Ideological contradictions are not good for the health of any political party. Such parties cannot provide leadership to society, they cannot diagnose problems. The problem of the Aam Aadmi Party is that its very basis is affected with contradictions. This is the reason why it is not even a month since the Aam Aadmi Government was formed in Delhi, and Kejriwal is at loggerheads with the entire party. The party’s policies and intentions, both have been highlighted. The ignorance and inexperience of the leaders has come before the people starkly. False promises have been exposed. The differences within the party are out on the road. Worrisome differences between the Government and police have disappointed the people. Why did the Aam Aadmi Party, which was being cheered in the whole country, fall in the eyes of the people in the space of a month and why was the trust of the people broken?
After the formation of the Government in Delhi, in the first fifteen days the only policy decision Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took was on foreign investment in the retail market. There was a lot of condemnation of this decision in the media, but what was surprising was that voices of dissent were heard from within the Aam Aadmi Party too. Arvind Kejriwal said that in Delhi there will be no foreign investment in the retail market. Market supportive economists called this decision wrong, but the surprise came when Captain Gopinath opposed this decision, and the scene changed. This proved that the party does not have any ideology. There is no unity in the party on issues. An amusing incident took place during a TV debate, when Captain Gopinath and the new party spokesman Ashutosh locked horns on this issue. Ashutosh went to the extent of saying that nobody should join a party without reading its manifesto. However, this was not clarified before declaration of the membership campaign. In any case, the party manifesto was for Delhi …what do the people of Mumbai have to do with the Delhi manifesto?
AAP’s ideology should be on its website, but it is not there. During the TV debate mentioned earlier, when Kiran Bedi confronted Ashutosh with the statement on foreign investment in which he had called those opposing it fools, Ashutosh was exposed fully. In fact, ever since the Government was formed, the Aam Aadmi Party began getting entangled in one or the other ideological issue and each time it proved that Aam Aadmi Party has no basis of party ideology and there were no overall policy either.
It is indeed surprising that there is a party which has the greed to capture power in the country, but does not have an ideology, does not have an economic policy, does not have a foreign policy, does not have a security policy, nor an industrial policy, nor an agricultural policy nor a blueprint to deal with problems like inflation, unemployment, illiteracy and health. In fact, this party has a narrow vision. This party thinks it is an ‘ideology’ to bring forward the problems of the country. This is the reason why, as time is passing, the Aam Aadmi Party is getting exposed, like how Arvind Kejriwal has been luring people by saying grand things. He says such things which have neither head nor feet.
Arvind Kejriwal talks of system change in the country. However, taking into account the vastness and many layers of India and its population, the framers of the Constitution of India had made it a representative democracy, in which people choose their representatives and those representatives make decisions on behalf of the people. It has several shortcomings of course, which need to be corrected, but there is something else altogether in the mind of Arvind Kejriwal. He wants to convert India into a direct democracy, i.e. a participatory democracy. In this system in every decision taken by the Government public opinion is essential. Therefore, Arvind Kejriwal talks of things like taking the Government directly among the people, policies being made by the people, and running the Government after seeking people’s opinion. It was to prove this that Arvind Kejriwal called a Janta Darbar on the road, but when people came, a question arose about Arvind Kejriwal’s view on system change, there was almost a stampede and the first to flee from the fear of a public stampede at the Janta Darbar and save himself was Arvind Kejriwal. But when he turned to the people from the roof of the Secretariat, he was seen shouting and addressing the Janta Darbar as a Janta Adalat (court of the people). This is very amusing, because a Chief Minister cannot ‘hold’ a court. Of course ‘public courts’ are held in the country, where justice is administered in a non-legal manner, a sentence or decree is given ranging from a slap to death, and it is Naxalites who set up such public courts.
It was a matter of surprise that in the first programme of the most honest party in the country, several women were teased, they were weeping and relating their woes on TV channels. Many persons phones disappeared and they did not come to know about it immediately. At the same time, pickpockets ensured that several persons wallets and purses went missing. For the time being, police have taken down the complaints in these cases.
Meanwhile, the party made a declaration to participate in the Lok Sabha elections. At the same time, it kept a target of enrolling one crore members by 26 January. Provision for membership was made through filling membership forms, through postcards, through email membership, through Facebook, through website membership, even over the telephone through a missed call. Prominent personalities joined the Aam Aadmi Party through the media. When you have opened all doors for all people, how will it be decided that people who have joined the party are not corrupt, rapist’s, anti-social elements or criminals. News has come from Patna that the person who is running the membership campaign there is a history-sheeter and that 24 criminal cases are registered against him. What this means to say is that to win the most seats in the Lok Sabha elections, AAP has eliminated the difference between good and bad and wrong and right. Its consequences will surely have to be borne by the party in the days to come.
