The main danger to the Dynasty comes from Narendra Modi. Stopping Narendra Modi is all his detractors think of. Kejriwal and his image as a corruption fighter is in fact the only ace the dynasty has up its sleeve to stop Modi. Mainstream media does not tire from projecting Arvind Kejriwal as if he was himself a PM candidate running against Narendra Modi.
If Arvind Kejriwal can entice the urban youth away from Modi, there is a chance that Modi would then not get a good majority and thus would have to either have to make way for a more amenable BJP leader or accept the poisoned chalice of support of “secular party” agents thus hindering him in translating his agenda.
So Arvind Kejriwal has to be bolstered at all costs.
So the question was how best to bolster Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party? The Congress could have chosen to not extend outside support to AAP.
- This would have kept Arvind Kejriwal squeaky clean, but it would also shown to the voter that a vote for AAP is a wasted vote, as the citizens do not get a government in the end. So all those looking for stability would have chosen to vote BJP next time.
- In fact people would have cast aspersions on Arvind Kejriwal that he is afraid of embracing responsibility and AAP is nothing more than a protest party unsuited for doing the hard work of governing.
- Thirdly if Arvind Kejriwal had opted not to form a government, his own MLAs would have left him and joined up with BJP. This would have given a jolt to the idealist charm of AAP.
- If Arvind Kejriwal has to stand up to Narendra Modi someday, he has to be able to show some executive experience.
- The most important consideration was however that a hung assembly would have led to President’s rule and re-elections which would probably have coincided with the general elections. That would have put Congress and AAP at a serious disadvantage. For one thing AAP would have been chained to Delhi elections, as they would have had to pledge all their meager resources to Delhi, and Kejriwal would have been thus unavailable for campaigning across the country in Lok Sabha elections supporting AAP candidates. Also with assembly elections coinciding with Lok Sabha elections, Modimania would have been at its highest and BJP would have swept away both AAP and Congress from the field, even in Delhi.
So due to all these considerations it was felt by both Congress and AAP that Arvind Kejriwal’s loss of political virginity and idealistic appeal to Congress can be otherwise offset and in fact be bolstered even more.
Most detractors of Arvind Kejriwal, especially those in BJP, take it for granted that Arvind Kejriwal would not go after Congress corruption once in office, as otherwise Congress would withdraw support. Actually they revel in this certainty.
There is no such certainty. By taking over power in Delhi, Kejriwal has eaten his cake, his reputation.
But the understanding with Congress is that he is still going to have his reputation in the end, in fact it would be multiplied even more.
What we assume is that Sonia’s and Congress’s interests are identical. They are not. In order to let Arvind Kejriwal win, Sonia started shifting her vote-banks through the local Congress controllers towards AAP, even as it decimated Congress MLA candidates. Sonia Gandhi got the mainstream media to do carpet bombing of Delhi citizens with news and interviews of Arvind Kejriwal and his movement and tried to project the animosity between AAP and Congress as real.
So the AAP-Congress plan is to have Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal discover some big corruption scandal against some prominent Congress leader, possibly against Sheila Dixit herself. Even a scam pointing culpability directly at the dynasty itself is not unthinkable. Such a scam and the following attack by CM Arvind Kejriwal would give him even more credibility. The thing is all these scams are going to be discovered anyway if Modi comes to power, so better let one’s own man uncover one or two of them and use these to bolster his image.
So to keep the pretense of genuine opposition by Arvind Kejriwal to Congress corruption, most probably Congress would pull the rug sometime in March or early April, a few weeks before the Lok Sabha elections. This would allow Arvind Kejriwal to hog the limelight with his attack on Congress corruption or even Dynasty-based corruption. Impressed by his selfless pursuit of anti-corruption struggle where Arvind Kejriwal even endangers his CMship, many voters in cities around the country would vote for AAP candidates. Instead of NaMo being at the spearhead of anti-corruption drive against Congress and Dynasty, Arvind Kejriwal would be able to don this mantle, or at least the mainstream media would try their level best to put it on his head. Arvind Kejriwal would be projected as somewhat who sacrificed his position as CM for his principles.
This approach would then confirm the faith of the faithfools of Hazrat Kejriwal. It would also allay the fears of those who thought Arvind Kejriwal was compromised by Congress. And in fact this theater may even attract more votes who did not believe in Arvind Kejriwal or AAP earlier, as they would see themselves proven wrong about him. In this case it would be difficult to not see the rakshasa as a devta.
