Ever since the redoubtable Subramanian Swamy promised the Delhi BJP unit that he would fix the AAP and its supremo Arvind Kejriwal like he did with the Congress and the Gandhi family in the National Herald case, a series of events has hit the ‘muffler man’ so hard that he ran away for meditation and peace in Himachal Pradesh. The irony is Swamy has not even opened his accounts with him as yet
The worst blow has come to Kejriwal’s oft-repeated plea for power for the Delhi government on the line of normal state governments. The Delhi High Court on Thursday knocked down this plea and held that the LG is the administrative head of National Capital Territory and the AAP Government’s contention that he is bound to act on the advice of Council of Ministers was “without substance”. The decision followed months’ long turf war between LG Najeeb Jung and Kejriwal for the reins of Delhi, in which the latter used the most indescribable words for a constitutional authority.
While dismissing the AAP Government’s plea challenging the Centre’s May 21, 2015, notification giving absolute powers to LG in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also quashed several notifications issued by Kejriwal after returning to power last year, saying they were illegal as they were issued without the concurrence of LG.
The bench, in its 194-page judgment, said the AAP Government’s contention that the LG is bound to act on the aid and advice of Council of Ministers was “without substance and cannot be accepted”.
After pronouncement of the verdict, the Delhi Government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra said they will immediately file a Special Leave Petition against the judgment in the Supreme Court.
Even as Kejriwal and his ‘cronies’ make a brave face as they find themselves being caught by law for having been on its wrong side, the public anger against the AAP administration may mounting. The decline in civic amenities in Delhi in the last one year has been as visible as the growing misbehavior of AAP MLAs with women in particular. Recently, the principal secretary of Kejriwal was hauled up by the CBI in an old case of corruption. Most of the development works seem to have come to a standstill.
Sensing the consistent decline of the AAP, Kejriwal’s worst foes, who were once his best buddies, have decided to set up their own political shop. Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan said last Sunday that their Swaraj Abhiyan outfit has decided to launch a political party on October 2, and the new party may open its accounts with Punjab where the assembly elections are due. They also disclosed that the two suspended AAP MPs were in touch with them and they may join the new party at their convenience. The birth of the new party looks sure to damage whatever prospects AAP had for winning the Punjab elections.
Yadav and Bhushan have underlined that their political outfit will be “unlike AAP”. “The new party will not have a party supremo system, which is why you do not see a single picture of any one leader on the banners. We do not want to repeat the mistake which AAP made by building a party supremo,” Bhushan said. “Even if we are championing clean politics, people will not vote for us unless they feel we can win elections. This was precisely the case with AAP. It took birth out of movements like India Against Corruption, Janlokpal and these helped it get public support.”
But what’s there in the internecine war between AAP and Swaraj Abhiyan for the NDA-SAD alliance or the Congress Party? Will they benefit? The question will be best answered by the people of Punjab.
By M K Shukla
(The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of New Media Network and its owners)