#AAP’s govt. in #Delhi has fallen. It lasted for 48 days. Its ironical that on Valentine’s Day, it’s partner (Congress) served a divorce notice. People had a lot of expectations from this govt. Obstacles were expected to come its way, but instead of facing them it buckled under pressure and ran away from the race.
Party made a fantastic debut in Delhi state assembly elections finishing 2nd behind BJP. BJP won 32 and AAP won 28 seats. Kejriwal defeated 3 time Chief Minister Shiela Dixit by a handsome margin. Congress was reduced to 8 seats. BJP declined to form govt. as it didn’t have the numbers. Kejriwal perhaps got greedy and desire to become CM overpowered him. AAP which fought the elections opposing Congress tooth and nail ran a sms / online campaign asking people whether it should form govt. or not. Finally it formed govt. with outside support of Congress. BJP accused AAP of striking a deal with Congress. Congress happily obliged because it made the assembly elections scoreline 3 (BJP) – 1 (Congress). This was the first mistake committed by AAP I feel, they compromised on the basic principle of its existence and formation.
Government’s actions controversial from day one
The party’s decisions were very controversial. Right from audit of discoms, free water (with T&C), 50% reduction in power bills (with T&C), 50% waiver for power bill defaulters, Somnath Bharti episode, dharna for police officers removal, Binny revolt, Bhushan’s remarks on Kashmir referendum, FIR on Ambani & Oil Minister, list goes on and on and on……….
In a lot of these decisions party’s & Kejriwal’s anarchic egoistic ways came to light. The nail in the coffin was Kejriwal’s insistence of placing Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi assembly and getting it passed. Lt. Governor had not given permission to present the bill. BJP and Congress (its ally) voted against the bill saying it was unconstitutional. Kejri took it as an insult and resigned. Would have been better if he had fought his way to get the bill cleared. Of course the provisions of his bill are superior to the Parliament approved Lokpal Bill. But he decided to hang his boots. Perhaps to take mileage. There was no compulsion to resign. He had not lost a vote of confidence.
People had lots of hopes from this man and his party. All lost / gone! Even though I was never a great fan of AAP, had hoped that they would do something good and deserved a chance.
Govt. was formed because public wanted it to to so (they claimed thru sms campaigns). Am amazed as to why no sms campaign was carried out to decide whether he should resign, leaving the people who wanted it to form govt. in the lurch. What was the hurry? At least this much courtesy was expected from him.
And what about the people who were waived 50% of their overdue power bills? What will they do now? Kejri will perhaps tell them to continue not paying. He will set it right when he comes to power.
Why did Kejriwal resign?
(i) Lok Sabha focus: AAP has announced it would contest 350-400 seats in Lok Sabha. Kejriwal is the only prominent mass leader in the party. To do well and leave its mark, they need him to run a high voltage campaign in Lok Sabha. He would not be able to give attention to Delhi if he did so and would be criticized. Hence decided time to go!
(ii) Controversies were impacting AAP’s image: Each day AAP had to face a new controversy, negative publicity. Power comes with thorns. Excuses were not working. This was impacting its poll prospects, surveys showing it would get <10 seats in Lok Sabha. Eveb in govt. they behaved like opposition. They adopt attack, allege and run policy. If they are not in govt. these things are easier.
(iii) Gain sympathy: AAP feels it would gain sympathy not only in Delhi but all over India. It will run a high pitch campaign against corrupt BJP / Congress and how they ganged up to prevent Jan Lokpal Bill from being adopted. This would not only get them Delhi state (whenever re-elections are held) but also get sizeable seats in Lok Sabha. Their aim is to become the 3rd largest party after BJP & Congress and pray for a Delhi like situation. Then Kejri baba is PM with Congress support. Day dreaming but can’t stop them.
(iv) Couldn’t deliver on their promise of Jan Lokpal Bill – Taking High Moral Ground: No problem. They should have kept trying. Were people of Delhi asking him to deliver immediately. He should have tried to forge consensus. He threw in the towel very soon.
(v) Couldn’t handle pressure: Governance comes with responsibility. This party wants power, no accountability / responsibility. They were behaving like opposition even when they were in power.
(vi) Nothing to lose & confident of sweeping Delhi whenever re-elections happen: AAP & Kejri are confident of forming govt. in Delhi (thumping majority) as they have done good work – free water / electricity / less corruption. This way they have nothing to lose. He is taking a punt. He may not return to power as people have realized he is more of a nuisance.
What will happen in Delhi now? Possibilities:
(i) BJP could form govt. – BJP has 32 MLAs (including Akali Dal MLA). AAP has 27 (excluding suspended Binny), Congress 8, 2 independent (Binny & Shokeen) and 1 JDU MLA. Even if the two independent MLAs support BJP it can’t form govt. JDU MLA won’t support BJP (plus he is a Muslim). Congress won’t split, here again it has 5 minority community MLAs. So govt. formation difficult. BJP won’t try to split AAP will hamper image and give sympathy to AAP. Yehi karna tha to pehle karna tha.
(ii) President’s Rule & Re-elections: Delhi will have to go under President’s rule for some months. Re-elections could happen together with Lok Sabha. In that case national and local issues will get mixed and BJP should sail through and get a workable majority. If state elections happen post Lok Sabha polls, then depending upon how BJP performs in Lok Sabha, it may or may not win. If Third Front govt. at Center and then polls in Delhi, AAP will win.
A sad ending! People had loads of expectations. Party did show innovative governance ways. But sadly ego and ambitions of Kejri played spoil sport. Ultimately, its loss for people of Delhi. As Chetan Bhagat put it, we need honest people, but we also need capable, experienced people. Honesty is not the only criteria! The ball is again in people’s court. Yeh public hai yeh sab jaanti hai!