AAP confirms Congress is the real opposition to RSS-BJP combine, not Kejriwal

A year ago, AAP was keen for an alliance but now it sees itself as an alternative to the Congress, though it refuses to take on the BJP-RSS or central govt’s policies

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Sanjukta Basu

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has maintained a studied silence so far on ‘Hindu Rashtra’, Delhi Riots, Chinese intrusion, the lockdown disaster, PM CARES scandal and other national issues, suddenly found its voice last week and attacked the Congress. In a bizarre press conference, AAP leader Raghav Chadda held the Congress responsible for the horse trading in Rajasthan, not the BJP.

It was clearly a diversionary tactics to draw attention away from the incriminating audio tapes that pointed to BJP’s culpability.

AAP has little presence in Rajasthan, where it does not have a single MLA. It reportedly secured less vote share than the NOTA option in the December 2018 Assembly elections in several states including Rajasthan.

But then a political party does have the liberty to speak on any issue that affects the nation; in which case the party’s silence on issues such as the migrant exodus, the failing economy and witch hunt against anti-CAA protestors defies reason.

Indeed, on Friday, the Delhi CM went straight to one of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s preferred TV anchors on Times Now to give an ‘interview’ in which he presented the most convoluted narrative, that Congress is ‘selling’ its own MLAs to topple its own government in Rajasthan. The bizarre claim is being amplified by the party’s social media handles. By that logic, Kejriwal might even argue that Modi invited China to intrude upon Indian territory!

For the past several years, BJP has normalised the ‘buying & selling culture’ of MLAs. Public memory cannot be so short to forget the moment from live TV when an anchor had asked BJP’s Ram Madhav, “How will you get the numbers?” and when Ram Madhav had replied with a sly smile, “Don’t worry; we have Amit Shah.” It is telling how these so-called leaders have destroyed democracy.

If Kejriwal felt like speaking up as a responsible political leader, he would have condemned BJP’s repeated attempt to use money and muscle power to topple governments. Instead, he has targeted the Congress. His motives are clear.

The Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati too has done the same. As was always evident, regional satraps have been looking for opportunities to survive. They have no ideology which can hold them together; they can swing to any side. Their acrobatics actually confirm that there is no opposition to BJP except the Congress.

The ‘third front’ is nothing but a mirage.

Barely a year ago, in April last year, speculations over a possible Congress and AAP alliance in the general election had kept political pundits on their toes. The blame for the alleged failure of the Congress to seal alliances with AITC, SP, BSP and the CPM was put on Rahul Gandhi. But why was it his duty and responsibility alone? Don’t alliances take two to tango?

In March-April 2019, both AAP and Congress kept suspense alive, giving no clear information to either the media or to their own party cadre about the alliance, leaving them confused and unprepared for the Lok Sabha elections. Arvind Kejriwal was vocal about his interest in forming the alliance but Congress had seemed divided with Shiela Dixit and Ajay Maken holding divergent views.

The issue was so contentious that the Congress even held a referendum via their Shakti App in which they asked party workers to give opinions for or against the alliance. Within days, AAP announced their 7th candidate for Delhi but claimed the alliance was still open. On March 20 Kejriwal announced that Congress had officially rejected his proposal for an alliance. Delhi Pradesh Congress Chief Shiela Dixit on the same day said that even though personally she was against the alliance, the matter was still open and she had left the decision to the party President.

On March 29, Kejriwal had made another confusing statement, that his party did not need an alliance in Delhi but needed one in Haryana. On April 12 Congress leader PC Chacko said it was final that there would be no alliance if AAP insisted on one in Haryana and Punjab.

On April 15, Rahul Gandhi made a public announcement via Twitter with a clear proposal offering four seats to AAP, but blamed Kejriwal for making a U-turn. He added that his doors were still open but time was running out.

In response, Kejriwal neither accepted nor rejected the proposal made in full public view, but blamed Rahul Gandhi for not being serious about his commitment to the alliance.

Now, by openly coming out against the Congress, Kejriwal has done a service to the Grand, Old Party. He has confirmed that not AAP but the Congress is the real opposition to the BJP. And all talks of a third front quite possibly a waste of time and energy.

(Views expressed are the author’s own)

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