Future of AAP: Kejriwal under Congress-BJP scanners! (3 Parts)


Future of AAP: Kejriwal under Congress-BJP scanners! (3 Parts)

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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Part -1

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that came to power in Delhi as a rude shock to the then leading corrupt and fanatic parties like Congress and BJP that ruled the capital state alternatively since the Delhi state came into being is now facing an untimely existential threat from the same threatened parties and very unserious, rather childish attitude of the party leadership itself.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, the crusader for social causes that made him very dear to Delhiites, led the political regime change in Delhi with his famous anti-corruption agitations and sent shock waves to entire country of arrival of a serious threat to corrupt politicians. Indian politicians are by and large extremely corrupt and they have come to politics only to make wealth, with or without power, by looting the resources of the nation.

Congress party that promotes corruption officially through its governments across the nation is worst affected outfit.

But corrupt politicians n all parities woke up to face the challenge to their illegal and immoral operations through political parties and Congress and BJP led that opposition.

While the Congress-BJP duo and central government though its Lt governor   accelerate the move to unseat AAP government and end Kejriwal  politics by  falsely implicating him in corruption cases, poor Delhi CM is still thinks his “honesty” and people of Delhi would save him.

Thus the man Delhi people chose to lead Delhi state and India at large immersed in petty politics, forgetting about the role the people have bestowed upon him, though he knows the carpet is bring pulled  from under his feet by Congress-BJP duo.

 

Is Kejriwal a prisoner?

The image of “Great” Arvind Kejriwal was lost first when his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lost all five parliamentary seats in his Delhi state to BJP as he himself did not contest from there but went up to UP on a failed mission to defeat the PM candidate Narendra Modi in Varanasi which BJP won easily. Then the crushing defeat in recent local polls in Delhi state has made the AAP feel the saffron pinch. Now AAP needs to defeat BJP in order to survive as a quasi national party in Delhi. Both BJP and Congress have pushed the Arvind and his party to corner, forcing him not to outside Delhi, even for attending marriages if any.

However, the defeat taught Kejriwal a useful lesson about the secret alliance between two national parties Congress and BJP not to let the AAP make any inroads in the country because that new party would destroy both the essentially Hindutva parties. It did not help Arvind slash down his tone of arrogance towards fellow leaders like Prashant Bhushan, however, which did tell on the course tough time of AAP’s survival in the state.

True, the AAP is the ruling party with enough  majority and even if it loses a few more MLAs crossing over to BJP nothing would affect the fortunes of the party  in the near future but, however, its image as a great popular party is slowly falling down.

Kejriwal’s arrogance, even if for the sake of purity of politics, has clearly affected the future of the party as a possible national party. That is indeed the success of secret alliance between BJP and Congress. A united AAP would have faced and repelled convincingly all accusations and destabilization efforts of these parties but now even his former comrades are also against him, proving a log for the BJP-Congress duo to swim in the troubled Delhi waters.

Delhiites and Indians looked forward to AAP as a prompt saviorto  save the nation and people from the corrupt and fanatic politicians but Kejriwal doesn’t go beyond Delhi where he is made a prisoner by Congress-BJP duo.

If anyone thinks Congress is not a Hindutva party like BJP  they are terribly mistaken, after all,  it is the Congress which is instrumental in the fostering of Hindutva parties in the secular like BJP and VHP and their “mother RSS”, India to  keep Muslims  under stress and strains.

Of course, RSS is mother to Indian military as well.

EVMs magic?

There is a serious complain that the  government is using the electronic  voting machine (EVMs) to produce  a pro-BJP verdict in the polls and in the local poll of Delhi Corporations the allegation became strong enough though the BJP government preferred not to take notice of it.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members have blamed the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) malpractice for its defeat.

In a major setback to the Aam Admi Party, the BJP swept the municipal corporation polls in Delhi. The results showed that AAP had lost almost half of its vote share while the BJP increased theirs by almost 4% to 37% as compared to the 2015 assembly polls. JP sweeps MCD Polls with 181 wards; AAP finishes a distant second with 48 wards, Congress gets 30, indicating upper hand for the saffron party.  Following the BJP’s victory in the MCD polls, Congress leaders like Delhi chief Ajay Maken announced their resignations from their posts.

