So the knives are out. The ruling elite is running scared as their power slips away. The cosy club is up in arms. They shout 'Anarchy'. They scream 'Activism'. How I wish we had questioned the ruling governments at both the state and the national level for the last 65 years the same way we have the one month old AAP. Let me examine the duality of our probe:
- We have questioned the reduction in power tariff in Delhi as populist and a burden. But the neighbouring state of Haryana (Congress) has just reduced it. Punjab (NDA) is likely to follow. Would the Congress and BJP respond?
- We questioned Arving Kejriwal on his views on the Khaps, just as we should. But do we know the views of RaGa and NaMo? Have you heard the views on Naveen Jindal on this issue?
- BJP criticised AAP on the retail FDI issue. Madhya Pradesh under Shivraj Chauhan just rejected it. Rajasthan has rejected it. In fact, even Modi is against FDI in retail. Would the BJP respond?
- The screaming brigade said 'The Chief Minister (CM) should not be on dharna and should govern'. There have been many instances of dharna by CMs, whenever the central policies were against the interest of the state. In 2008, the Kerala CM was on dharna in Delhi. In fact, in 2006, Narendra Modi (NaMo) sat on a dharna with his entire cabinet (51 hours) on the Sardar Sarovar issue. The Andhra CM (Congress) has just announced his plans to be on dharna in Delhi on the bifurcation issue. Now what?
- A lot of discussion has centred around Binny, the rebel within the AAP. Would you want me to list out rebellion in other parties? Remember Lal Krishna Advani, anyone? During the recent Congress chintan meet, 6 MPs from Andhra were not allowed at the venue, as they were proposing to move a resolution which goes against the party views. And we made a local MLAs rebellion become national news!
- Vigilante raids by ministers are nothing new in India. Remember Mamata Bannerjee? In fact, most state excise ministers have abused their powers and raided bars and pubs, probably because the 'Hafta' wasn't delivered. Look at what happens in Karnataka regularly. In Khirki, it may just be the opposite, in public good, and we still have a problem. I am not suggesting that vigilantism is kosher. In fact, I firmly believe that we expect a minister, particularly a law minister, to show respect for the process of the law. My point is limited to ask why vigilantism on the part of others is not criticised and whether we seem to be picking on Bharti only because he happens to be in AAP?
- The manifestos of the two national parties is a big joke. Both demand that police in Delhi should report to state government. Both have been in power at the centre and the state. Both can combine forces in the state and parliament. But they do nothing. And they expect AAP also to do nothing. Ridiculous!
- In 2011, NTPC served a similar notice on Discoms warning disruption of power for not clearing dues. The government of the day intervened and NTPC backed out. As Congress is not in power, the request may not be heeded this time around. This is politics of power. And yes, I hear that North and East Delhi will face power outages. Why not South Delhi? Is it because those responsible for the shenanigans behind power reside here? Why is it that the Ambani- led group is unable to pay while the Tatas haven't yet defaulted? Too many questions with no answers.
Disclaimer: I am no AAP party worker and am an undecided voter for 2014. I disagree with some of the policies of AAP as much as I disagree with many policies of Congress and BJP. I also dislike the selective targeting of AAP based on convenience rather than conviction.
Former Outlook publisher Maheshwer Peri now runs Pathfinder Media, the magazine company which publishes Careers 360.