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Politics of cooperation

Politics of cooperation

Despite an overwhelming win in 67 out of 70 seats of the Delhi Assembly, Arvind Kejriwal's journey in politics has been several notches lower than celebratory. Entangled in a continuous tiff with the bureaucracy and the Centre, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has spent more time engaging in complaints and controversies rather than in furthering their political agenda. The last week has borne witness to yet another new turn in this delicate love-hate relationship shared between Arvind Kejriwal and Anil Baijal. A dragged reaction to the unfortunate alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash at Kejriwal's residence on February 19, has further soured an already abrupt relationship between the bureaucracy and Delhi government. Since then, allegedly, the IAS officers have been staging a tacit non-cooperation movement, stalling projects proposed by the Arvind Kejriwal government. The bureaucracy, while fulfilling its role in signing all documents, Kejriwal argues, has been uncooperative in progressing projects for the community's upliftment – mohalla clinics, local schools, water facilities, among others. In protest of the bureaucracy's apathy towards its government, Kejriwal, joined by Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai, and Satyendra Jain, begun their dharna at Raj Niwas, the LG's residence to press for their demands that would include a direction to IAS officers to end their clandestine strike while also seeking punishment for those who have negated work for four months. While opposition BJP and Congress have snubbed AAP for its protest at the LG's house, the joint forum of Delhi government employees, which also includes IAS officers, iterated their stance that no palpable obstruction to work has occurred in any department, and, in fact, officers have been toiling "many times even on holidays". Arvind Kejriwal's constant tussle with the LG and the Centre can only be described as exhausting. In this atmosphere of conflict, BJP's electoral claim that smooth governance requires the same party to rule the state and Centre gains more precedence, though it shouldn't. With a claim to fame on the clarion call of anti-corruption, Arvind Kejriwal shoulders the expectations of the several citizens who gifted him with 67 Assembly seats. Nevertheless, to govern a state/UT, a party has to depart from its electoral agenda to embrace a more holistic outlook for the region's development. Conflicts in ideology and difference in colour are secondary to prospects of development and citizen's safety. On an average, Delhiites are not too displeased with the progress of Kejriwal's governance, these unnecessary conflicts only cloud the confidence that a voter has in her/his leader. To fight the British, Gandhi had cleverly deployed fasting – but Kejriwal doesn't have to fight the LG, he has to come to a mutual understanding that would benefit them both – the territory of Delhi and the nation, India. The struggle here isn't against an 'outsider', the struggle is for the growth of the 'inside'. Reject the fasts and reach a mutual plane of conducive respect.

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