The Delhi assembly has 70 seats that went to polls. Any party or alliance needed 36 of it to form a majority government. With 32 seats, the BJP alliance became the largest force though still short of four seats. The Aam Aadmi Party's spectacular electoral debut surprisingly won 28 seats. Congress met the historical debacle with just 8 seats. And this is how Delhi delivered a mix mandate.
On December 12th, the BJP clarified its stand to Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung that the party is not going to form the government. Then the LG called in the second largest party AAP on Saturday. But a day ahead, on Friday, the Congress party having 8 seats voluntarily met the LG and handed over a letter of ‘unconditional support’ to AAP. Simultaneously, the Congress made its stance public in the media. Undoubtedly it was a political masterstroke by the Congress which cornered the roaring ‘AAP’.
When Arvind Kejriwal met the LG and asked for 10 more days to clear the fog hanging over government formation, the LG accepted in the larger interest of the people of Delhi.
It’s the first time Arvind Kejriwal finds himself between the rock and the hard place. All the political quarters, the mainstream media and even a large section of ‘aam admi’ went on accusing AAP of shirking its responsibility in forming the government.
Amid a host of speculations, sending a questionnaire to both the Congress and the BJP, AAP asking them for clarification on their stand on 18 issues related to the national capital, including possible cases of corruption against their leaders does not answer the need of the hour. It is reflexive of AAP’s debility. Furthermore, it’s ridiculous to send the questionnaire to the BJP. The AAP can put conditions on the Congress as it is going to be its partner but how can it expect the opposition, the saffron party, to go along with it? It is shocking. It is the most immature steps by the team Kejriwal. It is something like this new kid on the block is waiting for all the traffic lights to turn green before he actually commences the journey to the power lane.
One wouldn't think of doing that when one makes a journey in his motor vehicle. So, why should you even consider doing such a thing in the journey called ‘paanch-saal-ki-sarkar’? There is no insurance plan in this politics that guarantees you for a smooth ride through the full 5-year term.
Furthermore, as per the law, even the partnering Congress can not withdraw support within 6 months. This is the best part. At least the AAP has six months of time to prove its mettle. It must start now. It must start doing things. It should create an environment where it gets impossible for both the giants to disturb the government. The AAP must start working on the 70 different manifestoes it set itself ahead of the polls. It must try it. It's a whole lot better than sitting in the vehicle just idling and getting nowhere.
Pushing Delhi into another electoral fray may be more risky for AAP because, like in cricket, there is nothing certain about Indian politics. While AAP may be confident that it will win a larger mandate in case of a re-poll, there is nothing to suggest that this is a certainty. The democratic people of India have never danced to the tune of anyone. History has many examples of this. And the incarnation of Kejriwal himself was the result of public anger towards the Congress and the BJP. To keep that anger alive for another six months may be difficult for AAP. Furthermore, forcing Delhi into another electoral fray is a burden to the exchequer that can be avoided.
Amit K. Sinha is a bilingual investigative journalist who works independently. For the last couple of years he is in Patna writing for many prints and portals.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS