Scripting history in Indian politics apart, Delhi Chief Minister- designate Arvind Kejriwal will now have to face trouble as both the Congress and the BJP will be out to attack every piece of reform that the Aam Aadmi Party might introduce. With the outgoing Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit already making it clear that the Congress’s outside support to the AAP will be issue-based (Dec. 24), the party has to tread carefully. Its future lies in the way it approaches governance.
V. Siva Anantha Krishnan,
The Congress has to rise to the occasion now by supporting the AAP and keep aside any differences of opinion that it may have. The rise of Arvind Kejriwal, from spearheading mass protest against corruption to going on to form a party and then becoming a chief minister, resembles the plot of a Bollywood film. Let us hope that he is able to script a model of efficient and participative governance.
The AAP has acted wisely on the decision of government formation after taking into account the opinion of Delhi. However, its real test will be in the way it implements its electoral promises. Let us hope that the term of the government it forms will be one to remember and a model for States.
Kanagiri S. Prasad,
The AAP has promised Delhi the moon on addressing issues concerning electricity, water, housing, a Jan Lokpal, etc. Let it start delivering the goods from the word go. Attending to subjects like “red beacons,” and “bungalows” is not of immediate importance, and it must focus on more serious issues like ensuring women’s safety and fighting crime. Having accepted the support of the Congress, it must now desist from name-calling, at least till the arrangement lasts. Both the Congress and the BJP would like to see this experiment fail quite naturally. Being too idealistic will lead to numerous problems for the AAP that may cause it to crash under its own weight.
Criticising the decision of the AAP to form the government in Delhi and accusing Mr. Kejriwal of hobnobbing with the “corrupt” Congress may be right to some extent but we need to examine why it was compelled to do so. The decision was largely based on the consensus of the people of Delhi, which in itself is historic. If the logjam had persisted, would we have wanted another re-election? What if the results had turned out to be worse? If the AAP is successful in achieving its aims through this coalition government, it will be the people’s victory.
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus,” said Martin Luther King, Jr. The AAP’s style of politicking goes against the grain of genuine leadership traits espoused by King. It seems it has misinterpreted mobocracy for democracy. The diversity of India needs consensus over developmental issues so that problems of land acquisition, environmental change, distribution of scarce resources, gender inequality, child protection and welfare, and law and order are resolved. By ensuring good governance, the party has to “be the change it wanted to bring.”
As far as support to the AAP government is concerned, the Congress has spoken in two voices. From “unconditional” backing, to a lifeline of issue-based support, which of them turns out to be the real one only time will tell.
Whoever described Mr. Kejriwal as a “political novice” should scurry to the dictionary to check his vocabulary. He has taken a favourable gamble. An absolute majority would have tested him to the limit. Now, he can always play the “minority government with outside support” card wisely and use the numbers to build a momentum in the AAP’s favour. If the Congress withdraws support, there is bound to be a windfall for the fledgling party. If he lives up to the promise of his party’s innumerable manifestos, he can prove to be a tough customer for years to come. For now, he must focus on Delhi and keep his national ambitions for later.