AAP Gets Going, Rivals Get Stuck!

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Traveling in Delhi Metro to get to Ram Lila Maidan for swearing-in to get hold of the command of the Delhi State administration was otherwise typical of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by its chief, Arvind Kejriwal, given the way they have chosen to re-write the rules of the game.

Arvind has also plainly acknowledged that he never had imagined that such revolution could have happened and is overwhelmed by the support he has got from the Aam Aadmi.

But yes, it (revolution) has precisely so happened. AAP falling well short of majority and yet circumstances forcing (or one may say, facilitating!) its uninhibited march towards throne, may also seem to suggest that its rival political parties – BJP and Congress – were simply foxed and outwitted. BJP with 32/70 announcing its preference to sit in opposition and the Congress with 8/70 writing to Lt Governor to extend ‘unconditional’ support to AAP: 28/70 – as they turned out later – were seemingly trapped in their own web. The two veteran national political parties must now be ruing and somewhat traumatized over the sequence of events that were witnessed this day – 28th December, 2013 – at Ram Lila Maidan and thereafter.

However, as expected, AAP and Arvind have hit the ground running. Soon after the swearing- in function was over, Arvind took the mike to address the huge enthusiastic gathering at the Maidan to remind everyone about this very venue that had launched Anna’s crusade against corruption a couple of years ago. Arvind, among others, was an important part of it. The context, however, was not symbolism alone but also was a vow to fulfil the promises made to Aam Aadmi. He asserted that ‘people’ – and not Officers and the Neta – will run the government.

Arvind Kejriwal Swearing In at Ramlila GroundRemembering reverentially Anna Hazare, he went on to further say that while his guru viewed politics as ‘mud’ his suggestion to him then was: one was required to get into this ‘mud’ if the intention was to cleanse it. Anna, unable to show up today to witness the proceeding on account of his ill health, has, however, congratulated Arvind and wished him well in his endeavor.

Heading back from Ram Lila Maidan to first bow his head before Mahatma at Rajghat and then on to state secretariat office to get hold of the command, meant that he and his party had no time to waste. The first cabinet meeting that followed, came up, significantly, with the decisions to end VIP culture – no red beacon light (‘lal batti’) for ministers and officers and, no personal security officer (PSO) and escort car for the officers, scale of security to an individual to be based on threat perception primarily.

Delhi Assembly Session is to be convened during 1-7 January, 2014, and on Jan. 3, the ‘floor test’ is to be taken up. Arvind says he isn’t worried about the floor test as he and AAP were never hungry for power. Despite some serious divisions now reportedly dogging the rank and file of the Congress party over the ‘unconditional’ ‘outside support’ to AAP, it seems improbable, however, if anything like pulling the plug is on its mind. That’s the way the political course in so far as Delhi is concerned, seems to be destined for at least the time being.

At the end of day 1, AAP and Arvind seem to have started on a promising note. But then, the fight has just begun. It’s likely to get intensified much sooner than later.  Its rivals who have apparently got stuck would be trying all tricks in the book to get out of the hole they find themselves in.

With all eyes now on 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the fight for having an upper hand and supremacy beyond the geographical boundaries of Delhi would be dictating the course of events in this capital city in the days, weeks and months to follow.

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Narendra Bhagat

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A retired I.A.S. officer, Mr. Narendra Bhagat spends part of his time to blog and write for our magazine. He has authored two books.


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  1. Hemen Parekh says:

    Robinhood of Delhi ?

    All of last evening , experts were debating on TV channels ,

    ” Is Kejriwal robbing Peter ( rich ) to pay Paul ( poor ) ? ”

    They were discussing the losses that Delhi treasury will suffer ( approx Rs 25-35 Crores per month ) due to ,

    > 20 KL 0f free water

    > 50 % subsidy on power ( up to 400 units / month )

    But AAP leaders are saying ,

    ” If Peter is rich and Paul is poor , then there is nothing wrong with robbing Peter to pay Paul ”

    What they are leaving unsaid is ,

    ” It is better to be a Robinhood than to be a Robbing Hoodlum !

    Robbing Hoodlums of Congress governments have been robbing the poor for the past 66 years and making the rich richer, and poor poorer !

    Dear Experts ,

    Will you please explain ,

    > Who got Rs 50,00000 Crores worth of Scam money in last 15 years ?

    > Who have deposited Rs 300,000 Crores worth of black money in Swiss banks ?

    > Which Industrialists / Businessmen have failed to return to the Nationalized Banks , Rs 200,000 Crores of loans – without any efforts at recovering the same ?

    > Which private money-lenders are making 20,000 farmers commit suicide every year , for failing to repay their small loans ?

    > Who are all travelling Air India on subsidized air-fares , which has bled the Government of Rs 100,000 Crores in past 15 years ?

    > To which businessmen have State and Central governments gave away – almost free – Rs 500,000 Crores worth of farming land to set up SEZ ?

    > How many sick ( ICU ? ) Public Sector Units have the poor people of India kept ” alive ” , by subsidizing them to the tune of Rs 100,000 ,000 Crores over the past 60 years ?

    Who got this money ?

    And if you dispute our figures , will you tell us the correct figures ? ”

    But since these ” self-appointed economic experts ” have no honest answers to these questions , they are telling AAP government ,

    ” You are not supposed to fulfill your poll promises by increasing the EXISTING levels of subsidy on water and power

    If you have only a few hours to survive , within that period , why don’t you ,

    > Lay 150 Km of water pipe lines ?

    > Install 20 lakh new water meters / replace 10 lakh defective ones ?

    > Ditto for Electric meters

    > Get CAG to finish its audit of 3 Discoms ?

    > Get DERC to announce new tariff , revised downwards by 50 % ?

    > Float tenders , finalize and appoint 6 Discoms ( to replace existing 3 ) ?

    > Study 200 files of CWG Scam tenders and file cases against corrupt government officers / contractors / politicians , who minted money ?

    Why can’t you do these things by tomorrow evening ?

    Don’t you know , extending existing subsidy % , is bad economics , even if it is good politics ?

    In any case , by precedence of past 60 years , bad economics has been solely our prerogative

    How dare you copy us , then claim originality ? ”

    AAP may choose not to answer

    But by May / June 2014 , 760 million voters will

    And depressed / tortured / raped / murdered / looted people around the World , will applaud an alternative to violent Arab Spring !

    Mahatma will rise from the Rajghat !

    * hemen parekh ( 02 Jan 2014 / Mumbai )

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