Life in the times of Arvind Kejriwal and the prejudices of 'abundance'
He emerged from nowhere, or rather from among us and took Delhi by storm immediately. And there was no looking back...literally.
Arvind Kejriwal has come a long way from starting a small party with Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, and Manish Sisodia to winning elections and then finally getting rid of them. But life moves on, irrespective of the fact that Delhi stands where it was 10 years back- no women's safety, power supply or water.
Delhiites have been left to fend for themselves in the simmering heat to the rain god. AAP won during the December Assembly elections, but opted out of governance after just 49 days.
A second chance in 2015 too proved to be a waste of time, money and energy. The party is in fragments and the senior think tanks have parted ways, thanks to the alleged autocratic governance that Kejriwal is said to have adopted.
As a result, we have a new group with 'Swaraj Abhiyan' and Delhi faces another challenge this summer-the prejudice of abundance. As they say,
Two sharp swords cannot be in one sheath
It is not unknown who has been doing the talking during the election campaigns and other question answer session. Yogendra Yadav, a renowned psephologist and political scientist Professor, who was once the right hand arm of Arvind Kejriwal, exposed several scams together.
In fact, when Kejriwal was re-elected in the Delhi assembly elections in February 2015, it was Yadav who explained the party agenda and future plans to the media and public. And that reflected in the welcome that he was bestowed at Arvind Kejriwal's swearing in ceremony at Ram Lila maidan on February 14.
Indeed, he may have been a puppet in the hands of Kejriwal who wanted an intellectual veneer for his party of laymen and succeeded in achieving it. However, he was not ready to give Yadav the political space he deserved, probably for the fear of being toppled in the near future.
Prashant Bhushan too was a strong contender in the party and he deserved it too. While Yadav was responsible for cleaning the mess that AAP had made of itself during its previous tenure, Bhushan hailed for his public interest litigations (PILs) against perceived corrupt people.
Evidently, both the men were infamous within the party, but we have our doubts when it comes to the public. They have seen them work and toil for the party and they relate to them well. So, once the 'Swaraj Abhiyan' floated, it is possible that a chunk of votes may float in as well, giving AAP a hard time.
Clashing ideologies and internal fractures
With two parties doning similar hats of public welfare, Delhi would be confused yet again, giving political think tanks in the opposition a chance to hurl abuses on their counterparts. Moreover lack of options hurt as much as loss of options! Delhiites may have to take a quick decision now.
The ideologies are the same so what would their measurements be in the next elections (if that is not too late). Both the parties have picthed in for the rights of the common man and the women's rights and safety, though Swaraj is one step ahead to have included the woes of farmers too.
Amid this, the question remains, when will Delhi see its leaderships going beyond their party fractures and solving problems. Prashant Bhushan has an answer to this,"If we announce a political party today, it will be fraught with the same dangers that we see in the Aam Aadmi Party."
Do we have more protests?
Probably, probably not. We are yet to know whether the protests by AAP were masterminded by these men, or Arvind Kejriwal. In such case, The Swaraj party will, indeed meet the fate of its predecessor. Let us come to the problems that Delhi faced and continues to face.
AAP declared that 50% tariff cut in electricity and power supply. Ironically, the stand was debatable as the implementation was a huge problem, especially when the three discoms have asked for a tariff hike and there is no plausibility in their backing off on their demands.
While the power revision was promised to have been implemented in June this year, there are high chances Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission's move to hike tarrifs by 16 to 20% may still increase the power bill. PLus, the Rs 1,500 crore per year, that the government has to pay from its pockets in lieu of the promise.
While this is just one case in point, there are others that include air pollution, women's safety, which has not even been addressed by any of the parties.
With summers knocking at the door, the heat inside the Delhi assembly is simmering to boiling point too. However, if it is not resolved soon, the National Capital may have to face a greater crisis than power and electricity this summer.