By Rahul Maganti:
December 2013 was an epitome of radical politics for the people of Delhi when a first time entrant into politics, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), emerged with 28 seats as the second largest party after the BJP. All of us know what happened later, and I would not go into any further details. After the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister of Delhi, the Centre imposed President’s rule in Delhi in February 2014.
However, the AAP wanted the dissolution of Legislative Assembly and wanted fresh elections. They challenged the President’s rule in the Supreme Court. AAP’s then transport minister Saurabh Bhardwaj filed a petition to this end. The Supreme Court, which dealt with the issue in various stages, spoke out on the 9th of September asking the Lt. Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung to ‘expedite the formation of Govt.’ and called for a further hearing on the 10th of October, as against October-end, which the Central Govt. sought for. One of the main reasons laid out by the five member bench was the ‘horse-trading would continue if thingsÂ weren’tÂ done at the earliest’Â keeping in view the video released by AAP a couple of days ago, where a BJP leader was trying to poach a AAP MLA for Rs. 4 crores and an influential position.
There were wide speculations that ‘Horse-trading’ could have happened way back in December 2013 when no single party could attain a simple majority in the assembly elections. However, the BJP out-rightly dismissed formation of Govt. citing reasons of lacking majority. AAP, which grabbed the chance, failed to utilize it and went to the extent of terming the resignation as a ‘wrong decision’Â , and now wants to face ‘fresh elections’ after wasting a mandate given to it by the people of Delhi.
The fresh episode of ‘horse-trading’ started when Aam Aadmi Party released footage purportedly showing Delhi BJP vice-president Sher Singh Dagar and his close associate Raghubir Dahiya allegedly offering Rs. 4 crore and other perks to its MLA Dinesh Mohania in exchange for backing the BJP’s efforts to form a government in the Capital. However, this was not uncommon for BJP, which was accused of similar charges by the Congress in Karnataka in 2010, and also the notorious ‘Cash for Vote’ scam which had three BJP MP’s involved, who were later let-off due to lack of proper proof.
Meanwhile, while all the drama unfolds, there are some serious questions that needs to be addressed by all the political formations, as they have meaninglessly squandered away chances to form the government. The BJP, in December 2013, declined to form the Govt. citing lacking majority in the Legislative Assembly when it had 32 MLA’s as against the 35 needed to form the Govt. It has taken a U-turn now when its leaders now openly say that ‘they will explore the possibility of forming the Govt. if the Lt. Governor invites them to’ when they have just 29 MLA’s, three less than what they had in December 2013 when the three MLA’s resigned on June 28th after they got elected to the Lok Sabha. Where will you get the remaining numbers from? Through the alleged ‘horse-trading’?
AAP leader and journalist Ashish Khetan alleges that Najeeb Jung was not shunted away for precisely this reason of inviting the BJP to form the Govt. when all other Governors were ousted by the NDA Govt. at the Centre. In a Panel Discussion, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra asks, “Are the opposition MLA’s ‘sellable’? Don’t they have confidence in their own MLA’s?”.Â Mr. Patra, you lost the game when the idea of ‘sellable’ got planted in your brain. Will you buy them if they are ‘sellable’? You are answerable to the people of Delhi and the country, not to the opposition and other political formations. Why don’t you want to go for fresh elections at a time when you have just had a high morale riding on the Narendra Modi wave and the much boasted about 100 days of Ache Din? Are you afraid of the Aam Aadmi Party denting your chances of forming the Govt. if fresh elections are held?
The Congress is infact in a dire situation. Having fared very badly both in the Legislative Elections in December 2013 and Parliament Elections in April 2014, it would be very difficult for them to save face now in the wake of a fresh election. Are you willing to extend your support again for AAP if they are willing to form Govt. again? The AAP, which has spoiled a potential enchanting and magic ride for the people of Delhi, also needs to be subjected toÂ tough questions. Very often, you seem to indulge in sensationalism. Are you trying to create a political mileage after squandering a well-built chance to lead the Govt. of Delhi? Or, if you get a chance to form the Govt. again with the help of the Congress, will you grab the chance? If yes, how would you convince us that you would not squander your chance again? Is it not true that you opted out of Governance of Delhi since you don’t have the machinery and capability to govern and fight the Parliament Elections in 430 odd constituencies at the same time? Why did you put your political benefit above the Governance responsibility given by people? You need to explain all of this to people even if you go for ‘fresh elections’.