by Krunal M Harne
Disclaimer: I’m neither Anti-AAP, nor am I a die hard AAP supporter. I have tried my best putting forward an unbiased political opinion.
If you are asking me, if Kejriwal’s resignation was a right decision, I would immediately throw a counter question, what do you mean by right - ‘Morally right’ or ‘Politically right’ ?
There are two sides to every coin.
Forming a political party and becoming a chief minister of Delhi within a year is no joke.
When Congress dropped drastically down from 43 seats to 8 seats in Delhi elections and BJP won most number of seats but not an overall majority and refused to form a government in the hung assembly, everybody thought that Delhi junta slightly underestimated the power of AAP being able to form a Government hence voted BJP to majority hoping a stable Government instead. It resulted into what looked like a stalemate and immediately after when re-elections were being talked about, AAP was undoubtedly expected to make a clean sweep with their broom.[Make a note] But congress made an optimal move by helping AAP to form a minority Government.
Right from the first day Kejriwal started delivering the promises he made, may it be subsidized electricity rates, free water or the most hyped anti-corruption helpline. The Delhi junta was as hopeful as it never was. Many people opposed him, called him an anarchist but he was firm on the decisions he made. Many of us said, ‘Let’s not judge his Government in a month, let’s give him some time.’ But he turned down all our expectations and finally resigned. Sounds morally incorrect on so many levels, right? After all, Jan Lokpal was not the only issue, there were infinite things the government could have worked on while still continuing the fight for the Jan Lokpal.
These are the views of congress. Obvious, right? But isn’t that what a few of us are thinking right now?
But wait! As I said, there are two sides to every coin.
What drove him to take the decision? It was obviously not an individual’s decision. It shouldn’t be. Clever political moves are and should be well thought. Let’s talk about the political correctness from Kejriwal’s perspective.
He formed a party and defeated giants like Shiela Dixit to end the 15 years long Congress rule. Let’s not underestimate the political shrewdness of this man in the disguise of Aam aadmi, a smart man with a simple white topi and a muffler, who doesn’t use any hi-fi words. Most of us feel like he’s one among us, not like those rich, fat-bellied politicians who chatter in a nonsensical cryptic language.
People in developing countries are not process oriented, they are result oriented.
People were happy when they got free water, hardly anyone questioned, where did it come from? People were happy when the electricity rates were cut down, a very few bothered to question, how? When he said in a public conference that he filed an FIR against Ambani, people said this guy has guts, nobody asked, what next?
Now, if we just look at the overall results, AAP government gave us in 49 days, they’re truly remarkable! As a common voter, with these results, just the results, no matter how feasible they’re in long term, the equation looks pretty simple to me -
49 days = Free Water + Cheap electricity + Anti-corruption helpline + Dharna against police + FIR Against Shiela Dixit + FIR Against Ambani + <Add-a-few-more>
5 years = ??
And this is just Delhi, just one small state! Now try to expand this equation for the biggest democracy in the world with ~1.2 Billion people with the constitution that provides unmatched flexibility at every level.
AAP has been very successful in connecting with the people, the Aam aadmi of India. And we Indians are emotional people.
Frankly speaking, if I’m a person from a middle class family, I’ll be happy if I can buy onions 10 Rs cheaper than usual, if I get free water, if I get cheap electricity, if my sister/daughter/mother is safe while travelling in the night or say, if the roads around me are in a good condition. Even the simple things like this weren’t provided by the governments before, which resulted into lowering the bars of our expectations. What AAP gave us was more than satisfactory.
Honestly speaking, this is an emotional attachment of a kind. Still gives me goosebumps to think 'The man who was brutally beaten up by Delhi police a few days before, now goes on to become the Chief minister of Delhi'. Samay samay ki baat hai bhai. Just a matter of time isn’t it?
Here is the brief overview of action items implemented by the so called short-lived AAP Government within 49 days after coming into power.
Dec 29 : Delhi Jal Board chief transferred.
Dec 30 : 700 litres of free water announced for households with regular water connection.
Dec 31 : 50% power subsidy for those consuming up to 400 units.
Jan 1 : CAG audit of power discoms ordered.
Jan 5 : AAP volunteers take rounds of government hospitals to take stock of facilities.
Jan 6 : L-G backs CAG audit.
Jan 7 : Nursery admission helpline announced.
Jan 8 : Infrastructure audit of government schools started.
Jan 8 : Anti-corruption help line announced, launched on Jan 13.
Jan 10 : Helpline to report power cuts.
Jan 31 : Govt threatens to cancel discom licences over outages.
Feb 3 : DERC asked to cancel licences of discoms.
Feb 6 : Fresh probe in Commomwealth Games’ street light project.
Feb 7 : Probe into financial irregularities in construction of Salimgarh Bypass.
Feb 10 : Probe in three DJB ‘scams’.
And as we all know, after the most happening one and a half months of governance they finally quit!
It was always a win-win situation for AAP and Kejriwal. If he were successful in passing the Jan Lokpal, we would have called him a hero. If he weren’t, we could continue blaming BJP and Congress for not supporting him. Also, not fully supporting AAP for Jan Lokpal was the best thing BJP and Congress could do at this moment. Facing the criticism was always better than a few of their ministers going to jails just before the Lok sabha elections.
On the other hand, congress was always playing safe. Even if AAP was secretly hoping congress to withdraw the support, which they never did, even after Kejriwal went to an extent of filing FIRs against their leaders and accusing them of corruption.
Finally, Jan Lokpal wasn’t passed. Kejriwal was left with no better rational reason for his resignation than Jan Lokpal.
What image of congress and BJP does this portray in front of the country?
- First of all, 1% of those people who kept saying that AAP is the B-team of congress are proven wrong.
- AAP is repeatedly portraying to the media that Both BJP and congress are opposing the Jan Lokpal which is the best solution over corruption and apparently 90% of the country’s problems, indirectly saying that given a chance at centre, AAP can successfully bring the Jan Lokpal.
A picture that says it all -
Target : LS Elections -
- Look at the timing of this decision! Had he resigned 10 days before, people would definitely have called him an anarchist.
- Look at the series of events - first, some kickass decisions delivering their promises on water and electricity, filing FIRs against giants of congress, involving the biggest bureaucrats and alleging them for funding both the parties and then playing the political martyr. Well played indeed!
- Thirdly, since Delhi is no longer their concern, it will give AAP ample time to focus on Lok Sabha elections while there will most probably be governor’s rule in Delhi until LS elections and Delhi elections will mostly be carried out in parallel.
- By any chance, if BJP forms government in Delhi, it’ll be difficult for them to carry forward the decisions taken by AAP like free water, discounted electricity etc as they are not feasible in long term. It’s a well set trap!
- If AAP forms government in Delhi again, they’ll always come up with ways of either getting the bill reduced by auditing the discoms and restricting water mafia or logical excuses to moderate the decisions taken by them which were infeasible in long run. Think about the outrage that will be caused if BJP fails to deliver even the basic things from AAP’s agenda.
- The 49 days v/s 5 years equation is powerful enough to bring about a wave that can very well give hard time to both the parties in the upcoming LS equations.
I would be a little brave and say, forming a government at centre is out of question for AAP, as of now! But they could very well be a deciding factor in the LS elections even if they target 70 odd seats. After all, before the Delhi elections. nobody expected them to come in power, but they did. So it’s too early to comment anything. Due to involvement of AAP in centre, many of us are now afraid of the Khichdi government.
But yes, at this stage, with the time and resources he has, this is the best Kejriwal could have done. This is called optimization! A well planned, thoughtful and shrewd, morally arguable yet politically right decision.