On the Kashmir issue the party is again on the backfoot. On a TV channel Prashant Bhushan gave a controversial statement on Kashmir. Even earlier, he had created a controversy by his statement on Kashmir. Now, it is beyond one’s understanding whether this is a strategy or a habit, but from time to time he stirs the Kashmir pot and generates an uproar. Earlier, he had spoken about a referendum in Kashmir and had
said that if the people of Kashmir want to separate from India, they have the right to do so. He said this time that there should be a referendum for the Army engaged in maintaining security in Kashmir. The party had to clarify its position again. But when the clarification came, there was jumbling done in it too. It was a real surprise when the JawaharLal Nehru Univerity’s (JNU’s) Professor Kamal A. Mitra Chenoy, was made a part of the party. So now the party will have to answer whether it believes that Afzal Guru, the terrorist involved in the attack on Parliament, was a martyr and innocent, because Professor Chenoy believes Afzal Guru was a martyr and innocent. He is a supporter of separatists in Kashmir and through Twitter advises them not to fight with each other but to fight together against India. In addition, he came into the headlines recently when there was a disclosure about Mr. Fai’s network connected with Pakistan’s Intelligence Agency ISI. It was learnt that he participated in Mr. Fai’s seminars. In addition, Comrade Kamal Mitra told a committee of the American Congress about the riots in Gujarat and said that what happened in Gujarat was not riots but was mass destruction … State sponsored genocide. The thing to understand is that even after joining the Aam Aadmi Party, he also gave a statement that he stood by his views even today. On the one side there is Kaml Mitra Chenoy and on the other side there is Kumar Vishwas, who has given Narendra Modi the title of Lord Shiva. In numerous videos on the Internet, Kumar Vishwa can be seen frequently praising Modi in ‘Kavi Sammelans’ (poets gatherings). How is it possible that both Kumar Vishwas and Kamal Mitra Chenoy can remain in the same party?
It seems that the leaders and workers of the Aam Aadmi Party believe films to be more true than is necessary. Even during the elections, people from this party used to show the public posters of Anil Kapoor’s film ‘Nayak’. Kumar Vishwas would also refer to this film and say that Arvind Kejriwal was like the film’s hero, Anil Kapoor. Therefore, when the Government was formed, leaders and Ministers of the Aam Aadmi Party can be seen patrolling and inspecting the streets of Delhi like Batman and Superman and the Shahenshah in Hindi films. The media and TV channels are informed in advance where and at what time the Minister will be that night. Because of this film style of Ministers of the Delhi Government, its Law Minister Somnath Bharti tangled with the Delhi Police. He enacted a drama that created criticism of the party all around. A Minister does not even know that it is important to exercise restraint before calling foreign women whores and drug addicts. Both these cases are now being investigated, but Somnath Bharti has earlier too been in disputes. Somnath Bharti is an advocate by profession. He fights all of Arvind Kejriwal’s cases.
Now, one doesn’t know what kind of transparent and idealistic politics this is, but the Aam Aadmi Party people talk of indications of factionalism and nepotism within the party and say that because of this he got a party ticket and later also became a Minister. After becoming Law Minister, he came into conflict with his Secretary. The issue was that the Minister called for and gave an order for a meeting with judges, but when the Secretary stated that the Law Minister does not have the right to call judges, he lost his temper. When the Secretary complained and questions were raised in the media, it was said that he had just become a Minister, was new and didn’t know. But when the second issue came to the forefront, people’s hair stood on end. It came to be known that the courts had reprimanded Law Minister Somnath Bharti for grave tampering of evidence. Arvind Kejriwal should say whether it is with such people that he wants to practice the politics of integrity, but the mask came off from the face of Arvind Kejriwal when he said that in Bharati’s case the court was to blame. That such a statement about a court should come from the mouth of a Chief Minister is a dangerous indicator.
Questions have now started to be raised within the party too. People are angry with Yogendra Yadav. During the Jan Lokpal movement Yogendra Yadav was not with Anna. He was recognised as being Rahul Gandhi’s political guru in 2009. It was the Congress Party that had made him a member of the UGC. Ever since he came into the party and the way he has become the centre of policy formulation, older people in the party are feeling suffocated. However within the party, that which Arvind Kejriwal wants happens. Many people connected with the party call him a dictator. Within the party, he takes decisions with the help of a coterie of three or four people. In Delhi there is a Government, there are MLAs, but in decisions of the party and the Government the participation of MLAs is almost nil. Many people say in guarded language that if Yogendra Yadav and other people believe just so much in democracy, why haven’t the party’s 23 Executive Committees been selected through the electoral process? Many people in the Aam Aadmi Party said that at present there is the challenge of Delhi and the Lok Sabha before everyone, so no one wants to openly oppose it, otherwise an explosive situation could have been created in the party at any time, but it was not known that such a situation would develop in the Government in just 15 days.
