AAP govt playing diabolical politics
Recent developments have seen the edifice and dignity of democratic structures at the grassroots come under constant attack of the Delhi government headed by Arvind Kejriwal. While the chief minister has used his expertise at media management to constantly pitch the point that the office of Lieutenant Governor is exercising his authority in an unauthorized manner, the truth is to the contrary. In fact, it’s Kejriwal, who is using his office to financially emaciate the municipal corporations, in order to functionally cripple them. Soon after depriving them of requisite funds, Kejriwal bad mouths these local bodies in public.
The idea of this article is not to engage the chief minister into a wordy duel, and one must confess that it is impossible to match him, for he is capable of churning out statements which are not based on facts. Nevertheless, one wants to remind the chief minister certain facts that would show how the chief minister is following a politics of conflict to cover-up for the messy governance he has given to the people of Delhi since February 2015.
When Kejriwal began his journey as a politician, he came out with a book titled Swaraj. It contained his ideas about politics. One of the key issues he wrote about was grassroots governance and the need to provide functional autonomy to local bodies responsible for it. His statements in the past few days regarding the financial crisis in the Municipal Corporations of the national Capital is contrary to what he had preached through his book.
At the Ramlila Ground, where he interacted with employees from the Municipal Corporations, Kejriwal said, “I request the corporations to stop playing politics over this issue and go with us to the PM to ask him for help.” Mr Chief Minister, this is a fine idea. However, if you were honest to the idea, you would have called a meeting of the Mayors and Leaders of Houses, consulted with them and then led their delegation to the Central government. Instead, you decided to interact with the employees of the corporation, completely bypassing the elected executive. Even matters surrounding the payment of their salaries are being used by Mr Kejriwal for his political gains.
The diabolical politics being practiced by Kejriwal has its foundations in misinterpretations and misrepresentations. He propagates falsehoods, using the filthiest of language to misinterpret facts. At the Ramlila jamboree, he said, “The Centre is sucking the blood out of Delhi by paying us a pittance as our share of taxes.” This statement he made in reference to our demand for a global share in the state’s revenue.
On the one hand the Delhi government wants Centre to implement the recommendation of central finance commission even in the case of union territories, whereas on the other hand, within the national Capital, they are not ready to implement the recommendations of the state finance panel, which decides revenue sharing with local bodies. Kejriwal should realise that he is not just Aam Aadmi Party’s chief minister but also the chief minister of Delhi, including its municipal bodies and his government must provide for all its departments and subordinate institutions. On the contrary, he is treating the corporations as rival bodies and seems hell-bent on decimating them.
The formation of Corporation, Metropolitan Council and later Vidhan Sabha, happened in Delhi because the BJP (and its predecessor Jana Sangh) had for many years agitated and struggled for it. The party fought long battles both inside and outside the Parliament. We are determined to not let wither our hard-earned legacy. As leader of the House, I promise the state government that its fiendish moves would be contested tooth and nail at every possible step with the strength of constitutional provisions and the people’s support.
The chief minister has shown one the way, and even the municipal leadership too can bypass him. The municipal leadership would certainly contact Centre to help people of Delhi. We will, however, not be discourteous to the office of the Chief Minister of Delhi and invite him to join our delegation.
(The writer is Leader of House, MCD, South and general secretary, Delhi BJP. The views are personal)