Governance ability in doubt
Notwithstanding Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) thumping victory in Delhi election in December 2013, AAP is loosing grip on Delhi electorates. AC Nielson-ABP survey revealed a dramatic decline in AAP’s popularity in Delhi for Lok Sabha election. According to the survey, the vote share of AAP in Delhi, which was 55 per cent in January, slid to 34 per cent in March. A large pie of this was cut by Congress, which regained its popularity with vote share increased from nine per cent in January to 28 per cent in March.
Facebook popularity of Arvind Kejriwal nosedived. On 30 December, the number of Kejriwal fans registered were only 2.3 million. It spurted to 4.2 million within a month on 7 February, according to a social media tool. Thereafter, It flattened to 4.4 million, also within a month, on 23 March. Sneeringly called jholewalas AAP raised big hope for a corrupt and inflation tainted free society, which neither Congress nor BJP could provide ever. Both are considered same wines in different bottles. The movement by AAP against corruption outdid the Congress poor people’ slogan of Garibi Hatao and BJP’s slogan on development. But, the euphoria tapered with AAP withdrawing from Delhi government, leaving many aspirants in despair.
Why is AAP loosing its grip on Delhiites and ebbing to trigger the momentum on revolution against
corruption – the main plank to churn the voters? Inexperience in governance ails AAP. The composite of AAP leaders are entirely different from their rivals. Most of the AAP’s candidates are NGOs, social activists, academicians, retired officials, lawyers, doctors and journalists. About 47 per cent of AAP’s declared candidates for Lok Sabha election are social activities, followed by academicians and retired officials with 13 per cent each, lawyers with 10 per cent and doctors with six per cent. Few have experiences of bureaucracy, who is the main instrument for governance. Further, to let any revolution on the toe of momentum, it requires a demonstrative impact in every election campaign either on streets or on institutional basis. These keep Aam Janta upbeat with the hope. Any movement through Parliamentary systems lacks vibration and keep the Aam Janta at distance. Probably, this might have been the reason that Arvind Kejriwal preferred to use street demonstration to trigger the Aam Jantas’ outcry against corruption, close on heels of CPI(M) during the early stage in West Bengal to nip in the bud of crony capitalism.
AAP’s demonstration on streets, after being inside the Delhi government, raised wide criticisms. Voters, who are mostly from middle and poor class and are glued to TV screens only, were easily influenced by the tortuous stories by media, such as Aam Admi Party is the spoiler of Aam Admi’s life in the city.
AAP failed to enthrall Babus. Bureaucracy is an inescapable concomitant irrespective of the nature of the State. Politicians make policies and bureaucrats implement them. If bureaucrats fail to get protection from politicians, they slow down the implementation, passing the buck on cumbersome legislations and procedures. AAP failed to reinvent Babus and enthuse them to deliver the governance on AAP terms. The root cause for corruptions in our country is red tape. Babus are intransigent to dismantle red tape in the fear of loosing power.
During 1969 to 1990, when the country was reeling under nationalisation spree, giving License Raj a priority to administer the economy, the bureaucrats were the catalysts to implement the policies. While the country went for reforms in 1991 and License Raj took the back seat, the same bureaucrats turned pivots to liberalization. AAP failed to churn a silver line between politicians and bureaucrats.
AAP failed to enchant the media. In the pre-election rally in Delhi and other states, media was the catapult to hog AAP’s revolution against corruption in the limelight, inherited from Anna Hazare‘s nationwide anti corruption movement. The same media backtracked after AAP joined government and took different steps to protest against the corruptions. Arvind Kejriwal’s street demonstration as Chief Minister and his unstinted attack on Ambani made media jittery to be the profound supporters of AAP’s anti-corruption movement. Media runs with the help of advertisement of corporate world. AAP’s salvos against the nexus between corporate and the politicians deterred media to reignite APP’s movement against corruption.
At present, broadcasting real news and their analysis have become the least part of media. News are broadcasted as Jhatpat items. Debates have become the mainstay in the media. Debates and advertisements consume more than 80 per cent of broadcast timings. New faces of debaters are rarely visible. Same debaters are swapped in different discussions, whether for debates for politics, economics, social or cultural. Given the situation, AAP’s tumults on the movement against corruption, even being inside the government, failed to charm the media.
AAP failed to scuttle the Police Raj corruption. According to National Crime Records Bureau, Delhi topped in receiving complaints against cops in the country. Given the Delhi government lamed by the absence of administrative power on Police, Delhi Chief Minister loses the autonomy to deliver a corrupt free Police Raj to Delhiites.
In no country in the world, a middle level police officer can challenge the Minster in a public place, as a Delhi Police officer challenged the Law Minister Somnath Bharti, when the Minster carried a surprise visit to crack the drug and prostitution ring in Khirki extension. This unveils the gyration of Police Raj corruption, where Aam Janta is throttled despite having the right to elect their representatives in the Delhi Assembly. IPA