The AAP party faced losses in wards of constituencies held by senior AAP leaders and MLAs Satyendra Jain and Somnath Bharti and others like Alka Lamba, Gopal Rai and Kapil Mishra. AAP blamed tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs).

Kejriwal, unlike what the Congress government had described him, is not childish and he is well versed in political manners too. After his defeat in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and expressed his willingness to work with the winning party for the betterment of Delhi. However, the AAP government or its CM Kejriwal did not resign to make opponent BJP and Congress rejoice overboard.  It was only the local polls.

The AAP leadership, instead of studying its mistakes continued to remain in denial and insisted that it was not a victory for PM Narendra Modi but for the electronic voting machines (EVMs). “This is an EVM wave, not a Modi wave,” said Delhi minister Gopal Rai.

AAP is still unable to gauge the real cause of its defeat and rise of BJP in the state, notwithstanding a review meeting recently. Some BJP leaders say that the BJP making Manoj Tiwari the president of the BJP state unit worked in their favour, given the changing demographics of the city. Tiwari, an actor and Bhojpuri singer, made started his political career and gained political experience in Samajwadi Party and moved to the BJP after 2011.

The induction of Tiwari, a Bhojpuri celebrity who had already won for BJP the Northeast Delhi Lok Sabha seat, a Poorvanchali hub, in 2014, to wean these voters away from the AAP and the Congress seemed to have paid off well. He infused some new energy into the Delhi party as some of the old school RSS leaders were becoming unappealing. AAP’s power and sway over the peole of Delhi remained very solid. BJP calculated the caste composition of Delhi voters. The Jats, Yadavs and Gujjars — the original residents of the rural pockets — are now outnumbered by Poorvanchali migrants from UP and Bihar in many of the villages of Delhi. In the unauthorised colonies, where a third of Delhi’s population lives, Poorvanchalis are the dominant group.

Possibly BJP is waiting for the next assembly poll to field Manoj Tiwari as the CM candidate to defeat Arvind as Kiran Bedi could not help the BJP with the Delhi assembly and government and  PM Modi had to make her the Lt governor of Pondicherry to save her image as successful police officer with IPS rank.

BJP government and Congress are closely watching Kejriwal’s moves and are eager to put him in jail for a long period on multiple charges and dismantle the AAP infrastructure the manipulative politics of Congress-BJP duo.

(More to follow..>)

 

Future of AAP: Kejriwal under Congress-BJP scanners! (Part -2)

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

______

 

Part -2

 

The problem facing the ruling AAP government is Congress, which is now uprooted in Delhi state,  must be keen to see its secret ally the BJP wrestle power from APP and finish it off once for all with Congress party providing logistic and political support. BJP does not require money from Congress as it is strong finically now. Although the BJP could not defeat the AAP in the assembly poll, it could defeat it in the parliamentary poll as well the recently held Corporation polls in Delhi and New Delhi. That means Delhiites have not yet completely driven the BJP out of Delhi state unlike the Congress party whose fate is sealed for now if not forever.  .

India is passing through a delicate phase of political upheaval. Hitherto unseen burst of Hindutva moorings alongside the anti-corruption movement of Kejriwal-Hazare removed Congress from power at centre, while the Modi government and the BJP under his governance and management have succeed in sidelining and gradually phasing out Congress party as the major stake holders in national politics and the recent poll for President and Vice President have comfortably proven that.

The BJP is in and Congress is out. Swap is almost complete, though many mostly corrupt parties try to help Congress party to stay in politics because Congress governments let the corrupt elements to loot the nation as much as they can with state protections while BJP may not or if  even if it does they are not feeling “homely” with Hindu forces.

