oppn parties Where is the Difference Mr Kejriwal?

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Where is the Difference Mr Kejriwal?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came as a whiff of fresh air in the cesspool of Indian politics. Since it was born out of the Anna Hazare agitation and India Against Corruption (IAC) movement people, especially professionals and upwardly mobile youngsters were attracted towards it in large numbers. Although Arvind Kejriwal was the fulcrum around which the party revolved, there were other qualified and clean people who were there in the top decision making body - Shanti Bhushan,Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, Kumar Vishwas and Admiral Ramdas being the main.

This correspondent has always written that Arvind Kejriwal is an anarchist and an autocrat. Ever since he advised Anna Hazare to hold his agitation for Lok Pal and refused to even consider any other draft of the Lok Pal bill, it was clear that he was an inflexible man with a super sized ego given to rewarding chamchas and yes men. Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh have formed a coterie in support of Kejriwal in the best traditions of mainstream Indian political parties, the very one that AAP and its followers love to despise. In his second innings as Delhi chief minister, it is becoming clear Kejriwal’s folded-hands apology in Delhi was just a ploy to win votes. As before, he has no humility at all and wishes to run the party as a one man show, surrounded by chamchas. What then is the difference between him and those politicians who he abhors?

People who joined AAP were attracted by its ideology of being different from the others. What is now happening in the party is no different from what we have been seeing in all other Indian political parties. Be it Mamata Banerjee and TMC, Jayalalitha and AIADMK and Mayawati and BSP, to name just a few, the rule is to worship the deity and the biggest devotee reaps the best rewards. In AAP too, the same thing is happening. The day you forget to light the incense sticks is the day the deity opens her third eye to devastate you.

Inner party democracy and one man one post are things that are for non-chamchas. Blue eyed boys can be everywhere as they are the eyes and ears of the deity. They can sit on various party bodies and be ministers at the same time. For years, the Congress and the other parties have been following this undemocratic principle in running their parties. Arvind Kejriwal has been quick to learn how he can keep a stranglehold on the party in this manner. But he forgot two things â€" one, AAP is a new party and was formed with a different ideology and two, there are people more qualified and with bigger egos than his in the party.

What Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav have raised are valid points. If Kejriwal is allowed to become a cult figure, the very purpose of AAP will be defeated. Almost everyone admit that he single-handedly brought victory to the party in Delhi. But that is history. There are many battles to be fought and won. For that, there have to be qualified people. If Kejriwal and his acolytes estrange those that helped form the party, AAP’s future looks bleak indeed.