it failed. All this while, he was preparing for the next Delhi assembly polls, well in advance. All this while, he maintained a confrontationist attitude, visible to us, enveloping it in his apology for deserting Delhi in just 49 days.

And the residents of Delhi, disappointed with the BJP in Delhi and fed-up of Congress, believed in him, in his apology and in his confrontationist approach, giving him 67 out of 70 assembly seats.

That was it.

Kejriwal’s government is completing 100 days this time and there is nothing to talk about.

The tenure that has come after many promises is looking more like a naturalization process and the AAP has been co-opted by the Indian politics of the day, which they talked of changing when they began.

He and his partymen accepted VVIP accommodations and made no fuss about it. They even needed a separate VVIP corridor during events. Corruption is as usual in Delhi. Kejriwal’s full-time government has not brought any change to that. At least we are yet to feel it. He has given electricity and water subsidies but even people are not talking about it anymore. He made larger than life promises to win Delhi but then felt it would be enough if he could deliver even 40%/50% of that.

After taking the reins for the second time, with a full-time government, he is making news, but mostly due to negative reasons. His anti-establishment attitude, something that was behind his ‘anarchist’ proclamation, is now looking rubbish, stale, so routine and selfish.

He is completing 100 days of governance and he has nothing else to talk but electricity and water subsidies. And that too sounds ineffective now. The cruel Delhi summers are already witnessing protests over water and electricity shortage.

He promised Delhiites full statehood and many projects for which lands were needed. Now, everyone knows Centre cannot give full statehood to Delhi, cannot give the Delhi Police under the Delhi government and cannot leave land to the state government in a state that is also the National Capital of India. Even Sheila Dikshit, Kejriwal’s predecessor, could not achieve full statehood or could not get the Delhi Police under her control even if she had three full terms in office and even if Congress led the Union Government from 2004 to 2014.

Yes, Delhi is a half state and is also the most important Indian city where people of national and international importance reside. It had offices and institutions that go beyond the Delhi CM and need to be looked after by the Central government.

And Delhi has to be governed like that. The confrontationist approach will not work here. The BJP government at Union level, with the BJP being the main opposition in Delhi makes matters in Delhi even worse.

Kejriwal needed an approach of reconciliation and needed to work with the Union Government for the development of Delhi. He needs land that is under the BJP government. He needs cooperation of the Delhi Police that is under the BJP led Ministry of Home Affairs. Full statehood demand was not a practical one. Delhi being the half state and the seat of the Government of India, he needs assistance from the Central government. For, for his own political career, he needed to consolidate the Delhi gains first.

Instead, he has chosen confrontation. And he is not sparing even his own officials and media here.

And a credibility crisis for him has made his every act look like a sham – an atmosphere of credibility that had given him the advantage earlier (including this election).

He first stage-managed and then got Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, the two senior-most members, who along-with him had formed the party and weaved the Anna Hazare led anti-corruption movement of 2011, kicked out. The AAP of the day is clearly a one-man show which doesn’t go beyond Arvind Kejriwal (and will not go beyond Delhi if something is not done).

Then he adopted silence after a farmer’s suicide at his rally that was organized to launch the AAP protests against the NDA’s land acquisition bill. His reaction came very late. The incident fizzled out the AAP protests against land acquisition.

In both incidents, it was clearly visible that he was not doing pro-people politics. He was not setting any precedent. Instead, he was doing pure politics, and going even beyond ‘them’. Whether it was in him or whether it came upon him is not what matters. What matters is that he is sounding more and more incredulous and routine now.

And the latest episode of the appointment of acting chief secretary of Delhi, too, is being seen in this context.

Delhi’s chief secretary K. K. Sharma is on leave for 10 days and the Delhi government needs to appoint someone as the acting chief secretary in his absence. There are valid questions over rights of the Delhi L-G and the Delhi CM on the issue and the unprecedented alertness shown by the Delhi L-G.

But Kejriwal is not finding support here. And when writing so, it means public support. He is not getting public support on any of the vital issues in his manifesto – full statehood to Delhi, Delhi Police under his control or the issue of Delhi land for new hospitals and educational institutions.

This time, he has, so far, not launched any public agitation, like he had launched the one against the Delhi Police during his government of 49 days. The one where he tried backfired due to his ill management and a farmer’s suicide. And in spite of a war of letters, he is not going to launch the next even the Union Government is imposing itself on Delhi in case of the acting chief secretary issue.

He needs a practical approach here but then he himself has closed the doors.

The L-G will say yes. The CM will say no. And 10 days will pass. Only Kejriwal and his men know why they are bad-naming and badmouthing about Shakuntla Gamlin who the Delhi L-G has appointed while K. K. Sharma is away. Even if his Government is not agreed to it, her appointment is according to the choices of names by the Delhi Government. And she is not alone. The war is engulfing others. The Delhi civil services officers are facing heat in this war in the war between the Delhi L-G and the Delhi CM. Removal of the official who issued appointment order for Shakuntala Gamlin has already been rejected by the Delhi L-G and it is to be seen how the Delhi government reacts next.

Irrespective of the question of a Constitutional Crisis, the matter will further harm Kejriwal’s chances in Delhi and beyond. His government is doing petty politics over a woman official and is levelling allegations without proof. If she is corrupt, as is being said (by people like Arvind Kejriwal), why is she still there?

Kejriwal thinks he is safe for five years now. But he has to face a government at the Union level that is of the main political opposition in Delhi. And he has to face an aggressive Rahul Gandhi. He got almost votes of Congress this time but that will not happen in the next polls.

