This Is Why Punjab Should Not Choose An Aam Aadmi Party Government Yet

Punjab is all set to have one of the most important elections it will have in a while. Their timing is such that many already feel that it is the semi-final to the general elections of 2019. While all eyes will be on Uttar Pradesh, Punjab is an equally important state. While Goa and Manipur, the two other states scheduled to have elections too, do not have as many seats. Hence they are not as high up the political ladder as Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. In Uttar Pradesh it is more of a fight between old gladiators. The tried and tested politicians who know how to live in water and be frenemies with the crocodile. In such a case a four and a half year old party like the Aam Aadmi Party stands no chance there and they know that.

Punjab on other hand is a different ball game. It is a relatively open field. There is a large amount of anti-incumbency, which seems to be making life difficult for the Shiromani Akali Dal leaders. While the Bhartiya Janta Party is not exactly in the best of shape, Congress seems to be taking the lead under Captain Amrinder Singh. So where does the Aam Aadmi Party fit in?  Can they be kingmakers in the state? Given their apparent distaste for one and all, they can either win many seats or not even 10. The voters of Punjab should hence learn from their neighbours. Delhi is a testament of why voting Aam Aadmi Party to absolute majority in these elections should be avoided.

The AAP government currently governs in Delhi, and has made an evident mess of it. True, AAP alone cannot be blamed for the anguish Delhi faces right now. AAP, a 4.5 young party came to power with as astounding majority winning 67 out of the 70 seats. However, the capital city is under severe distress because AAP and BJP can not seemingly come to terms with each other.

If you look at the achievements of Aam Aadmi Party in the last 18 months, frankly there are none. Other than spending on their “wow-we-are-so-good” advertisements, the Kejriwal-led party has done nothing. They spoke of how they saved millions in government fund on a flyover, they lied. By the way it was supposed to cost much less than the amount advertised by the party. But they kept defending it till the issue died on its own. When the police arrested their minister for misbehaving with women, government staff or expats, they cried foul.

The Mohalla clinics? Turns out, the daughter of the Health Minister was heading the scheme, despite her not being a doctor and she stepped down only when people pointed out the same. These clinics doled out funds to workers and volunteers without proper paperwork or due diligence. So much for honesty and integrity! Free Wi-Fi? Well that is down the drain too. I am not making this stuff up, these are stated facts and figures. But then the reality of economics hit the party and all their dole outs screeched to a halt in their tracks. This is what the party does not seem to understand.

What they do not seem to understand is that one can not stand outside the system and change it. Not-so-surprisingly now they themselves are knee deep in the dirt. They are doing exactly what the veterans have been doing for ages. The lack of experience in administration can not be written in a clearer tone than where AAP is standing right now. We can not help but notice that Aam Aadmi Party is perhaps not fully geared for governance and politics.

What is more amusing is that the Party is once again making the same promises in Punjab. When investigated or questioned on these, the honourable Chief Minister either goes up his moral pedestal with a holier-than-thou” attitude or the famous goal shifting attitude of “where were you when so and so happened”. Kejriwal must remember that he can not spit on everyone, abuse them at will and expect them to help when he needs it. A cooperative federal structure is always a match of equals. It can never be a conglomerate of an accuser and a selfless helping hand.

Even if you put aside all the tantrums, there is hardly anything concrete that Mr. CM has going for himself. There seems to be a dearth of support for the work that he plans to undertake further, and clearly there are no allies to be seen. This lack of support is his own doing. A man who set out to change the system has become so ingrained into it that it is difficult to distinguish one from the other now. A man who did not believe in caste and race politics has now taken such calculated reliance on them that  renaming of flyovers, hospitals, roads and buildings is being paraded. All hail appeasement politics.

Consider this, the central government is led by perhaps the most popular leader we have had in quite some time. A party with majority in the Lok Sabha is surely not going to sit on its hunches while their leader is abused publicly. If the centre decides to adopt a foster stance towards Delhi, it will not take much time for things to go from bad to worse. The only thing going for Delhi right now is that the BJP has kept mum on Kejriwal and his ministers’ tirade of words. Which definitely is not going to continue for long.

AAP and BJP have already clashed more often than not. Sometimes on the policing system, while other times on the municipal corporation, which is in fray. Thanks to the absolute lack of a cooperative federal structure, the two parties have practically taken to the streets to blame each other. Thus, all the whips possible, whenever and wherever possible, have been used to keep Arvind Kejriwal led government in check. Frankly, anyone who follows and understands politics will realize that it is the modus operandi of all political institutions. Dirty as it is, this is how political institutions function.

Not looking to justify what other major political parties have been doing for the past 70 years, however, it is suggestive that AAP gets a little more experience before getting into complex federal structures like that of Punjab. Delhi is a obviously a relatively easy game. It is the capital of the nation. The officers and the entire bureaucratic structure is anyway on its toes here, all the time. The same may not be true for Punjab, which has had its shares of complex problems, some of which have caused the assassinations of former prime ministers and full-scale riots.

Thus, the people of Punjab could certainly do without a majority AAP government right now.

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