Testing time ahead which will either culminate into a new start of alternative politics based on idealism or it will be fall of Kejriwal and AAP just like any other anti-establishment front of the world.
Well along the expected lines, the Aam Aadmi Party announced to form government with Congress support in Delhi today. The party has decided to make leader Arvind Kejriwal the chief minister. AAP will meet Lt Governor Najeeb Jung in the noon and convey its decision to him. It is likely that Kejriwal will take oath as chief minister on December 26.
The party announced its decision in front of the media after a small meeting with top leaders at party’s headquarters in Ghaziabad. The referendum held by AAP on government formation was completed on Sunday and the party was expected to announce its decision on Monday morning.
With this, Arvind Kejriwal will be taking support of the “corrupt” and “evil” Congress party and have no qualms about it as it is “a decision made by the people of Delhi” which they always “prefer”.
This will mark the beginning of the testing times for both AAP and Congress. While AAP will have to prove its mettle by acting on the promises that it made through its manifesto to the people of Delhi, it will also have to start acting on its own as it can no longer push everything on public and get results by referendum.
The Congress party, which hurriedly extended “unconditional support” to AAP, will be sitting on the outskirts of the government as no MLA of its own will be a part of the Kejriwal cabinet due to the outside support it will provide. Besides, AAP will keep testing the patience limits of Congress leaders on a daily basis.
Besides, Bhartiya Janata Party will be in opposition which is the single largest party in Delhi and which will keep a hard tab on the Kejriwal government.
To start the reform, Kejriwal will have to act first on his promise and will have to decline a bunglow in Delhi after becoming CM. This is a basic decision that Kejriwal will have to take. This brings us to another point where he will have to travel daily from Ghaziabad to Delhi to sit in his office and impart his duties as CM because he lives in an official accommodation provided to his wife, who is an officer in the income tax department, in Kaushambi.
Not only Kejriwal, his deputy in the Delhi assembly Manish Sishodia is also a resident of Ghaziabad in UP.
The long list of work that AAP drew in front of the public include free water, rate cut of electricity by 50 percent, ministers travelling by public transport, no VIP security, a Janlokpal, Mohalla Sabhas decising over financial issues, 500 more schools and good hospitals. AAP will definitely try to display some of the work within a week, which it stated in its announcement earlier too.
But what it forgot to mention was the actual game plan.
As Kejriwal has mentioned that the Congress being unlikely to pull down his government for the next six months until Parliamentary elections are held, the AAP can use that time to implement his promised schemes. The promises that AAP and Kejriwal made are economically, administratively and constitutionally unsustainable.
When the Kejriwal government will be stopped by opposition, it will cry hoarse. When the Congress will raise its voice, it will cry hoarse. And when, after six months, or even more, its government will be pulled down, it will exit as a martyr taking more sympathy from the public for the next elections.
For the promises made by AAP, as mentioned in an earlier article by this author, its 18 point letter summed it all up and it was a preposterous proposition. For starters, cutting electricity rate will only lead to more inflated bills in future as electricity companies are in loss. The promise of free water will lead to additional pressure on the government which will demand additional fund creation.
As for their Janlokpal promise, Delhi already has a Lokayukta in place and the cemtral government can only pass Lokpal which it did in this winter session.
But just as Kejriwal makes this beginning, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley mounted a frontal attack on him. On Sunday, Jaitley wrote, “How does the AAP justify a volte face where it seems to be compromising on its commitments of alternative politics. Obviously, political opportunism should have no place in alternative politics dictated by idealism. The AAP may be concerned with the fact that many MLAs including the AAP MLAs do not want an early poll. It may even be strategizing on how to capture power, announce a few popular decisions and carve out a further positioning for itself. For any of these strategies to prevail the AAP has to somersault from its stated position. It has to retract its public commitments of not accepting support from the Congress Party. It has, therefore, decided to enact a farcical referendum. This referendum has a self-serving model. Motley crowds are collected all over the town whose support is sought. A question is asked whether AAP should form a government. Obviously, they are all thrilled with the idea. In the process, a statistical wonder is produced wherein less than 30% people voted for AAP in the election but more than 75% want it to form a government.”
“In effect, political opportunism is being masked with the idea of popular sanction behind it. A space is being created wherein its leaders could argue, ‘we were not hungry for power, we would not be taking Congress Party’s support. But we are democrats who are now bowing to the popular will of the people’. It is the people who want AAP to form the Government with Congress support. Is this the beginning of the alternative politics or the end of it,” Jaitley wrote.
In all, it is testing time ahead which will either culminate into a new start of alternative politics based on idealism or it will be fall of Kejriwal and AAP just like any other anti-establishment front of the world.