AAP is Not Different From Other PartiesIt is very easy to treat the current upheaval in the Aam Aadmi Party as its internal problem or, as put forward by AAP, as a conspiracy by the BJP to malign the party. But given the nature of the allegation, it assumes a bigger dimension. Since the now suspended Kapil Sharma has said on record that he was an eyewitness to the payment of Rs 2 crore in cash by Satyendra Jain to Arvind Kejriwal, the question now becomes one of propriety and possible corruption.
By Sunil Garodia
Although it will still be one mans word against anothers, it shows how political parties function in India. As one has always maintained, there is always a point man in every district unit in every party who is tasked with collecting funds. This person is often given a target. If it the ruling party, the target is huge. AAP being the ruling party in Delhi and having set its sight on Punjab and Goa in the recent past, it was in urgent need of funds. What Satyendra Jain gave to Kejriwal must have been the collection for party funds. It will be very difficult to tie it up with personal corruption on part of Kejriwal.
Kapil Sharmas version gets watered down because initially he had claimed to have alerted the anti-corruption bureau of Delhi police about the payment, which has subsequently been denied by the ACB. But since Sharma has now approached the CBI with evidence, one has to wait and watch to see the outcome.
But one thing is clear in all this. The Aam Aadmi Party and its chief honcho, Arvind Kejriwal, are no different from any other political party or leader in India, despite claiming to be the torchbearers of the anti-corruption movement. They thought that they would replace muscle power with intellectual muscle and get the money through donations. But the youngsters who joined them in the initial euphoria became disillusioned with Kejriwals attitude and the donations did not add up. So AAP has also started collecting money the same way other parties are doing by either exhorting it from businesses or taking it in exchange of granting favours.