This is about the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and the people of Delhi.
Years 2014 and 2015.
Apart from Modi, India was discussing a lot about the ‘alternative’ politics of the AAP. Its leader, Mr Arvind Kejriwal, stormed into the political arena and into the minds of Delhiites like none else could do in the history of Delhi politics.
Mr Kejriwal, no doubt, earned the respect of the people of Delhi for a few legitimate reasons.
1. An IIT-ian by qualification
2. A former civil servant
3. An RTI activist
4. A crusader against the corruption of not just the Congress Party and the BJP, but all other political parties in the country.
5. His idea of alternative politics, which was devoid of corruption.
6. The support that he mustered from well-respected individuals, professionals, social reformers, NRIs, etc.
Add to the list many more ‘pluses’ that aroused goosebumps to say the least.
However, what stuck in the minds of people was…’here is a man who will free us from the clutches of CORRUPTION and he will have no trucks with CORRUPT people or parties that he often pointed fingers at’.
Mr Kejriwal’s election speeches reaffirmed our faith in him as he kept harping on the corruption of several high-profile political leaders. Ms Sheila Dikshit, Mr Arun Jaitley, Mr Nitin Gadkari, etc. were a few names in that list. The ‘Damaad’ of the ‘First Family’, was not spared either. All these resonated extremely well with the people of Delhi.
Whatever he said and did, Delhi listened to him with rapt attention. His tall claims on various issues standing on ‘his’ pedestal of ‘truth’ were wholeheartedly welcomed by the people of Delhi.
Fed up of the various scams of the UPA government, the people rewarded AAP with a landslide victory in the state assembly elections. It was a happy ending to the struggles of a bunch of young crusaders, who wanted to usher in a big ‘change’ in the country.
The cult status of AK among the people of Delhi was at an all-time high, to the extent that he became a ‘PM in waiting’, as per media and AAP workers.
A dream start for AK and AAP by any stretch of imagination! It couldn’t have got better. Isn’t it?
It must be noted here that in the assembly elections, AAP grew at the expense of the Congress Party, while BJP stood its ground with its vote share largely unaffected.
Cut to 2019.
We do not want to get into the hits and misses of the AAP government. He may have done some good things for the people of Delhi. But then that logic applies to all state and central governments of the past and present too if we set aside other ‘ills’.
In the past 4 years of AK’s political actions, what got stuck in the minds of Delhiites are the following:
1. AK’s continous chanting of Modi, Modi, Modi from morning till midnight! Modi did that, Modi did this, et al.!
2. AK’s drastic about-turns on his own corruption allegations against congress and BJP leaders.
3. AK apologising to those very politicians whom he attacked vehemently during the assembly elections and requesting them to withdraw all those defamation cases against him.
4. Now the most unimaginable move of begging for an alliance with the CONgress Party in the upcoming general elections. Perhaps, this was the saddest sight for a Delhiite who voted for AAP.
We do not want get into his position vis-a-vis the Tukde Tukde Gang. That’s for another time.
As for point number 1, we give AK the benefit of doubt. And he was well within his right to criticise Modi and the central government as an opposition party leader.
But what pricked the conscience and self-respect of Delhiites are the points 2 to 4.
AK must realise that respect for self comes from the actions of the self only. AK may have surrendered his self-respect at the feet of the so-called corrupt leaders in order to extend his political career.
While doing so, can AK expect Delhiites also to surrender their self-esteem to further his personal political fortunes? A resounding ‘No’ would be the answer. It’s true even among those who voted for him in the last election.
While the pendulum of AK’s governance swings from the left to the centre of politics, Delhiites are left with only two options:
1. Go back to the CONgress and invite more scams like the people of Madhya Pradesh are experiencing it now.
2. Turn to the ‘right’.
Feedback from the ground indicates that self-respecting Delhiites will take the ‘right’ decision.
Let’s wait till 23 May.