So what happens then? Does Arvind Kejriwal have to pay anything? Of course not! Congress would withdraw support and Lt. Governor of Delhi would declare President’s Rule in Delhi. The fun part of it would be that if done in March, it would be too late to hold elections for Delhi assembly together with Lok Sabha elections. So Kejriwal would be free, even from CMship, to campaign across the country on his “anti-corruption” agenda. Also there would be no danger of AAP MLAs rebelling against Kejriwal as he would again be upheld as a new prophet of anti-corruption, unlike now where Kejriwal is being seen with suspicion holding hands with Congress.
Once the Lok Sabha elections are over, and before the Lt. Governor is changed by the next government at the Center, the Congress legislators would again pledge their support to AAP. If that looks too suspicious, in the aftermath of the Congress rout in 2014, the Delhi Congress could simply rename itself and superficially cut its ties to parent Congress, and thus give Arvind Kejriwal their support, under a new name!
So before the new government takes over at the Center, Delhi would again have a stable Arvind Kejriwal led government, perhaps this time including the “erstwhile” Delhi Congress MLAs formally into the government.
So Kejriwal gets to stay as Delhi CM for a full 5 year term, i.e. unless he is made PM by some third front, AND at the same time Kejriwal receives both a boost from exposing some scam just before elections and can keep his image as anti-corruption crusader intact.
Arvind Kejriwal can have his cake and eat it too!
BJP’s only chance is to break away MLAs of Congress or of AAP right now. Make them resign on principle and force a reelection. Congress MLAs can resign by exposing Sonia’s hand in the defeat of many Congress MLAs through her support to AAP. AAP MLAs can resign citing Arvind Kejriwal’s duplicitous move to form a government with the support of Congress.
If the Delhi BJP does not do this now, then there is a real possibility of them sitting in opposition benches for at least the next 5 years even though they came so close to power. Much worse would be that Arvind Kejriwal would be ballooned by Sonia Gandhi to a size of NaMo just before elections through the media and thus stop the Modi juggernaut just enough to deny him a free hand at Center even if he does become the PM.
Under attack for the hike in power tariff, Dikshit also sought to justify it, saying the increase in cost of power production has led to the rise in electricity rates.
Stating that the consumers will have to pay if they want round-the-clock electricity supply, Dikshit went on to say that if people are finding it difficult to pay the billed amount they they should cut down consumption on various electrical appliances.
“We have been supplying power round-the-clock. We are not supplying power periodically. When 24 hours supply is ensured then the Opposition says bill is too high. If you consume electricity for 24 hours, then you do not pay for five hours’ consumption.
“If you cannot afford the electricity bill then cut down your consumption of electricity. Future generations will never realise there used to be seven to eight hours power cut in Delhi,” Dikshit said addressing a meeting at Chhatarpur area in South Delhi.
“If somebody is finding it difficult to pay the bill then he can use a fan instead of a cooler. One can always cut down consumption of power to limit the bill,” she added.
“She (Dikshit) is favouring discoms. There is mass corruption in electricity by the discoms but Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, instead of checking it, is giving statement about electricity being used by poor people,” Goel said.
The BJP has been targeting the city government on the issue of hike in power tariff and accused it of siding with the private power discoms.
“This is very unfortunate statement from the Chief Minister of Delhi. In Delhi, the electricity prices are not increasing because of increased production cost,” Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal said.
“How can you expect the people to stop using TV, refrigerator, washing machines which have become essential today. The electricity prices are increasing only because of the corruption of the Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in collusion with electricity companies….”
The power tariff in the city was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 and again it was increased by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July last year. It was again hiked by up to three per cent from February one.
“The charges levelled by Kejriwal are baseless and aimed at maligning the reputation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,” government spokesperson and Minister of State for Energy, Saurabh Patel said.
“The charge that the state government favoured Adani group while purchasing power is not true. Power was purchased from the Adani Group after inviting bids and Adani was the lowest bidder,” Patel said.
Regarding the land given to the Adanis, Patel said, “the government has not given any farm land to Adanis. The land which was given in Kutch was wasteland. The charge that the land was given at Re 1 is false as it was given on a lease for 30 years on BOT basis and every year the state government gets rent on it”.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal had alleged in New Delhi that Modi favoured Gujarat-based business house Adani Group on power purchase and land allotment besides giving gas fields worth Rs 20,000 crore to private companies for “free”.
