National Capital's residents are the unfortunate victims of AAP-LG face off and have now lost their faith in the ruling party which is sinking between Kejriwal’s self-centred politics
Prashant Patel Umrao
Arvind Kejriwal finally on June 19, ended his nine-day-long dharna at the Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) office when Delhi LG Anil Baijal wrote to Kejriwal, urging him to meet the officers urgently to address concerns of both sides through dialogue. Kejriwal had left no option than to end his dharna since Delhi High court on June 18 strongly commented that “Who authorised to sit-in, or ‘dharna’, that Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party Government ministers including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have been on since June 11 at the Lieutenant Governor's official residence. This can't be called a strike. You can't go inside someone’s office or house and hold a strike there.’
On June 11 evening, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, along with three of his most trusted Ministerial colleagues Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain and Gopal Rai occupied the visitors’ waiting room of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal's home and let the world know through Twitter that he had found a new way to take a break from his official work and stage a sit-in protest. First the Delhi Chief Minister had sought an appointment with LG Baijal when he had gone to meet him with three of his Ministers. They had demanded that all serving IAS officers be immediately summoned and ordered to end their three-month strike by invoking the Essential Services Maintenance Act. They also wanted “action against the guilty” officials.
Last time Arvind Kejriwal staged a rather infamous dharna in 2014 before Republic Day celebrations at Rail Bhawan near Delhi's Vijay Chowk. He had demanded the removal of a few Station House Officers and Assistant Commissioners of police. That time he had proclaimed, “Yes, I am an anarchist. Yes, I create chaos.” Despite being newly elected for the first time, he had made other infamous statements, even questioning the need to celebrate Republic Day. Kejriwal had said he had come prepared to stage a protest for at least 10 days. But this time the self-proclaimed “anarchist” was not sweating it out in the sun or shivering in the cold but was enjoying the comfort of the waiting room of the Delhi LG’s office.
At a time when Delhi which had put its desperate faith in a loose pants-half-sleeved-shirt babu aesthetic Arvind kejriwal by giving his party 67/70 seats in Delhi Assembly was facing hiked pollution levels and water shortage; its chief-provocateur Kejriwal was enjoying his ‘Sit-In’ movement with 3 of his Ministers in air conditioned room of LG’s official residence. The 9 day long showdown of AAP Dharna politics ended only after a serious rebuke by Delhi High Court which declared this dharna illegal. During dharna Kejriwal again demanded for full statehood to Delhi But we see in constitutional debates Dr Ambedkar had strongly rejected proposal to make Delhi a State. Even he was staunchest opponent of Satehood to Delhi. Currently no capital of any federal country in the world is State, So this demand is also illogical and a challenge to the wisdom and vision of Dr Ambedkar by Kejriwal.
Their blatant lie that they are protesting against non-cooperation from Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officers was refuted by this apolitical association through a press conference. IAS Association secretary Manisha Saxena clearly said that bureaucrats were working relentlessly and there was no strike. IAS Association reiterated that all officers and officials were working with “full vigour and dedication. The information that IAS officers in Delhi are on strike is completely false & baseless. We are attending meetings, all departments are doing their work. We are sometimes also working on holidays.” The joint forum of Delhi Government employees even wrote a letter to CM Kejriwal, saying that they are looking forward to his presence in Secretariat to discuss safety of officials. AAP’s dharna drama stems from the alleged assault of Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by 2 of AAP MLAs Amantullah khan and Prakash Jarwal in the presence of CM Arvind Kejriwal at his residence late on February 19 night over release of a TV campaign which was to mark 3 years of AAP’s rule. After that IAS officers of all ranks decided not to be at the beck and call of Ministers and also not to meet Ministers alone in their chambers. The party revealed its anarchist mindset and ideology by threatening Chief Secretary to confine him in a room for entire night if he did not release the TV campaign accordingly.
The most delicious irony is that the party which stormed to power with promises of good governance and corruption free government took no time to join the bandwagon of corruption. Favouring the kith and kin of AAP leaders through their nominations to various bodies and allotment to agencies has become an inherent feature of this government Kejriwal has acquired the reputation of a habitual flippant and has become a peculiar face of Dharna Dramas, Blatant lies and corruption. Now there are dozens of cases against kejriwal and his MLAs. A large chunk of this party's time goes in courts, in playing blame games and victim card.
AAP leadership habitually finds solace in entrenching itself in temptingly easy, risk free, highly profitable route of tantalising high voltage drama for getting bucks of public sympathy, blame-games and dharna politics rather than serious party building and sustained ground work. Mr. Kejriwal seems to believe in twitter tirade only, all the time busy attacking LG, Union Government. and various constitutional bodies in a bid to hide his party's own misdeeds and utter failure to deliver on all ideals which it held out-clean politics, good governance and corruption free government. Trying to find ethics, morality and honesty in AAP is like making a miserably failed attempt of finding a drop in ocean which loses its identity as soon as it mingles virtually in water of the ocean.
National Capital's residents are the unfortunate victims of this imbroglio. They have lost faith in this party which is sinking between Kejriwal’s Delhi centric politics and its multi-state power ambitions. Public is fed-up with kejriwal’s cacophonous muck. With this kind of anarchic attitude, AAP is likely to become unnoticed “extras” in a star-studded Bollywood set up because of its floundering on key issues and unnecessary indulgence in bitter-bickering.
(The writer is the lawyer who petitioned against AAP MLAs in the office of profit case)