Indian Politics: Congress-AAP coalition government in Delhi state?
-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL
Ex-serviceman and social activist Anna Hazare as well as Aam Admi party and its founder leader Arvind Kejriwal must now be convinced that their new brand politics targeting the ruling Congress party and Sonia Gandhi led UPA government has handed down power on a platter to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). There is a strong feeling among the literates in the country and abroad, therefore, that both Hazare and Kejriwal have only been helping the equally corrupt and fanatic BJP to secure a clear majority in the parliament.
The incredible performance by the BJP, which won all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi seems to have brought the AAP and Congress back to the table again. Fearing another poll drubbing by the BJP after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party have intensified back channel negotiations to form a government together in Delhi, though both deny the reports in this regard. Yesterday, at a meeting of senior party leaders, including former Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, nearly 20 AAP MLAs are said to have conveyed to the leadership that the party should make a fresh attempt at forming government. Avoiding another poll now would save public money.
Officially, Delhi Congress said it will prefer fresh election in the city to supporting the Aam Aadmi Party again to form a government as favoured by a section of AAP MLAs following the drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls. Chief Spokesperson of Delhi Congress Mukesh Sharma said AAP has no moral right to talk about formation of a government in Delhi again after it went to the Supreme Court seeking dissolution of the assembly and demanding fresh election. Arvind Kejriwal had deserted people of Delhi by resorting to theatrics. “Congress never withdrew support to AAP government. Kejriwal quit the government and left the people of Delhi in a lurch to gain political mileage in the Lok Sabha polls. As they did not succeed in the Lok Sabha polls, they are talking about forming government again,” said Sharma. Accusing Kejriwal of “helping” BJP by ensuring “division of secular votes” in Delhi and elsewhere, Sharma also did not rule out the possibility of some AAP MLAs defecting to the saffron party.
Congress party is deeply worried that their permanent Muslim vote bank deserted it in the important poll, preferring BJP in many places. .
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had not favoured dissolution of the 70-member Delhi Assembly as recommended by the Council of Ministers and kept the House in suspended animation.
Officially, Aam Aadmi Party also ruled out the possibility of it forming government in Delhi again, even as Congress said it would prefer fresh polls to supporting AAP.
Many critics describe Kejriwal’s decision to resign in February after 49 days in power as a major reason behind AAP’s poor showing in the city in Lok Sabha elections. After its spectacular performance in the assembly polls, the AAP drew a blank in the Lok Sabha polls though its candidates came second in all the seven constituencies relegating all the sitting Congress MPs including Kapil Sibal, Ajay Maken and Krishna Tirath to the third position.
The reports suggest that the both the Congress and the AAP MLAs do not wish to contest another election in the near future. It seems that a sizeable section of the party was willing to form the government again. The informal discussions with the Congress are already underway. Whether the Congress party will support or a part of the legislative party will break remains to be seen. According to the report, a Congress MLA present at the meeting said that the AAP was asked to publicly request to the Congress for support through a proper channel.
Earlier, the AAP which had won 27 seats in the Delhi Assembly elections, took power in Delhi after no party won a majority of assembly seats in December’s vote, relying on ‘outside support’ from Congress. But 49-days after the party took charge of the Delhi government, Arvind Kejriwal resigned as chief minister, frustrated by obstacles put in the way of an anti-corruption bill. Kejriwal had wanted it to be passed in the Delhi assembly in the coming days, but the Congress and the BJP thwarted him, arguing that it must be approved by the central government first. In fact neither Congress nor the BJP is keen to root out corruption from India.
BJP has overpowered both AAP and Congress party in the national poll. The Congress is afraid of losing more ground to the AAP and BJP in Delhi, while the AAP has little in terms of resources to contest their third election in seven months. However, the situation at this point is such that the BJP is not in a position to form government on its own and it cannot expect Congress to support it. The BJP has already said that it would prefer fresh election than forming a government through “manipulation”.
In the Lok Sabha polls, BJP not only won all the seven seats in Delhi where Kejriwal refused to contest but also came first in 60 assembly segments out of 70 while AAP occupied top position only in 10 assembly segments. Following the party’s dismal performance, some MLAs of the AAP had mooted a proposal for the party to once again form government in Delhi, with support from either the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress. A section in the party feels that it should not opt for going to polls immediately and should explore forming the government again. Sources in AAP said majority of sitting MLAs in the party did not want to fresh election immediately thinking the “Modi wave” may flatten them all if polls are held anytime soon.
Meanwhile, with the Left getting a severe drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls even in its strongholds in the country, the CPI has revived the debate over merger of the Communist parties, arguing that a reunion is essential to meet the challenges ahead. The CPI said the reasons that led to the split in the Indian Communist movement 50 years ago had become increasingly irrelevant and the current task before the leadership is to explore ways of a reunion.
CPI-M leaders, however, reacted in a lukewarm manner to the call holding that many of the factors led to the 1964 split were still relevant. Holding that the Left had not lost its space in Indian polity due to the drubbing it received in the current elections, the party mouth-piece said the biggest task before the Communist leadership is to “address seriously the ideological, political and organisational challenges before the movement.” Reacting to the call, CPI(M) leader MA Baby, who recently lost to a Socialist leader Premachandran in Kollam parliament constituency, Kerala, said this was not an issue to be approached emotionally and some of the key factors that caused the split were still relevant. He said what was required was strengthening the unity among the Left parties and not their organisational reunion.
The split in Indian communist party took place as Soviet Russia and China began their own cold war over ideology and world communist leadership issue.
-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL
د. عبد راف
Unfortunately, today there is not even one Muslim nation practicing truly Islamic faith and life.
–BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an Educationist, Prolific writer, Commentator on world affairs Expert on Mideast Affairs, Former university Teacher; Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;
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