By Hemant Jain
The journey of Aam has quite been a roller coaster ride. Initially it got a lot of appreciation from public as well as from the opposition.The fulfilment of one of its promises from its election manifesto to supply 20000 litres of water to households every month created joy among the delhites.
After delivering on its promise of free water in the Delhi, government has reduced electricity tariff by 50%. This reduction will apply to the first two slabs i.e., people who use upto 400 units of power.
After these events people were more than happy. Although there was the opposition who were questioning AAP’s moves but the delhites were least bothered about it.
But as days passed, the party which is known for its strict policies and methodologies had to face a lot of criticism against the act of its own minister. Yes, I am talking about Somanth Bharti. On the intervening night of January 15 and 16, the minister was tipped off about a sex and drug ring operating out of this Malviya Nagar neighbourhood. Bharti acted on an impulse and decided take action a la a sting operation. The accused were later brought to AIIMS for medical tests, which confirmed that no drug traces were found in their system
Women’s organizations and political rivals accused Bharti of mouthing racist remarks while dealing with the African women. But Arvind kejriwal and his party is completely backing their minister and criticising the police of being irresponsible. Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slept on the road, a bitterly cold January night, right next to where his blue Wagon R car was parked near the Railway Ministry, a stone’s throw from Parliament House. This was probably the first time in Indian history that the CM has slept on road.
Although this phenomenon was quite unusual but the most sensational part was CM calling the Home Minister a “dictator” and I quote,
“How can Home Minister (Sushil Kumar) Shinde sleep when so many crimes are happening in Delhi? Is he a dictator? “
Much to my amazement, I saw different colours of politicians; patches that I hadn’t seen before. But wait. The dialogues were not yet over.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde stoked a potential controversy when he called Arvind Kejriwal a “Yeda Mukhyamantri” (mad chief minister), while recalling his own days in the police force.
This can happen only in India wherein a CM calls home minister a dictator and in turn gets mocking reply
And this was not all. It was just the beginning of reactions. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray hit out at the Aam Aadmi Party and termed its dharna in Delhi an ‘act of madness’.
To quote Mr.Thakeray, “AAP like an item girl. Rakhi Sawant can govern better than Arvind Kejriwal.”
Kejriwal argues that his minister was just following up on complains made by the residents, who had earlier sought help from local cops but got no response. But he only ended up fanning racial prejudices. As a minister, Bharti could have easily taken up the matter with senior police officials and sought an investigation. Instead, he took a shot at instant justice. Worse, his chief minister backed him in that dangerously populist pursuit
This was not the final conclusion, despite being heavily criticised for his act, the dharna gathered mass attention and public support.
Notwithstanding, police barricading, people have managed to reach the protest site. Their slogan is
“Shinde hosh mein aao, Arvind tum sangharsh karo desh tumhare saath hai…
Desh ka PM kaisa ho, Arvind jaisa ho… Takht badal do taaj badal do beimano ka raaj badal do.”
On Jan 26, In an apparent reference to the Aam Admi Party, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday warned in his Republic Day-eve speech about the dangers of intemperate populism, saying “populist anarchy” cannot be a “substitute for governance”.
The President made unusually direct comments on AAP’s politics and also stressed the need for a stable government after the forthcoming Lok Sabha election as he said a fractured mandate would be “catastrophic for the nation”.
Thus the journey of AAP so far has been one where conventional wisdom and practice have been challenged at every stage. But the true test lies in the days ahead as the AAP either decides to form a minority government and deal with administration, or get ready for a re-election.