On the gas deal with a foreign firm GeoGlobal Resourcing, Patel said, “GSPC (Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation) had informed the Director General, Hydrocarbons in 2010 that the deal with GeoGlobal was cancelled and they did not have 10 per cent participating interest anymore in the oil exploration of the Krishna Godavari Basin Deendayal Block.”
“As there was no commercial production so far from KG-OSN-2001/3 gas block, there was no question of giving any benefits to that company,” Patel said.
About allotment of plots to MPs and MLAs in Gandhinagar, Patel said, “the policy of allotment of plots to MPs and MLAs was initiated by the earlier Congress governments and it was discontinued by the Modi government five years back.”
According to Tehelka reports it is alleged that a stake worth Rs 20,000 crore was given away to GeoGlobal Resources at negligible rates in Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation‘s gas exploration project in the KG Basin.
“There was no bidding. What was the selection process for these two companies?” Kejriwal asked.
He stressed on the fact that this scam is even bigger than the colossal 2G scam.
“We demand an investigation… This scam is bigger than the 2G scam,” he said.
He alleged that this scam was engineered by BJP- Congress nexus 10% stake of such a major project was given away in gratis.
Kejriwal’s attack on Modi gains relevance as it may show us a flip side to the credible model of development that Modi is associated with and it may also affect his chances as a prospective PM candidate.
India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal, who was to lead a group of 300-odd physically challenged people to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s residence, was detained by the police near the 7, Racecourse Road, in the capital on Friday.
Apparently, the police rounded up Kejriwal and his supporters after warning them to clear the road.
While Kejriwal had said he wanted to submit a letter to the prime minister that contained the details of his allegations against union law minister Salman Khurshid, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh refused to meet him, saying he had prior appointments.
However, reacting to their being stalled by the security, Kejriwal said, “It is utter shame that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should seek a security cover comprising thousands of securitymen to keep a bunch of physically challenged people at bay. This is not democracy.”
Kejriwal, who has demanded the resignation of Union law minister Salman Khurshid over the siphoning of funds of a charitable NGO that his wife Louise runs, is now staging a sit-in at the spot where he was stopped by the securitymen. “Earlier, we were seeking the PM for a time when he could meet us, but now we will wait till the time the PM speaks to the people of this country.”
Refusing to budge, Kejriwal said, “This is not democracy. The government is supposed to serve us and not lord over us.”
Demanding that a police complaint be filed immediately against Salman Khurshid and his wife, Kejriwal said, “Salman Khurshid should be removed from the cabinet till proven innocent. Both of them are influential people, they can tamper with evidence and pressure witnesses. They should be arrested immediately.”
“Let’s make this place another Tahrir Square (the focus of anti-regime protests in Egypt last year). People should take leave (from work) and join the protest. Now it’s a fight to the finish. The prime minister will have to meet us and accept our demands. Khurshid has to resign. He should be arrested,” he said.
Khurshid is planning to sue social activist-turned-politician Kejriwal for his allegations.
Hardening its stand again after the Assembly elections, Team Anna moved from setting deadlines for the Lokpal Bill to naming Union ministers with a tainted reputation. They warned of a nationwide ‘jail bharo’ agitation in August if criminal cases were not filed against 14 Union Ministers on charges of corruption and criminal intimidation. The team said that the dates would be announced later.
Team Anna addressed crowds at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the venue of a fast to demand protection for whistleblowers campaigning against corruption. Team Anna also demanded investigation of allegations against 1,300 elected representatives (MPs as well as MLAs) across the country against whom criminal charges have been leveled.
Arvind Kejriwal, the core member of Team Anna, named the 14 Union Ministers who, he alleged, were “corrupt.” He himself had no direct evidence of wrongdoing on their party, but there have been allegations in newspapers and on television, and they needed to be investigated.
Indian Express listed out the 14 Union Ministers whom Kejriwal named corrupt and the specific charges against them. (SiliconIndia takes no stand on these allegations, but just lists out the names as given by Kejriwal. As it is in the public domain, it can evoke a public discourse and/or litigation.
1. P Chidambaram:
Chidambaram was one of the 14 ministers on the list, for his alleged controversial role in the 2G scam, and the charge that his wife (a lawyer) defended a Kolkata businessman named Kashinath Tapuria in an income tax claim of 580 crore.
Last year in September, referring to Chidambaram’s involvement in the scam, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare said “Had there been a Jan Lokpal now, Chidambaram would have been in jail.” Referring to the same, Kejriwal named him on the list.
