The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was born out of a movement – India Against Corruption (IAC). The chief demand of this movement, which bought lakhs of people together, was to legislate a LokPal Bill. Anna Hazare was the face of this movement. Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi took care of the logistics. Later, Arvind Kejriwal took a plunge into politics – a reversal of his earlier stand that he will never seek public office – and promised a JanlokPal Bill within 15 days. The very first point in AAP’s manifesto is this:
“Commitment to passing Delhi Janlokpal Bill within 15 days of coming to power.”
It has been nearly 25 days since the party came to power but there is not even a squeal by the AAP on this. Not a single media hotshot, who otherwise pride themselves in grilling leaders, have questioned Arvind Kejriwal over his blatant lies and fake promises to the people of Delhi while seeking votes. Ordinarily, no one would have minded waiting for a month or two for the Bill to come – but remember this – Arvind Kejriwal went all out to promise this Bill in 15 days. This was their main plank and USP, and yet, he does not bother to fulfill this promise? This should amount to lying to the voters to secure their votes – something that Arvind Kejriwal accuses other parties of doing!
Since taking power, Arvind Kejriwal has become famous for taking U-turns on various issues. In this latest interview to NDTV’s Barkha Dutt, it took him just three minutes to take a U-Turn! At 9:30 in this video, he says, “There were some people there. The police left, so, who will take care of the Minister’s security? My Minister was not sure if he will return home alive”. The irony of this statement apart (given that AAP did not want any security to their ministers), the caveat comes just three minutes later. At the 12th minute, Barkha Dutt asks him that the crowd present there could have gone out of control while forcing the ladies to take the test. Arvind Kejriwal, believe it or not, says with a straight face, “But there was hardly any crowd. At least 20 to 30 people were there”!
Explaining Somnath Bharti’s actions, he says (at 13:40) that the Minister asked police to take action “as per law”. We all saw the video – Somnath Bharti said, “You go and do a raid there. I am telling you, you go and do a raid there”. Is this “as per law”? When questioned as to how one can force people to give urine samples, he says that only urine samples were taken, and that too in AIIMS, as if this is a big favour they did on those women.He even tells us that there must be something fishy because the women refused to give blood samples. When questioned that the reports did not show any drug use by these women, he said since there was only urine and no blood sample, the reports are false!
Arriving at conculsions that suits their thinking has been a habit of AAP leaders from the beginning. This report is false, that case is false, the argument is false, you are not Aam Aadmi – why? Because, we say so! Barkha Dutta asks him the same thing, how can he be so sure that Somnath Bharti is not lying. To this, he said, “Somnath Bharti has no enemity against these people and therefore, he could not have done anything like that!
The interview gets very disappointing after about 15 minutes. The primary reason being that the grilling stops. Arvind Kejriwal hurls a strange accusation – the SHOs of Delhi collect money to ensure their Minister (in this case, the Union Home Minister) gets them. Actually, this is quite serious too – the Chief Minister of a State accusing SHOs of giving hafta to Union Home Minister. Arvind Kejriwal has done this before too – hurl unlimited accusations. He once claimed to have proof of corruption against five Cabinet Ministers – we are yet to hear about them till date. This would have been an opportune moment to question him on his accusations, but unfortunately, it was given a go-by.
When asked about why there has been no enquiry against Congress leaders, he says wait for some more days. During campaign, he went ballistic and promised enquiries within few days. Is there a deal being worked out that we have to wait for few more days? If Arvind Kejriwal, like he claims, has proof on Sheila Dikshit’s corruption, what exactly are we waiting for? Transfer of some “compromised” officers in the ACB department? Arvind Kejriwal gave similar interviews to both NDTV and CNN-IBN. In both the interviews, he himself decided what allegations are against the AAP, and then pompously declared all allegations are false. The anchors focussed on just 1 to 2 big ticket items and allowed him to rant at will. The visible leadership of AAP (includes Yogendra Yadava, Ashutosh, Manish Sisodia) sounds so arrogant and full of themselves. At the drop of the hat, they seek refuge in the argument that this is all for aam aadmi – and due process of law is not really an impediment in implementing anarchy.
You don’t believe it? Last night, in an interview to NDTV, Manish Sisodia asked Ashok Mallik to talk about due process of law when his daughter is burnt alive. That is the level of discourse these people have resorted to. In the latest ‘raid’, no one died. But Arvind Kejriwal and AAP continue to claim “people are dying, and you want us to follow process”? Somnath Bharti yesterday said that he wants to spit on Arun Jaitley’s face, for criticising his awesome actions. Is this the change that AAP wanted to usher in? Already, our political discourse is marred by a lot of rhetoric and jargon; AAP is now making it filthy too.
Minor mistakes do happen. No one says you need to be perfect; only that you move along and make amends. Janta darbar being a case in point – Arvind Kejriwal learnt his lesson well and decided to emulate other Chief Ministers rather than be pompous about it. It’s another matter that he still thinks no one else does Janta Darbar as awesomely as he did or does it. Mistakes might happen because of inexperience and immaturity. But the visible leadership of AAP is simply arrogant, egoistic, and resorts to spreading falsehoods at the drop of the hat. The latest dharna drama is also not to seek some big ticket police reform. It is to seek the suspension of three SHOs. They are seeking that they be suspended till atleast the enquiry is complete because otherwise, it will not be a fair enquiry. The two parties to this enquiry are the SHO and the Law Minister of Delhi. Arvind Kejriwal says the Minister will not resign, but the SHO will have to go for an impartial enquiry. Need anything more be said about their arrogance?