Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been hogging the headlines for a while now. From debating on Covid numbers to the management of medical supplies and resources, he has stayed in front, leading charges against the Centre and micromanaging the pandemic. How can a Lieutenant Governor surpass the power of an elected government? Given Delhi is a union territory, all administrative, political and policy decisions are to be reported to the LG. But this doesn’t at all mean that the LG will singularly interfere in each and every legislation of the Delhi state government for reasons beyond his choice and control.
But this doesn’t, in any way, free Kejriwal and his government of any blame for underreporting of Covid numbers simply to control fear and panic amongst the population. What is the correlation between Covid tests being done within a day and positivity rate coming down to 5% or less over the last few days? Why were enough people not vaccinated, as implementation of localised lockdowns only offered guarantee to the lives and livelihood of the common and ordinary.
How come we are supposed to come to terms with the third wave staring at us, impairing and impacting our mobility? In this regard, it is essential for both the Delhi government as well as Centre to chalk their political differences, conflict of opinions, ideas and interests for the better of citizens who turned up offering decisive mandates to Modi at the Centre and Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi.
Greater responsibility lies with the Prime Minister, whose party has the habit of poking, mocking and shaming political rivals for their personal electoral pioneers and pursuits. For many political pundits, pollsters and psephologists, PM Modi’s penchant for rhetoric, hype and propaganda makes him attractive, artistic and inspiring before his audience. This charm constituents buying and believing his every hollow word, line and statement, so what if it is politically irrelevant and incorrect?
As long it is calm and comforting, being cynical and suspicious may come with its own demerits, as we can see rolling before our eyeballs. Populism can never be an alternative to democracy where every individual’s views and values matter, so their is no question of being in a minority or minority in a majority.
Cooperative federalism has been an intrinsic part of Indian politics, being robbed off its sheen around the tragic response and reaction of the Centre towards the states. Politics is all about alliances, appreciation and acknowledgement of collective endeavours, and not only about poll memories — of who won, where and how.
This has no place in a civilised constitutional democracy, as for the hounding of all those who may prefer to stay on the other side of the fence. Aspirations and ambitions matter more than anything the template that has been precisely put and presented, resting upon the conscience of the ones governing their destiny and fate.