Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Curious Case of Kejriwal

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

By the time this column is written AAP in Delhi has already lost one of its own MLA who was expelled from the party for disciplinary reasons and another independent MLA who was supporting AAP from outside was ready to quit. The AAP government in Delhi is not even two months old, and has had its daily share of downgrades from other political parties and the press and itself continuing to step in deep dog doodle. For a party that was handed the reins of the national capital, AAP continues to fumble on a daily basis, and continues to make inexperienced mistakes in managing the most complex city in the country.

It was fascinating to watch the new party come into power despite not having absolute majority in Delhi, and that too with the support of Congress party, which was the main cause of the birth of AAP to start with. The objective of Kejriwal was to fight corruption and create ombudsman to curb and perhaps eliminate corruption. As ironic as it appears Congress allowed Kejriwal to become the chief minister of Delhi, and AAP the ruling party in the capital city.

While the listed priorities of AAP have been sidestepped by the opposition and its own elected officials, the party continues to make news for all the wrong reasons. To start they cant seem to get to grips with the power they have been given to run the government, rather seem to fumble at every thing that is thrown at them. The animated speeches and activity that lead to the elections and getting elected are no longer appropriate to manage the bureaucracy of a large administration and managing a maze of vendors and suppliers. It is no excuse that experience is required to run a political organization as AAP itself harped on the fact that the current set of politicians before was elected AAP were entrenched and did not have the best interests of the public at heart to do anything good or even attempt at addressing the common man's interests.

To start with AAP was allowed to from the government with the help on INC which is the party that has controlled most of the national politics since 1947, and AAP targeted as corruption plagued enterprise which should not be in power. AAP was able to get in power only with the help of INC because it neither had the support of the other opposition nor absolute majority to form the government on its own. While it made sense to avoid the cost of reelection and forming the government to move the city forward, the basis of the support to form an AAP government itself was against the very fact that the INC was the corruption plagued party that needs to be sent to the pavilion, but was the only support structure to form a government. To begin with the formation of government itself was a flawed arrangement. As surprising it was to see AAP accept INC supporting its government, INC might have had a plan to support and then destabilize and topple the government in quick order; all of which is an SOP of INC. For whatever it is worth AAP taking the help of its arch rival (INC was in power for several terms in Delhi before losing in this election) was it self a self defeating arrangement, and has caused constant grief to the newly formed government.   

The loose conference of newly elected MLA is not a simple task to manage and be cohesive. Internal bickering and conflict among the agendas and total lack of discipline in adhering to the party's agenda is already in full force with AAP. Everyday the news flashes the inexperience or incompetence of one of the AAP MLA, and the party simply issues an apology or disowns the statements and actions. This is a nothing but a sign of a group of MLA that have been thrown into an administration that is already under a microscope. AAP was supposed to work for the common man and deliver to its poll promises, not have infighting with its own elected officials.

What stared out as an exciting opportunity for a group of enthusiastic folks to have the opportunity to run a major city government and deliver to simple promises that were made prior to the elections, have been tuning out to be a farce. The inexperienced individual politicians with little coordination with the party's agenda and the power bestowed up on them by the people. They are constantly making mistakes with both the communications and delivery. They simply are unable to handle the power bestowed up on them.

Kejriwal himself had waffled several time son what he said and what he does, and his entire team is undisciplined to the tee to help with a defined agenda that can be delivered to, and that is inline with their poll promises. The media and the opposition parties don't have to worry about AAP in a self-destruct mode, as AAP seem to doing a pretty good job of doing the damage on it's own. AAP and its leadership although the heroes who won against INC in the heart of the country, have not been able to ride the public support and establish an alternative to the incumbent government. The enthusiastic crowds and supporting public, and a lot of promise to deliver simple things to the common man; all the expectations from Indians world over; all of these are in limbo because of the ineptitude of Kejriwal and his team. While AAP is still its infancy in running a government, it simply is unable to convert the power and public support into achievements. It would be a shame for AAP to simply fold in a few weeks and become an experiment in politics.

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