Arvind Kejriwal – 5 years of disappointment

Disclaimer: The author has no current political affiliations, but was associated with Aam Aadmi Party from May 2013 to March 2015

Corruption. The word that will top the list of words most frequently used by Arvind Kejriwal. He speaks about corruption day in and day out. Yet many of his actions almost always endorse and promote corruption.

On 26 November 2012, Arvind Kejriwal officially announced the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party. The Party had the following agenda:

  1. Formation of Citizen Ombudsman (a.k.a. Lokpal)
  2. Implementation of Right to Reject and Right to Recall
  3. Decentralisation of power in the matters of Mohalla-level development
  4. Nomination of clean candidates with no criminal records
  5. Complete transparency in party funding

5 years later, with a majority govt in Delhi and a few seats in both the parliament houses, the actions of Arvind Kejriwal are nowhere near the original agenda of AAP. There have been several occasions on which AAP has disappointed the people of this country. From sharing the stage with Lalu Yadav to increasing the salaries and perks of their MLAs. But I want to focus only on these 5 points, on which the AAP has clearly cheated the people of this country.

  1. The Lokpal Bill that he has passed in his assembly doesn’t have any teeth. In his bill, the committee which appoints the Lokpal consists of 5 members, out of which 3 are politicians themselves. The politicians are obviously going to agree upon a member who agrees to hide all their ills.
  2. He has completely forgotten the Right To Reject and Right To Recall and doesn’t mention them anymore.
  3. The Mohalla Sabhas which ensure decentralisation of power are nowhere to be seen.
  4. Charges of Violation of Section 144 are slapped across many politicians in all parties for organising any protest. But even if you keep that aside, many candidates of AAP are accused of many other criminal activities. Before the 2015 election Shanti Bhushan exposed 20 such candidates from AAP. Subsequently, he was removed from the party on the charge of “anti-party” activities. Majority of the MLAs in AAP are ex-Congress/BJP/SP/BSP and don’t believe in the original cause of anti-corruption. Most of them are just there for the ticket. They will be more than happy to switch parties if given a better position somewhere else. So this entire “Aam Aadmi” notion of his is a complete lie. He is chosing politicians from the already estabilished politicians, and not from the Aam Aadmi.
  5. There is no transparency in the funding of Aam Aadmi Party. Their webpage which is supposed to show the donation list says “Page under construction”.I don’t know what JavaScript framework or library are they using to build that webpage which is taking more than two years. A sixth grader can learn plain HTML, and create that webpage. Long story short, they are hiding their donations. If you ask Kejriwal, where his donations come from, he says we can’t show it since BJP uses it to send Income Tax notices to our donors. My argument is that the Income Tax Department should be allowed to do its job. We shouldn’t forget that 4 of the companies in the donors list turned out to be shell companies. IT department has every right to investigate. If I am a donor, and I have nothing to hide, I won’t be scared of an IT notice or enquiry. Political funding is the root cause of most of political corruption. Political parties take money from big businessmen and when they get elected to power, they serve the interests of those businessman. AAP, when it was formed had the guts to tackle this problem head on. But sadly, it is no longer the case. Instead of solving this problem, they have now become a part of the problem.

Whenever I argue with AAP supporters on some issue, they counter me by saying that BJP is also doing much worse. When I ask them “When will I get my WiFi password”, they reply “After we get our 15 lakhs”. What they forget is that the very reason for the formation of AAP was to stop this kind of a discourse. Earlier BJP used to accuse A. Raja and in reply Congress would accuse Yeddyurappa. Congress used to point out out 2002 and in reply BJP would point out 1984. AAP was formed to stop this blame game and provide a viable solution in the form of Lokpal Bill, decentralisation of power, and the nomination of clean candidates. Clearly it hasn’t provided any solution. And sadly, it probably never can.