And to make matters worse for him, he will be facing anti-incumbency (huge, as he has promised Delhi many things that he cannot give) and a deteriorated credibility base.

He has proven he is not the kind the politician Delhiites had thought of and voted for. He is same, from the lot. He has proven he is not different.

The irony is Arvind Kejriwal thinks his government is doing many things.

The irony is Arvind Kejriwal has failed, so far, to do anything for Delhi.

The irony is he has started attracting negative public sentiments.

And the irony of all ironies is – his mainstreaming is complete even if he has no means to further his political career. He thinks Delhi voters will forget his misdeeds in five years – when the next elections come. He thinks such things will not go beyond Delhi. And if he thinks so, he is committing the same mistake as his political brethren did. He has seen what happened to the Congress across the country. He has seen what happened to the BJP in just nine months in Delhi. And he has seen his own party’s humiliation in the Lok Sabha polls last year.

Yes, the full-time politician in him is out there and with force but even he is not advising him the right course.

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

KEJRIWAL’S CONFRONTATIONAL ATTITUDE

Arvind Kejriwal’s government is doing many things.

Arvind Kejriwal’s government is not doing anything.

Both perspectives have their proponents and opponents. And that is ironical about it.

We did not hear the ‘rush to reform’ the system by the Aam Aadmi Party government like it was the last time. Apart from some populist measures of offering subsidies on electricity and water tariffs, the AAP government has, so far, done nothing significant. And that too sounds ineffective when we see the increasing number of protests against water and electricity shortage with the rising temperature in soaring summer heat of Delhi.

Kejriwal’s government is completing 100 days this time and there is nothing to talk about. Instead, he already has enough of negative pointers on his part.

He and his partymen accepted VVIP accommodations and made no fuss about it. They even needed a separate VVIP corridor during events. Corruption is as usual in Delhi. Kejriwal’s full-time government has not brought any change to that. He has given electricity and water subsidies but even people are not talking about it anymore. He made larger than life promises to win Delhi but then felt it would be enough if he could deliver even 40%/50% of that.

After taking the reins for the second time, with a full-time government, he is making news, but mostly due to negative reasons. His anti-establishment attitude, something that was behind his ‘anarchist’ proclamation, is now looking rubbish, stale, so routine and selfish.

He promised Delhiites full statehood and many projects for which lands were needed. Now, everyone knows Centre cannot give full statehood to Delhi, cannot give Delhi Police under Delhi government and cannot leave land to the state government in a state that is also the National Capital of India. Even Sheila Dikshit, Kejriwal’s predecessor, could not achieve full statehood or could not get Delhi Police under her control even if she had three full terms in office and even if Congress led the Union Government from 2004 to 2014.

Yes, Delhi is a half state and is also the most important Indian city where people of national and international importance reside. The pragmatic approach to run this city-state lies is in reconciliation within the democratic norms.

And Delhi has to be governed like that, with an approach to take everyone on board, even if it means ceding some political ground to the Lieutenant-Governor as is the case of the appointment of the acting chief secretary of Delhi – even if it means handling the main political opposition, the BJP, whose government is at the Union level.

The confrontationist approach will not work in a democracy. Kejriwal needs a practical approach. He needs to work with the Union Government for the development of Delhi to consolidate his gains first.

Instead, he has chosen confrontation – closing the doors. He is indulging in a fight that he cannot win. He is indulging in a fight that is ethically not right.

Ironically, an ever increasing number of people who had shown faith in the political experiment called ‘the AAP’ are regretting their decision to vote the party in.

Let’s see what comes next. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

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

POLITICS OVER A DEATH, ONCE AGAIN

Irrespective of his background and his intention, everyone is to share the blame for his death.

But, as expected, his death has become a full blown political matter.

Every political party is trying to sound sympathetic to the cause of the farmer and blaming the others for it.

We are remembering the farming community, once again, a community that employs maximum number of people in India. The ‘tears’ are being shed. Probes are being launched. It seems a solution will be reached that will be acceptable to the central party, the farmers, and all other stakeholders.

Society, polity – all are involved in this blamegame over a death in public – of a man who happened to be a farmer. Unseasonal rains created havoc for him. His standing crop was destroyed and he had no other mean as his father had ousted him. He had no other mean left but to commit suicide as no government compensation ever reached to him, as the alleged suicide note from his said.

And he hanged himself in full public view yesterday.

A newly formed political party, that is at the helms of the affair of Delhi, chose to speak and disband the rally, not to rush to save him. Its leader did not visit the hospital later (as spoken from the stage there) after he came to know that he was brought dead. Rahul Gandhi and Ajay Maken visited the hospital to express his condolences and expressed his solidarity. Offices of Delhi CM and HMO issued statements. Blames and counterblames began. As expected, ugly politics began.

After all, a farmer had died, in the Indian capital, in full public view, during the rally of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Today, it swept both Houses of Parliament. Rajya Sabha that began today and Lok Sabha that resumed its session on April 20, could not find, so far, any other issue to debate. All parties spoke, trying to squeeze in maximum politics. HM spoke. PM spoke. Leaders of Opposition in both Houses spoke. The AAP continue to defend it shamefully. Delhi Police continue to be defended in spite of all the odds.

Politics and what else!

Farmers are dying in the country, for decades, irrespective of the government in the office. Every government has failed to check the issue so far. Every party has shown the lack of initiative so far.

And we all are to share the blame.

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