Delhi Musings: The ‘theatre’ shifts to Punjab

Punjab will become distant from Delhi for the smoke to travel all the way here and Haryana will appear in close proximity to Delhi

Delhi Musings: The ‘theatre’ shifts to Punjab

Giraj Sharma

Aam Aadmi Party is on cloud nine and they have every reason to be there considering their performance in Punjab elections. The celebrations are not just getting over and done with. A mega roadshow was held in the holy city of Amritsar by the party.

Road-shows to celebrate election results are a recent phenomenon and a departure from the past where the winning party used to humbly accept the verdict and get on with the task of governance. Now, of course, we live in an era of ear-drum shattering propaganda and most electoral victories culminate in chest-thumping occasions in a manner that would put a victorious Roman gladiator to shame. It doesn’t matter whether the chest is claimed to be of 56 inches in size or less. The roadshow in Amritsar was significant though it wasn’t even a patch on the one that happened in Gujarat. The BJP celebrated its victories in UP and other states in Gujarat.

Coming back to Amritsar one saw a huge turnout and what stood out was the camaraderie that was on display between the national convenor of the party and the CM-elect.

Dilliwallahs watched all this with some apprehension. They seem to have an inkling of what the future may bring out and how it may impact the two main characters of the charade. They are all too familiar with this issue of power getting on to one’s head. We have seen it happen to this IIT-Kharagpur pass out who once symbolised the urban middle class and its high moral ground. The Punjab CM too comes from a humble background who before making his name as a stand-up comic and then as a politician was just a simpleton.

Now, he will certainly wield more power than his mentor in the sense that he won’t have a Lt. Governor brooding over his head constantly or calling the shots. Punjab is a bigger state with a larger chunk of MPs that it sends to the parliament than Delhi. And that’s power. Punjab has seven seats in the Rajya Sabha of which AAP may clinch six given that the party has 92 MLAs in the state. So that’s a lot of power for a party that had three members in the Rajya Sabha so far. For the sake of the people of Punjab one sincerely hopes that these two do not get into a power tussle or one-upmanship anytime soon.

The Rajya Sabha nominations certainly have the potential to cause heart-burns but considering that right now it is the euphoria of a massive victory that is lubricating the camaraderie -- this round of nominations should not pose a major concern, at least not as of now. So, this could pass without much ado.

The fun may begin when the election schedule for the remaining two seats is announced around July. Dilliwallahs know that Rajya Sabha nominations have been a bone of contention for our man AK. When MPs to the Upper House were to be picked from Delhi it was widely believed that Kumar Vishwas will surely make it to the Rajya Sabha on an AAP ticket. He was seen as a worthy candidate, competent and someone who could add a lot of value to debates in the Upper House. Plus he was among the prominent members of AAP and one who was seen as statesman-like.

Then there were other worthy names such as Ashutosh and Ashish Khaitan that were doing the rounds. None of these gentlemen were nominated. That they eventually moved out of the party came up as an obvious corollary. Dilliwallahs will watch it with somewhat detached emotions but with much amusement on how things pan out in Punjab.

Stubble burning no more?

Dilliwallahs, however, will not be detached on one issue that chokes them every year – that of pollution caused by stubble-burning. They are already wondering as to how will their CM, our man AK, respond to this issue of stubble burning. On the face of it this issue should now be resolved easily as we have the same party, AAP, in both the states.

But then politics is rarely about offering solutions but more about blame games, pointing fingers and slipping out of tricky situations without as much as a scratch. One person who should, therefore, be getting goose bumps should be the CM of Haryana for he and his state are likely to face the brunt now. The goal post, in all probability, is likely to move in their direction. Punjab will become distant from Delhi for the smoke to travel all the way here and Haryana will appear in close proximity to Delhi. Come November and we will all know if the misgiving of Dilliwallahs was simply an incorrect insinuation or is it that they finally have understood and mapped our man AK.

(This was first published in National Herald on Sunday)

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