Underestimation can be a dangerous enemy in polls. Obviously the Congress and BJP discovered it (too late perhaps) in the recently concluded Delhi Assembly elections. The Aam Aadmi Party, although not the single largest party, decided to form the government with Congress’ outside support. Its foundations were as shaky as a drunken man. AAP had made it quite clear that it would indict Sheila Dikshit and her government in corruption charges. But just 49 days later, after an intense dramatic rule, the AAP government fell and not because of a Congress betrayal. Kejriwal resigned as he was not allowed to table his pet bill, the Jan Lokpal Bill.
The AAP originated on a turbulent note, due to differences between Anna Hazare and Kejriwal. Kejriwal’s move to change the constitution by forming a government was highly commendable. But should we vote for him?
- Stability :- Even a laymen realises that stability of government is key to development. Not only for the stock markets, but also for welfare policies and infrastructure development, it is imperative that we have a government which lasts for its full term. The AAP has no chance whatsoever to form a government as it will not even contest in 272 seats. Instead, what it will do is, eat up the anti-Congress vote, garner a few seats and not join a coalition until its populist demands are adhered to. It is riding high on its Delhi success and believes it can replicate a similar result on the national scene. Even if it does so, it will prevent the most likely government, NDA, from gaining majority and we would those have a loose coalition with opportunistic parties giving outside support. AAP’s sole objective is the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill, which by all standards, cannot be passed as AAP will never get a majority. Therefore, at this moment, a vote for AAP is a vote wasted.
- Inexperience :- Now many of you may not agree with me in this point but it is better to have a modestly corrupt government who can work efficiently than to have a totally non-corrupt government who spends more time on the roads than in the Parliament. The AAP’s brief Delhi stint has shown that it lacks vital political experience which even third front has in plenty. No doubt its ideology is comprehensive but it lacks experience to implement it. Politics is a shadowy game and one has to get his hands dirty in order to implement one’s will. The AAP lacks political wisdom due to its relative newness.
- Populist Measures :- What India badly needs is to give a boost to the economy which is ailing after a 5 year Congress debacle. GDP growth is sluggish and job creation is lagging behind. By abolition of FDI in multi-brand retail in Delhi and by the provision of free water and subsidised electricity, AAP has proven itself to be a Congress B Team. If at all AAP has a position of the slightest power on the national stage, it will leave no stone unturned in creating a burden on the public exchequer.
All that said, the Jan Lokpal Bill is one of the greatest deterrents to rampant corruption in the Indian society. Hats off to the AAP for trying its best to pass this bill and to denounce its toothless version. But AAP must understand that there is scope of governance beyond the passage of an anti-corruption bill. Kejriwal will do more good for the country by being its prime protester and anarchist than by being its Prime Minister.
And here’s Kejriwal humour….