Is it a conspiracy between AAP and the Congress to grab power in Delhi, and to keep the BJP out? Or, is it a conspiracy between the Congress and BJP to eliminate AAP by putting it in an impossible position – neither able to deliver on its promises as government, nor occupy opposition space? This contradiction was rubbed in by BJP leader Harsh Vardhan during the discussion on the confidence motion. “AAP has abandoned all its promises to investigate Congress wrongdoings,” he alleged. This, indeed, will be the test of AAP’s governance. Unfortunately, had the BJP adopted a merit based, neutral stand towards an AAP government, it would have kept it from being blackmailed by the Congress. This would have made an investigation into the alleged corruption by the Sheila Dixit government possible.
But, clearly, this is not what the BJP wants. It wants the old game to continue. Its MLAs have already expressed themselves against the promised withdrawal of the many perks they enjoy. In this, they are one with the Congress. From the attitude adopted by Harsh Vardhan, it is obvious that the objective is merely to take the place of the Congress, which was denied them by the AAP wave. They are confident that disenchantment with the previous regime will deliver to them the votes, once AAP is discredited. It does not want a repeat during the Lok Sabha elections, with AAP taking away a significant chunk of votes, denying them the victory they are so hopeful of now.
If it survives the confidence vote, AAP will obviously focus on its popular programmes and time its action against Congress for when it will serve best. If the BJP joins hands with the Congress to bring AAP down just when the skeletons are about to be brought out of the cupboard, it will be a moral victory to be encashed at the hustings. It is going to be a contest between unconventional and traditional politics.
There is even talk from desperate quarters of Kejriwal becoming a prime ministerial candidate of the new emerging force plus Congress. If he does a decent enough job in Delhi, he might prove a better counter to Modi than Rahul Gandhi. But, basically, he poses a threat to both parties. No surprise, then, that the ‘real’ understanding is on how to eliminate this most inconvenient style of politics that Kejriwal represents.
Whatever the Congress and the BJP might do – and there are any number of tricks they can resort to – it cannot be denied that a newly empowered constituency has come to the fore. It has attracted all sections of the people, in particular, powerful intellects from the professional world. Not a day passes without news of one or the other person of significance joining AAP’s ranks. Dirty politics in the Delhi Assembly will not be enough to thwart its growth.