BJP ended up winning most of the wards in Delhi state as they used their resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh to their advantage. Pre-2014 BJP was different from the one we have now. We have raised the bar,” Tiwari said. Admitting that governance standards in local bodies were wanting before Modi took over as the PM, he claimed that having “Modi as BJP’s policy” would change that.

 

Focus

AAP has focused on a few states for stakes in the government formation and failed as it is no match for manipulative politics of Congress-BJP duo. Punjab, Goa and Karnataka are their focus these days. In Goa the AAP party fought and lost baldy. In Punjab the Congress wrestled the assembly form BJP coalition and AAP could not muster enough strength there. In Karnataka where Congress and BJP fight a hard politics AAP cannot hope for anything.

Delhi verdict in local polls has confused the AAP party. The so-called “pep talk” Arvind Kejriwal gave to newly elected municipal corporators of the Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday was hardly the way to enthuse people who have lost the fervor of people. Though these brave hearts had just battled an electoral tornado and kept the party flag afloat, the meeting began with the Delhi chief minister chastising them severely for being late and keeping him waiting.

Kejriwal has been stricken with the victimhood syndrome ever since he became chief minister, and during this talk, he tried to spread the infection. Instead of telling party officials that displaying incorruptible scruples was the best way to ward off BJP attempts to lure them, he advised them to record every phone conversation. “Once you have recorded the conversation, we will call a press conference and play it,” he declared.

The logic why AAP members should refuse inducements is also warped. “You don’t need money, you didn’t have to buy party tickets and spend lakhs of rupees on the campaign,” was Kejriwal’s logic. He forgot that people accept bribes for other reasons too, mostly because they are low on principles.

Instead of beginning the interaction — with many of them for the first time — by enhancing their self-esteem by dwelling on the significance of their victories when others fell by the wayside, Kejriwal’s address was loaded with moral sermonizing. Instead of celebrating their success, the repeated emphasis was on recalling past glory. Instead of talking about the crisis that the party faces after the rout in Delhi and sub-par performances in Punjab and Goa, the AAP supremo romanticized about the halcyon days of the party.

Kejriwal did not, even once, applaud the achievements of these winners, instead verbalizing the party’s emergence from the anti-corruption agitation, and crediting every electoral accomplishment to that movement. “Countless people made sacrifices and your victories are due to these sacrifices,” he told the gathered members. Instead of recognising their special abilities and displaying trust in them, they were lectured that their victory was due to past contributions of others.

They were also warned against succumbing to temptations — almost making it out that the newly-elected AAP corporators would be more than willing to barter the party tag for a Bharatiya Janata Party label. It was unfortunate that in his first meeting with them, the party chief displayed doubts over their loyalty. By casting such aspersions and suggesting that he feared that many among them could be lured into the BJP fold, Kejriwal showed AAP’s process of candidate selection was anything but flawless

Image loss

 

AAP lost its image and credibility. India Today listed the rifts within the party as one of the reasons for their defeat. With several MLAs expressing their displeasure and some even jumping ship, there was a negative perception among voters. As soon as its MLA from Bawana Ved Prakash quit the party to join BJP, every day the speculation of more following the suit hurt the party’s credibility. Another MLA Rajesh Rishi cautioned party chief against ‘sycophants’ and used twitter as his platform. The biggest blow was a video by senior leader Kumar Vishwas who not only kept away from the Party’s campaign for crucial MCD polls but also released a video slamming his own party on the issue of corruption Facing a barrage of criticism for continuing to blame EVMs for their loss, report suggest that a meeting was held at the Chief Minister’s residence where the election was discussed.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh said organisational improvement was needed and the party would work towards it. The AAP leader’s remarks came after a long meeting of the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence recently. The PAC meeting was organised to “introspect” and analyze the AAP’s humiliating defeat in Delhi municipal elections, results of which were announced. After the meeting Singh told reporters that the party “introspected” on what went wrong and where “we fell short”. He said the party will work on all levels including structural and booth level and “make necessary changes”. He said the PAC also discussed the tampering of EVMs. He said nearly 18 political parties of the country have raised doubts over EVMs then why is it that the AAP is being made fun of. AAP is still serious threat not just to both Congress and BJP but also for all corrupt politicians across the political spectrum of the nation. .

