Delhi’s Dharna Man’s tryst with powerless governance

13 June 2018, 05:18 PM
Delhi’s Dharna Man’s tryst with powerless governance
Delhi’s Dharna Man’s tryst with powerless governance

An elected government in Delhi has no power! It’s hard to believe but ask Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, and he would without a doubt admit that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi is virtually toothless and the real power is vested with the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi.
 
The birth of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in itself could be a case study, how a single man took the fight to the heavyweights of politics and emerged victorious. After the “India against corruption movement” in which Anna Hazare played a pivotal role, Kejriwal decided to enter the political system and cleanse it from within though Anna had preferred to keep the movement politically unaligned.

Al alternative for change
 
It was absence of an alternative in Delhi that Delhiites had to vote for a party with a broom that promised to sweep clean the corruption in the corridors of the national capital.

Year on year, it was either the Congress or the BJP serving the state but at the end of every five-year term, Delhiites felt let down. For the first time, in the AAP, people saw a substitute and a spark to usher a change in the society.

Jan Lokpal Andolan and the social media wave

The “Jan Lokpal Andolan” was heavily driven by social media, it may be fair to pronounce that the AAP was formed more by social media than the “Jan Lokpal Andolan”. AAP claims to be a non-believer of any ideology but imbibes inspiration from the concept of Swaraj or self-governance.

Kejriwal’s art of dharnas
 
Kejriwal’s histrionics has been his dharnas or sits-in, irrespective of the seriousness or triviality of the matter. His name became synonymous with dharnas, particularly during his initial days of struggle to power. Now sensing alienation in the race of popularity for the 2019 general elections, he seems to have rejuvenated his old strategy of sit-ins.
 
Kejriwal, along with his deputy Manish Sisodia and a couple of key minsters, had been holding dharna at the LG waiting longue since past three days, reason is to press for his government’s demands like CCTV installation project in Delhi which LG has asked to review, strike of IAS officers, statehood for Delhi etc. However, this time the dharna is on comfortable couch and in an air-conditioned room unlike in the past where scorching heat of the Ramlilia maidan served as the altar for his campaigns.

Is AAP doing everything possible?
 
The message which the AAP apparently wants to convey to the people of Delhi is, “Look, we are doing everything possible but it’s the LG, controlled by the BJP who had been hindering all developmental works for you”
 
The joint forum of IAS officers in Delhi as well as the LG had rejected Kejriwal’s allegations, rather the forum had tweeted a picture of IAS officers working in different offices. In fact, Kejriwal had announced an unequivocal support to the BJP if it granted statehood status to Delhi. To many, it may seem to be the weirdest kind of politics. What extra would statehood of Delhi give its citizen? Is it not true that Delhi already has many elements of a full-fledged state? Statehood would give more power, authority and strength to the MLAs, obviously the gainer would be elected lawmakers than the public.

The Test of Time
 
Time has stood witness to the trust which people of Delhi had placed in the AAP, but the performance of this government has been no different form their predecessors. What could be a better justification than to squarely blame the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi for everything going wrong?
 
Voters in the capital cannot be hoodwinked. They perfectly know that elected representatives are by the people, for the people and of the people. Therefore, the government cannot shrug off its responsibility to the public else a bitter pill could be awaiting them in the next elections.

First Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 05:13 PM
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