Remember, during April-December 2011, when Anna’s movement was at its peak and demand for ‘Jan Lokpal Bill’ had gained momentum, it had brought entire political class to its knees, several insinuations were attributed by the latter to team Anna. One of them was that laws for the land are enacted not on the streets but inside the Parliament and a challenge was thrown to Anna and India Against Corruption (IAC) teams to join the electoral process if the intention was to be a part of the legislative system.
The likes of Lalu Yadav, Sharad Yadav, and Digvijay Singh ridiculing team Anna for the manner in which, according to them, it sought to dictate terms to the Parliament was interpreted not only as undermining the supremacy of Parliament but also as a ploy to destroy the fabrics of Indian democracy. The political parties, cutting across party lines, then joined hands and ingeniously enacted a drama of Lokpal Bill having a safe passage in Lok Sabha and later blocked it in Rajya Sabha, thus making the entire exercise a farcical one. Aam Aadmi soundly snubbed, felt cheated and hugely humiliated in the end.
However, little did the political class realise then that throwing a gauntlet at team Anna to join political mainstream could be accepted much sooner than later. Even though Anna Hazare preferred to de-link himself from directly joining the electoral politics, Arvind Kejriwal, sensing that Anna’s methodology of ‘dharna’ and protests for Jan Lokpal Bill, in the present political environment, had perhaps passed its sell-by date, seems to have prompted him to throw his hat into the ring monopolised by the political outfits.
And what a spectacular entry with a bang Arvind has been able to achieve. Aiming to take a scalp of none else than Robert Vadra, to begin with, needed as much guts as skill on his part and the vents that have followed, have shown that his initiation and launching into the electoral politics arena, couldn’t have been better than this.
The Vadra episode, barely a week or so old now, has, interestingly, forced both the Congress party and the BJP running for cover – the Congress because the corruption charges being apparently fastened on to the very top; and the BJP because it preferred to maintain a studied silence notwithstanding having a knowledge about it a year and a half ago – courtesy The Economic Times. The BJP leadership, after an internal discussion, decided not to rake it up in Parliament even after submitting a motion in each House asking for discussion.
The approach of the principal opposition party, the BJP, may surprise many but then there seems a tacit understanding, some unwritten rules whereby political parties, even though non-sparing for their political opponents, make it a point not to make an issue of their personal life that includes their close relatives. This arrangement may seem somewhat similar to what the underground criminal gangs have where the Dons don’t ever target the rival gangs’ close ones.
Close on the heels of Vadra issue, Kejriwal has also picked on and has raked up another corruption issue concerning Salman Khurshid, Union Law Minister. This is perhaps with a view to keep the momentum going in his crusade against corruption as also in his quest to carve out a significant political space for himself and his party to be launched shortly.
IAC’s most recent expose came on the unholy alliance between Indian Corporate Houses and the Indian Politicians; team IAC alleged that Mukesh Ambani’s led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) was given sweet deal by the BJP led NDA government and even when the Congress led UPA government ook over, the Union Government continued to dole out undue favours to the RIL at the huge cost of public exchequer.
Going by the report appearing in media now, guess, who is next in line Arvind will be locking horns with on the issue of corruption – this is slated to be out in the open in the next couple of weeks or so. No prizes, however, for guessing this time round since the political stalwart targeted has already started rebutting and defending himself and obviously the party he represents, is solidly backing him.
The days and months ahead, however, may be critical for him and his party and no one knows it better than Kejriwal. It’s one thing to float a political party and quite another to be able to keep it afloat in the rough and turbulent political waters. Pitted against the veterans and ‘battle-scarred’ political personalities of all hues and shades of myriad political parties, it may be a different ball game when the elections arrive.
However, his aim is not to get close to the seat of power or for that matter to get hold of the powers to govern, but he seems to perceive himself as an agent of change. Yes, Arvind seems to have pitch forked himself as a game changer in the political arena with an avowed objective of seeing that ‘We the People of India’ given paramount place in the Constitution of India, get a fair share in the governance.
Exposing corruption in high places, is the first step in that direction.