Millennium Post

AAP under pressure

AAP under pressure
The tenuous relationship between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the state bureaucracy reached a new low with Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash accusing some AAP MLAs of manhandling and physically assaulting him on Monday midnight at the official residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. It is surprising that there was a meeting going on at the Delhi Chief Minister's house in the midnight and besides the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and the Chief Secretary, a dozen or so MLAs were present in the meeting. It is surprising that they did not find time in the day to hold the meeting in the office. Why was the meeting so urgent that they needed to hold it in the midnight and at the residence of Delhi Chief Minister. The agenda of the meeting is yet not clear. While the AAP dispensation has maintained that they had called the CS for a meeting on denial of ration to a large number of people owing to non-authentication of their Aadhaar number. The CS has alleged that the meeting was called to put pressure on him for the release of advertisements to TV channels showcasing the achievements of the Delhi government on the completion of three years in office. The MLAs have said that the CS used derogatory language against some MLAs and said that he was not accountable to MLAs but only to Lieutenant-Governor. The Delhi government and the L-G office have been at war with each other over their turf ever since the AAP formed its government in Delhi. The matter has seen police complaints and counter-complaints being lodged and the Delhi government officials meeting the L-G and the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh. Some of the Delhi bureaucrats allegedly manhandled AAP minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday when they came to the Delhi Secretariat. The AAP government in Delhi has recently completed three years in power. The party has to face the Assembly elections in early 2020. But before the Assembly elections, the party may have to face reelections in 20 constituencies after the disqualification of AAP MLAs from these constituencies over holding double offices of profit. Earlier, the AAP lost local body elections in all the three municipal corporations in Delhi and it is normal for the party to feel jittery. For most AAP MLAs, it is their first brush with electoral politics and their overzealousness is only too apparent. Delhi has not been granted full statehood and some areas of governance remain vested in the L-G, who takes advice from the Centre in carrying out his duty.
As the AAP faces reelection in 20 constituencies later this year and about two years before the Assembly election in 2020, the party needs to inform the public the work it has done in last three years and also the work it could not because of a hostile relationship with the Centre. The pressure to deliver on people's expectations from the government is now telling. For the Congress and the BJP, which were defeated by AAP in last Assembly elections, the reelection in 20 constituencies offers fresh opportunities to register their comeback. For AAP, these elections will test its popularity among the Delhi electorates. As the party has been comprehensively defeated in the local body elections, the reelection in 20 constituencies holds significance. A defeat on some of these seats will put AAP on a sticky wicket. The reelections will be seen as a mini Assembly election and if AAP loses some of these seats to rival Congress and BJP, the opposition will feel emboldened and will launch a more vigorous campaign against the AAP government in the next Assembly elections. So, AAP needs to effectively convey to the masses the work it has done in the last three years as part of the election campaign for upcoming elections. Advertisements are an important tool in this campaign. And when the Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash says that the Monday midnight meeting at the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence was called to put pressure on him to release Delhi government ads to print and television media, he sounds logical. But when AAP says that the meeting was called to discuss the denial of ration to a large number of people because of non-authentication of Aadhaar numbers, the AAP's version of the incident also looks logical. AAP desperately needs to be seen working for the people. There is simply too much of pressure on AAP to be seen performing on people's expectations, from now on till the Assembly elections in 2020. The bureaucrats appointed by the Centre may not have such pressure to perform. This gives rise to a volatile situation. The only solution to avoid a conflict between the AAP government and its bureaucracy is to maintain a formal relationship, avoid mid-night meetings at someone's residence. Let's hold the meetings in the office and during the office hours only.

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