2. Kapil Sibal:
Kapil was on the list of the corrupt ministers for allegedly lowering Rs 650 crore fine on Reliance Communication to Rs 5 crore. He was accused of favoring Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infocomm.
Anna Hazare had then appealed to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take action against Union Telecom minister Kapil Sibal, and expressed grief that frivolous litigations were being filed to settle personal scores. He also said that he himself would enquire into the matter and bring out details about the HRD Minister.
3. Praful Patel:
Praful Patel was also on the list for his alleged role in running Air India to the ground when he was civil aviation minister.
4. Sharad Pawar:
Sharad Pawar was named as well for his alleged “links” with Abdul Karim Telgi in the Maharashtra stamp duty scam.
He was named by Abdul Karim Telgi, during a narcoanalysis test, stating that it was Pawar’s idea to print fake stamp papers across the country and mint money. Pawar was also accused in a multi-crore scam concerning wheat imports and institutions headed by him and his close associates were served notices by the Bombay High Court for showing favoritism to his family.
5. SM Krishna:
SM Krishna made it on the list of 14 ministers too for his alleged involvement in the Karnataka mining scam. An FIR was filed against him by Karnataka Lokayukta for allegedly de-reserving large forest areas for mining in Bellary as the Chief Minister of Karnataka in 1999-2004.
6. Kamal Nath:
Kamal Nath, the Union Cabinet Minister of Urban Development, made it on the hit list too over allegations relating to the rice export. The alleged 2, 500-crore rice export scam of 2008-09 took place in his watch.
7. Farooq Abdullah:
Farooq Abdullah is on the list for alleged financial irregularities in the J&K Cricket Association.
The JKCA headed by union minister of new and renewable energy Dr Farooq Abdullah, is facing charges of grave financial irregularities and mismanagement. 50 crore is said to have been diverted to different accounts opened in the name of the JKCA by its officials to mint money, which comes as subsidies to promote sports and particularly cricket.
8. Sushilkumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh :
Sushilkumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh, both are on the Kejriwal list of corrupt ministers for their role in the Adarsh housing scam and a land allotment allegation against Deshmukh.
Adarsh Housing Society, a cooperative society in the city of Mumbai, was supposed to be reserved for the war widows and veterans of the Kargil War. However, it came to light that houses in the society were not given to the presumed beneficiaries, but taken over by politicians, bureaucrats and top ranking military personnel. There are allegations that former chief ministers of Maharashtra, Sushilkumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh were also involved in the scam.
10. Ajit Singh:
Ajit Singh makes it on the hit list too for charges that in 2008, when UPA 1 government was tottering after Left parties withdrew support over the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal; he supported the government for a monetary consideration.
The Wikileaks claim that during the nuclear deal trust vote, he had charged Rs 10 crore per MP to vote for the UPA government.
11. GK Vasan:
GK Vasan is a prominent Congress leader from Tamil Nadu and is on the corrupt minister list for allegedly giving away 16,000 acres near Kandla Port of Gujarat at a loss of Rs 2 lakh crore to the exchequer.
Vasan instead called these allegations “baseless” and pointed out that he was not in charge of the ministry when the alleged irregularities surfaced in 2008. He was quoted saying to the Hindustan Times “Allegation regarding irregularities in Kandla Port Trust Lease of Land case are totally baseless and there is no truth in it. When the report by CVO of the Port Trust was originally given in 2008, I was not the Minister of Shipping.”
12. Sriprakash Jaiswal:
Sriprakash makes it on the list for alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks. This allotment of coal blocks gave ‘undue benefits’ to scores of companies causing an enormous loss of Rs 10.67 lakh crore to the nation’s exchequer.
The Coal Minister in his defence said “We gave advertisements for allocation of coal blocks and invited applications…after the applications were received by us (Coal Ministry), the state governments were consulted and thereafter the coal blocks were allocated,” as reported Business Today.
13. MK Azhagiri:
MK Azhagiri makes it on the hit list for alleged attacks on political rivals. He was also accused of conspiring in the murder of the former DMK Minister, T. Kiruttinan.
14. Virbhadra Singh:
Virbhadra Singh is the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. He is one among the fourteen ministers named by Kejriwal, for assorted allegations of bribery.
- Sharad Pawar taken ill (thehindu.com)
- Team Anna Slams Congress for Linking Hazare to RSS (ktrmurali.wordpress.com)