For a party which started with a promise of literally ‘sweeping’ away corruption, 4 years down the line, its credibility stands questioned. This, being probably the last expectation in line of what the potentially strong, then debutant party must have anticipated during the time of its inception.
It all started with the recent revival of the petition filed by Prakash Patel around 3 years ago. While Patel’s petition moved at a glacial pace initially, owing to multiple RTI applications and follow ups, it was just recently that the Election Commission took cognisance of the petition. Why the delay? The fact that the next Delhi Assembly Elections are slated for contest next year is being seen as a probable reason behind the sudden uproar.
INTERNAL AAP RIFT INFLAMES EXTERNAL SPARK?
The trouble-shoot game for the Aam Aadmi Party started soon after former AAP leader, Kapil Mishra came out in the open against the AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal in May 2017 itself. There was no stopping of fissures for the Aam Aadmi Party eversince. Next in line came the internal rift within the party post AAP’s Rajya Sabha Nominations. Kumar Vishwas, one of the closest aides of AAP Chief, Arwind Kejriwal and also one of the main founders of the Party openly expressed his disappointment and discontent with the party chief after he failed to make it to the Rajya Sabha. Even now, the Aam Aadmi Party appears all split over the Upper House berths.
While the party clearly stands disunited, it is the opposition which has a lot to discredit the AAP for, making the party a soft target for many against those who still wish to trust the common man’s party. If one is to ponder in the backdrop of the corruption charges laid by Kapil Mishra against Arvind Kejriwal and Co., the ‘Office of Profit’ case doesn’t seem like a false theory, making the party’s internal factions validate and account for its reputation being at stake.
VICTIM CARD TO TRIGGER PUBLIC SYMPATHY?
One of the most pertinent questions around the controversy, however, is- ‘Why did EC end up targeting AAP when BJP and Congress have had a similar past as well?’ This very question in itself is an indirect factor which would trigger public sympathy in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party. In fact, this may work wonders for the party whose credibility has been under the questioning lens over the past few weeks with the latest charges against the party chief. Kejriwal, who has been accused of selling Rajya Sabha seats quite recently could utilize this inferno as a political mileage. This crisis can possibly help Kejriwal to unify the party around him yet another time. If or if not the argument stands true, the Delhi chief minister will now get an opportunity to play the victim and the party cadre and volunteers will be expected to rally around his leadership, thereby garnishing support from voters which would make AAP recover its lost ground.
BLAME GAME NOT ENOUGH
Keeping the political plank aside, there now lies a dire urgency to redefine or rather expand the definition of ‘power’ in the ‘Office of Power’. With multiple instances of blame game and no concrete conclusion in the past, we must move towards inclusion of ‘power and influence’ within the purpose of creating such offices or instead, removing the provision as it fails to achieve the goal of legislative independence.
The big question here, therefore is if and can the poll panel apply a selective law under the dependence of the existing political equations? As not many would withhold themselves from openly acknowledging, this debate is way beyond than just any other random debate about the corruption free promising AAP’s credibility or Office to Profit Case, it is about the principle of impartiality which the common voter of this country expects the vanguard of our democracy to function with. It just doesn’t end at EC vs AAP.
(Feature image courtesy: YouTube)