When an MLA from the Aam Aadmi Party revolted, turmoil and a furore was created. An attempt was made through the media to say that the revolting MLA, Vinod Kumar Binny, had been demanding a ticket for the Lok Sabha, he is greedy, selfish and has behaved like this before when he demanded a Minister’s post. Then the party also said that he was speaking the language of the BJP, and had become a part of a Congress conspiracy. This is to say that when an ordinary MLA became slightly angry, from great leaders of the party to salaried functionaries of the Aam Aadmi Party working on the social media, all ‘came down’ on Binny as if he had murdered someone, had become the world’s biggest criminal. Whereas the issue of Binny could have been resolved very easily and decently. Intelligence and experience cannot be taught in any University — for this it is necessary to have good sense which at the moment seems to be in short supply with the Aam Aadmi Party.
Where is there such a party in India in which some leader or a legislator or MP has not revolted, but no party is ridiculed and criticised like this. MLA Binny raised his voice against the party. The thing to understand is that Binny raised those same issues due to which the inhabitants of Delhi were looking at the Aam Aadmi Party with doubts. Binny had only said that a gap had come between what Arvind Kejriwal said and what he did, there were no ifs and buts in the manifesto, all this has been cleverly done – what is the fault of people who are using more than 400 units of electricity per month at home and more than 700 litres of water per day? This a fraud perpetrated on the people of Delhi. This is quite true, since the policies of free water and electricity benefit only a few people and generally the people of Delhi themselves have felt they have been deceived.
Binny asked Arvind Kejriwal what has happened to the promise of the Jan Lokpal since even after 15 days have lapsed the Jan Lokpal has not come. Perhaps this is what made Arvind Kejriwal feel bad. It is worth mentioning that even before the elections in Delhi, Chauthi Duniya had said that the promise of the Jan Lokpal was an illusion, because no State Government can make a Jan Lokpal law, and then the powers of the Delhi Government are anyway far less compared to the other States, and therefore it is not possible.
Vinod Kumar Binny was also angry with the leaders of his party for their ‘drama enactions’. They seem to think that running the Government and creating an uproar through the media are two different thing. Any responsible Government would refrain from ‘drama enactment’. Therefore, he revealed that the Ministers of Arvind Kejriwal visit different areas in the night in Delhi, but they invite and take the media along with them. In front of TV cameras they call up officials and tangle with the police. The result of this is not to solve problems but to be in the headlines in the media, so that they can be seen the next morning on TV channels. The problem is that to a party which became popular because of the media it appears that it is only through TV cameras that politics is possible. Whereas the reality is that those leaders who were ‘made’ by the media were also exposed by the media. Leaders who stay on in politics do not call the media, rather it is the media which walks behind them and they do not need to enact dramas.
Ridicule and criticism of the Aam Aadmi Party began since its Government was formed. The Party had said that after winning elections, we will not take cars, bungalows, red beacons. We will live like the aam aadmi (common man). The party would not take support from BJP and the Congress or give them support, but as soon as the Government was formed, Arvind Kejriwal was exposed. The Aam Aadmi Party did all the things it had been opposing before the elections. The Aam Aadmi Party was and is in fact taking advantage of and benefitting from the anger of the people against the system and the political parties, but it has no blueprint for diagnosing and solving the problems of the people. The thing to understand is that what will happen if in the country in every State there is a demand through andolans for free electricity, free water, free education and free health and medical facilities? Where will the money come from? What impact will this have on the economic situation of the country, who will think about it?
The Aam Aadmi Party is about to fight the Lok Sabha elections. The party claims that it will field 400 contestants in the Lok Sabha elections. Now the question is, if Arvind Kejriwal will jump into the fray for the Prime Minister’s post, what will happen to Delhi? The other thing is that after the elections, the Aam Aadmi Party will not get a majority in the Lok Sabha, therefore, they will have to disclose that after the elections with which party will they go along? Will it be with the BJP or the Congress? The Aam Aadmi Party will also have to clearly keep its policies and ideology before the people. The biggest question before the people of the country is that should they support a party which does not have an ideology, does not have policies, and it is also not known what is on it agenda? It shouldn’t happen that the way the people of Delhi are feeling sort of cheated after the assembly elections, the people of the country should feel similarly regretful after the Lok Sabha elections.