The Aam Aadmi party has been taking the name of Anna Hazare at every opportunity. Anna Hazare on his part had written to Arvind Kejriwal objecting to the use of his name since Arvind broke off and made his own political party, which Anna was not in favour of at that time. Now it appears that instead of defending himself or trying to change his strategy, Arvind Kejriwal and his followers have chosen to attack Anna Hazare. This is a fruitless exercise. They are dragging in names of people which they’ve picked up from here and there and trying to say that Anna Hazare is being financed by X, Y and Z. The public impression was that the Aam Aadmi party is a different kind of political party which believes in transparency and fair play. Ultimately, politics is a very bad disease – even the Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal appear to be getting infected by the normal political behavior that attack is the best form of defense. If all the money is legally collected in a fair and transparent manner, why should he indulge in such things and why should he take the name of Anna Hazare? He doesn’t understand elementary politics — that even without using the name of Anna Hazare, people are associating him with Anna Hazare because that is how the movement started. It is very unfortunate that now he is dragging in people who are not connected with Anna Hazare’s campaign and trying to implicate their name and trying to put them on the defensive. He doesn’t realise that he’s doing service even to those people whose name is directly or indirectly associated with Anna Hazare, they will stand to gain. It is not good at all. Delhi elections are on 4 December, but if the Aam Aadmi Party wants to make a different impact it must change its strategy. This clumsy way of campaigning will not help them.
In Bombay, a controversy has erupted about a group of buildings constructed on the plot where the Campa Cola factory used to exist. Now it appears that the builder had transgressed the rules by making two extra floors where only four floors were allowed. Some people went to court and the court ordered demolition of those floors. The Supreme Court has upheld the demolitions, though they’ve given time till 31 May 2014. This may be the interpretation of law but this is not dispensation of justice. It is highly unfair that people who’ve bought flats and have been staying there for ten, fifteen, twenty years are suddenly being told that your floors will be demolished. Suppose the whole area was on low floors, I can understand. Next to the compound are all buildings of ten, twenty, thirty floors, what is the sanctity of four floors? The Municipal Corporation will find a way of penalising or regularising the thing on some payments. Floor space index ( FSI ) can be another issue and I’m told that the flats are within the FSI available to the plots. And even if it is not, in Bombay now, in the name of re-development they’re sanctioning double FSI. The whole basis is very, very flimsy. There is no ground to oust flat owners after so many years just because some technical regulations are not being followed and it appears that the Municipal Corporation’s charge is the builder got it approved by bribery and unfair means. Is the Municipal Corporation not equally responsible? If their people have taken a bribe and approved the plan why should the users suffer? It is absolutely clumsy. I hope the Supreme Court judges can take a broader view and direct accordingly — they should ask the Municipal Corporation how many such buildings they’ve regularised? How much FSI they’ve granted? They should ask very searching questions. Just now on the saying of the Attorney-general they’ve given time till 31 May on the ground that some alternative proposal will be placed. An alternative proposal will not be placed by the same people who are interested in this demolition. The Supreme Court should take a proactive role and try to save the disruption of the lives of the average flat- owners. That will dispense justice not the bland interpretation of law and allow the Municipal Corporation to get along with the theory that the plan was approved by bribery. Even if the plan was approved by bribery, who is responsible? The Municipal Commissioner he should be ashamed of himself to say the same thing in the court. The court must call a suo moto hearing, give a hearing to all the parties including the flat owners and take a just and fair view.