Khurana tirade lacks punch

NEW DELHI SEPT. 21 . The battle-weary Delhi BJP president, Madan Lal Khurana, may have upped the ante against the Sheila Dikshit Government but he still has a long way to go. Knowing full well that the odds are stacked against him and his party, the BJP leader is banking on the poor selection of candidates and the severe infighting within the Delhi Congress to fulfil his dream of once again occupying the chair of the Chief Minister.

The latest salvo fired by Mr. Khurana is the alleged Rs. 200-crore favour shown by the Congress Government to the private power companies. But this has failed to raise a public outcry and step up public opinion against the Congress Government. What Mr.Khurana's allegations lack is credibility and conviction. The fact that the BJP-led Central Government, which is monitoring the implementation of the power reforms in all the States, has not reprimanded the Delhi Government on any account and instead praised it for taking bold initiatives on the power sector, has robbed Mr.Khurana of the credibility factor. The allegation that the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor, Vijai Kapoor, was not informed or did not sign documents of privatisation does not hold water as it is well-known that nothing happens without the consent or order of Raj Nivas.

In fact, political observers are of the view that the fact Mr.Khurana has been painting the town red with allegations of wrong-doing against the Congress Government, has made the electorate lose interest in the issues being raised by him. In fact, it is often pointed out that except for making allegations and retracting on many of them later on, Mr. Khurana has nothing positive to offer to the electorate. There is no talk of any vision for the Capital, no development programmes and neither any talk of dealing with the problems faced by the people.

Instead the focus is on creating further chaos in the Capital. The much-touted guidelines have lost their sheen and are unlikely to help the BJP's cause in the Assembly elections. The Statehood issue, which has been raked up time and again by Mr. Khurana, has been buried in view of the failure of the Central Government to offer anything substantial to Delhiites. ``The fact is that the central BJP leaders and higher ups in the NDA Government are not paying heed to the issues being raised by Mr.Khurana. How many times were guidelines issued before unauthorised colonies were regularised in the past. What is the hitch for the Vajpayee Government to implement its own Cabinet decision regularising 1,071 unauthorised colonies. The people are looking for positive and development-oriented issues and not things which would lead to further chaos,'' a senior party leader remarked.

But those close to Mr. Khurana are convinced that things are moving at the right pace and everything will fall in line with the passage of time. They have termed the response to the Parivartan Yatra as unprecedented and are hopeful that it would be the Congress which would receive a drubbing in the Assembly polls. Many in the BJP see a silver lining in the severe infighting within the Congress in Delhi and are confident that the sharp divide between the party and Government is certainly going to benefit the saffron party in the polls. In addition to this, the Congress would also be faced with the dilemma in selection of candidates as not giving a ticket to sitting MLAs would lead to resentment while fielding them again would result in defeat of a large number of candidates who had won during the ``onion price wave'' in Delhi during the 1998 Assembly polls.

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