Singh also took on the political opponents who had raised questions about party’s progress and its future. He said one cannot write off the AAP as in the past four years, all that the party has achieved was not less. The Bharatiya Janata Party won the civic polls bagging 181 municipal wards out of 270 and pushed the AAP to a distant second spot with 48 wins. The Congress could emerge victorious only at 30 wards.

Almost half of the MLAs present said that they did not believe that EVMs were the issue. Following the party meet, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Jagdeep Singh said, “If we find anything concrete on EVMs, we will talk about it”. Similarly, Avtar Singh, who is the AAP legislator from Kalkaji, did not comment on EVMs and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal refrained from speaking on electronic voting machines (EVMs) after the MCD election result. The AAP party has legitimate concerns and the AAP said it would continue doubting this.

In contrast to the Assembly election in 2015 when only the most unfortunate AAP members suffered defeats, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls saw only the pluckiest candidates overcame public sentiment against the party.

For a party whose voteshare was eroded by almost half, the leadership’s failure to shower victors with wholesome praise indicated scant respect.

Concern

AAP’s main concern today is to keep the Delhi state intact, not letting more MLA’s to join the BJP bandwagon on big promises. After an unforeseen  setback in the MCD elections, reports suggest, Kejriwal and AAP have changed quite a bit in their approaches, are eager to work as per people’s wishes, after all they are the ultimate deciders of the fate of AAP.

Defeats lead to criticism. Within the AAP party too, there are signs of discontent. Bhagwant Mann criticised the leadership for their immaturity. He was quoted as saying that they were behaving like a mohalla cricket team. This video of an angry supporter also surfaced online.

While the BJP rides the UP wave to success, there is also a feeling that AAP’s conduct off late gave its rival a push. Arvind Kejriwal must be willing to be a student and use this opportunity to learn and stop with the constant barrage of complaints against the incumbent in Raj Niwas. And above all, Arvind must learn to hold the hot little buck and accept responsibility.

 

A Delhi court on Aug 08, 2017 fixed August 23 for framing charges against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia in a criminal defamation complaint.  Metropolitan Magistrate Pranjal Aneja, who was scheduled to frame charges today, was on leave.  The court had earlier directed the two AAP leaders and Yogendra Yadav to appear before it today.  While Kejriwal and Sisodia sought exemption on the ground that they have to attend the four-day Monsoon session of Delhi Assembly which is commencing today, Yadav was present in the court. The court had on August 2 passed order on framing of notice (charge) on the criminal defamation complaint filed against the two AAP leaders, who sought quashing of the plea and Yadav by advocate Surender Kumar Sharma, who was denied ticket by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

 

Future of AAP: Kejriwal under Congress-BJP scanners! (Part-3)

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

Part -3

 

Observation

 

Any political analyst will accept that AAP has done better than expected and risen higher than the groundswell of public opinion had indicated. It was projected that he would almost be laughed off this stage. But he has had a speaking part. While nowhere near the BJP juggernaut’s sweep of the MCD polls, AAP has shown that even in its mangled state, it is more viable than Congress. There is a consensus among most political observers that the constant blame game with the Centre has not worked in their favour. The vote is clearly not against the theatrics and agitation politics of the AAP.

AAP government has done fairly well – mohalla clinics, free water supply, reduction in electricity rates, construction of 8,000 new classrooms in schools and many more. However, all this good work is dwarfed by its constant tu-tu main-main with the central government which used its Lt. Governor to fight him badly..

Delhiites and most Indians like and approve of honesty and hard work as the ideology of Aam Aadmi party for the development of Delhi and India. Yes, it has changed drastically. You can now see Arvind Kejriwal and his team of Ministers visiting the constituencies and meeting the people. It would be further better if the MLAs and the Municipal Councilors of AAP also interact with the people very frequently, inspecting the projects/hospitals/public offices, etc. on the field.

