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Satya Pal Singh. February 14.- Capital Election


Satya Pal Singh. Editorial. XIV. II. XV


Second Coming Of Arvind Kejriwal


Satya Pal Singh-fnbworld By Satya Pal Singh

Kejriwal at swearing-in as CM of Delhi


Aam Aadmi Party's charismatic resurgence, sweeping citadels of a monolithic Bharatiya Janata Party in Delhi with its tally of 67 against BJP's mere 3 out of 70, demonstrates conclusive re-emergence of youth power and the common folk with zeal and conviction that was witnessed during Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal movement. Added to this has been the people's disenchantment with BJP that so unwittingly kept democracy at bay for months and also attempted to polarize voters who had already made up their minds to punish the party. That clearly explains why the entire Muslim community voted against BJP in anger. It's obvious that voters want their own stamp on governance, for the alternative gubernatorial dispensation is meant only for emergent situations. The Central rule was willfully extended by the BJP govt to reap political dividends. Alas, that has misfired for the party! 

It's also more a vote against overconfidence and foul speak of BJP leaders than a positive vote for Arvind Kejriwal.That the leadership gave freedom to bad-mouths in an effort to humour the majority community was a terrible mistake the party committed, unawares of its consequences. In a pluralistic society, any divisive engagement with polity is bound to kick back. In a private chat, I had questioned a Union Minister some 20 days back why were the BJP leaders going so recklessly foul with the language that was hitting the sentiments of the public. "Why not tit for tat" was the Minister's cryptic reply. I was shocked. Should the Ministers be so overbearing and repulsively arrogant in their dispositions? 

PM Narendra Modi's ill-chosen words, such as "bazaroo log", "jhoot ke parinde" etc, did greater damage than even the open dissension and rift that mired the party after Kiran Bedi's surprise induction. And then, Kejriwal's large offerings on the platter mesmerized the electorate that always looks for a "friendly, delivering leadership." It's to be seen how the future holds the mercurial AAP leader and his overstretched bidding. Would he be able to enforce the rule of law and yet keep sweet company with the public ? Apologies and alibis don't work every time.

Kejriwal must know a ruler can't be an "aam admi" (common man). He has to handle the spectre of governance tightly in control to enable the law to take its course. There is overflowing lawlessness in the city for anybody to see. That may also be one reason why Kiran Bedi has been so roundly rejected; her strength ostensibly played a veritable beguiler to dump her, even though as an ex-supercop she had conducted herself with grace and humility during campaigning. How gracefully and with candor she has handled her defeat is for anybody to learn from. She had time to praise Kejriwal for the "hard work" he has done for four years since the anti-corruption movement. 

Kejriwal will have to play his cards very carefully to keep his flock in good humour and working. To serve the Capital, he has to develop good rapport with the Centre which today stands terribly annoyed with him. Let there be no space for passing the buck this time. And the PM must also see that any deliberate attempt to discredit the AAP leadership will relentlessly recoil on his future programmes. His helping attitude will help him a lot. This election gives a clear direction on this account.

With Kejriwal's national ambition apparently touching the zenith, this election may also be a beginning of new political re-alignments.'Third Front' aspirants are already in high spirits, paying mouthful tributes to Kejriwal's leadership. Ensuing elections in Bihar will significantly give greater clarity to BJP's popularity under Modi. But this state doesn't have a Kejriwal to stall the saffron party. If Nitish and his band are able to score through the time, with remotely placed Kejriwal in the background, that would be a different matter!  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, overawed by AAP’s stellar performance,spoke to Kejriwal, congratulated and wished him. He assured him of the Centre’s full support in the development of Delhi. Let's all wish him and his party well in his second innings, hoping his government will make sincere efforts to solve the city’s growing problems, too many of them staring into the face of the emerging leadership.


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