Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Is Kejriwal moving too fast too soon?

Arvind Kejriwal was as a social activist trying to alleviate the problems of the commoner. He was involved in the enactment and implementation of the Right to information act(RTI) and for his efforts he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay award in 2006.. Later he joined the Anna Hazare movement for Lokpal bill and the fight against the evil of corruption . Overnight, he became the cynosure of all eyes. The media-both print and visual- were all focused on the Anna movement and Kejriwal was riding piggyback on the Anna wave.

By 2012, he decided to plunge into politics and formed the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP). The Delhi elections was their first testing waters and he came up with a good show by winning 28 of the 70 seats. With Congress lending support from outside, he became the Chief Minister and functioned for 48 days before resigning as he did not have the House support for bringing in Lokyukta bill.  His decision to sit in dharna to bring the Delhi police accountable  to the ruling Government also was the highlight of his tenure as C.M. The methods he adopted may be questionable and debatable but it certainly enhanced his reputation among the common people. Opinion poll suggests that should there be an Assembly election in Delhi now, AAP would win hands down.

The peoples' support in Delhi probably made the AAP believe that they can plunge into the Nationwide Lok Sabha elections . Only time will tell whether this strategy by the AAP is right or wrong. Certainly, there is a strong wave amongst people that corruption should be wiped out of the system. Arvind Kejriwal definitely stands as a beacon with a sincere approach to fight corruption and to provide a clean Government. However, organizationally, there is still a long way to go before AAP can play a Pan-India role. There is a sense of urgency and this has prompted him to enter in most of the States for election.

 The better strategy one would assume is to show the strength in and around Delhi. If he had continued as C.M and shown his credibility and AAP's governance, he could have got the respect of the people across the country. From thereon, he could have tried his hands in other Assembly elections when due. This would have lent credibility to his party and enhanced his political market value. By rushing through to participate in the L.S election in most of the States, he could probably put his AAP itself in jeopardy of their existence. For his own good, AAP should win at least 20-30 seats in the coming L.S elections. This figure will give the party a locus standi in the Parliament and allow them to be a watchdog. However, if their performance is poor, AAP members might be disillusioned and the party itself could disintegrate as people might get demotivated. This is the danger Kejriwal faces. Strategically, he could have erred by rushing it through to jump in the all India fray.

Arvind Kejriwal is well educated with a degree from IIT,Kharagpur. He was a Joint Commissioner of Income Tax. He is also very articulate as a speaker and handles the interviews by Press very admirably. So, obviously, he is not lacking in skill or talent . He is also a tireless crusader against corruption . However, he is yet to come up with any credible Economic policy for the country. Taking names and putting other parties down is not the way to win. AAP will have to show what they plan to do and their policies. Anti-corruption alone cannot be the poll plank to be a winner or a force to reckon with. Sound Economic policies is a prerequisite to assure people of employment, better infrastructure and poverty alleviation. These alone can make any party be accepted Nationally.

Kejriwal is riding a double edged sword which can make or break his party and either dent his reputation or sky rocket him to another level. Another two months and it will be revealed where he stands. 


N.Ramanathan said...

Good one and well narrated.

Divya Shankar said...

Like the blog post completely and completely agree with every word. Very well structured article and a zillion times better written than any of the newsprint stuff. It is ironical that Kejriwal rode high with media's attention, piggybacking on Anna Hazare movement and the same media worked day in and day out to find the smallest flaws during his tenure as Delhi CM.