Before the local polls, given the current political scenario in the capital, reports said barring an odd candidate, all AAP nominees in the bypolls would forfeit their security deposit. That would have possibly triggered mass desertions and Kejriwal will then be fighting to stay in office till 2020. There is no denying that BJP will make every attempt to further weaken AAP and paralyze the state government. That has not happened -at least not yet.

When he was sworn in as chief minister in February 2015 on the back of a sweeping victory, when AAP got support from all sections of people, Kejriwal had warned party colleagues to guard against hubris setting in. At his post swearing-in speech, he declared, “When one gets such a victory, arrogance can creep in. And if one gets arrogant, everything is lost. That is why all of us — me, the ministers, MLAs, families, volunteers must be on guard. We’ll have to introspect constantly and question ourselves to ensure we don’t turn arrogant. If we turn arrogant we will never complete our mission.” Kejriwal has not kept that pledge. The jury may still be out on whether AAP will ever accomplish its objective or not.

Unfortunately, there are already talks about obituary for APP. The obituary of Congress party had been written a couple of times when the party was crushed in the general polls but the party could bounce back to rule the country and many of its regional states. Every party is corrupt ad one autocratic leader controls the party with the help of kith and kin.   So, it would be unwise to write the AAP party’s obituary right away. But unless the party leadership, Kejriwal downward begin the promised introspection sooner than later, it will be tough to keep obit writers at bay.

Maybe, what the AAP and many columnists say about fake victory of BJP, “achieved” through EVMs, cannot be over ruled.  Only a judicial investigation could clear the doubts. The party has been insisting since the Punjab assembly election results in March that the EVMs can be manipulated and that they are the major cause for BJP’s victory in the recent elections.

AAP corporators, contended the leader, should always remember that “betraying the movement would mean that you have betrayed God”. Even if one accepts money and crosses over to the BJP, one must “remember that you will never be happy. The money shall not bear fruit and God will extract twice or even three times the amount — it will cause you great pain and anguish”, he told them.

Arvind needs to understand a simple thing in politics. Continued arrogance in the face to harsh conspiracies and rough political wealthier is indeed madness. By refusing to read the writing Delhi walls, Arvind commits a serious crime against Delhiites and India.

Thus far PM Modi’s wave could not affect the Delhi assembly polls but future cannot be predicted as hatred and poison have thinly immersed in Indian politics making Modi brand politics a favorite of majority of Hindus and there for the Modi magic might work next time in Delhi as well, especially when many AAP leaders, including former ones, are working against the party and government.

AAP is confronted not with a moral crisis, but an existential emergency. Because it is a new party, it will have to face the bitter truth that the problem begins at the top. Unlike old and traditional parties, AAP cannot wait for BJP to make mistakes. It has to be prepared of the eventuality that 20 of its MLAs will be disqualified on the parliamentary secretary issue.

It is time that such ambush-style politics of AAP was replaced with issue-based opposition to the BJP. Before stinging others, the AAP leader must remember that over the past two years, there have been several exposures over AAP legislators’ brushes with the law. Instead of accepting that the blame lay within, Kejriwal is attempting to brazen it out.

Poll debacle suggests AAP is in throes of an existential emergency. Only time will tell if AAP learns its lessons and re-invents itself while at the same time managing to govern the state with BJP heading local bodies. It will surely be an uphill task.

That won’t be good for Kejriwal or AAP or Delhi.

Political manipulations and illogical alliance can oust AAP from power. And it is quite likely that the AAP may not be able come back to power again. Anything is possible in politics but if Kejriwal still refuses to read the writing on Delhi walls, and declines to make amendments with former colleagues with whom lunched the new idea and AAP and allies, Indian politics would lose the curiosity and alertness.

Fall of AAP, which has been a novel idea of Indian people for a corruption free and genuine government, is certainly not a defeat for the people but for the system that supports and promotes corruption as state policy and opposes and strikes harshly with all its might if a new party emerges to weed out corruption form Indian soil which would necessarily pave way for honest and transparent global governance

(Article is over)

 

 

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