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.
Remembering 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.