So the Supreme Court judgement in the case of AAP govt vs the Center has come. Obviously, it takes a real legal expert to fully understand and/or dissect the judgement. But on the face of it, the judgement looks like a fair one.
On the one hand, the SC has accepted that Delhi cannot be a full state. This is impossible for functional reasons: the Central government which sits in Delhi and its officers cannot become subject to the control of Delhi government. At the same time, the SC also seems to have accepted Delhi govt’s submission that special powers for the LG of Delhi (over and above ceremonial powers of governors of states) does not mean that he can interfere in day to day working of the elected government.
A half victory for both sides; a mature, middle of the road approach. Because, ideally, there should be only one side here. Both governments in Delhi exist to serve the people of this country.
But true to his love (need?) for hyperbole, the Delhi CM and his minions have gone to town claiming a grand victory for democracy. In doing so, there is nobody that Kejriwal is harming more than himself.
Here is the difference between Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal. One is both stupid and lazy. The other is just lazy.
Since 2015, the Delhi government has struggled to provide any tangibles whatsoever. Not only has it struggled, it hasn’t even tried. It’s ministers, including the CM, appear to be bored on the job. They always have a reason for travelling, for vacations; and when they are not on vacation, they are away campaigning somewhere. The Delhi government wasted a whole year camping in Punjab, chasing a dream that was never going to come true.
And when Punjab elections were over, AAP had to find itself a new hobby. Spreading conspiracy theories about EVM manipulation. Anything to avoid doing their job.
How has the Delhi CM made up for the shortfall in governance? By blaming everything on alleged obstructionism from the LG of Delhi. If not in terms of convincing people on the ground, at least AAP had a rhetorical point on TV debates where the anchors are generally in their favour. In fact, Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues are just coming out of a comical standoff at the LG’s official residence. It took seven days for him to get the press to warm up to his dharna. But as soon as the news of BJP snapping its alliance with PDP wiped him off the front pages, the Delhi CM quietly wound up his dharna and decided to take another break.
So this laziness, this escapism and shirking responsibility appear to be the cornerstones of Kejriwal’s personality. He does not just choose to be lazy, he has a need to be lazy. He can’t help it. It is part of who he is.
Today as he grandstands in front of the media claiming “victory,” Kejriwal has run out of his excuse of last resort. Beginning today, he is not going to get any quarter from the general public when he tries to blame the LG for work not getting done in the national capital.
I am sure he is going to try that anyway. I am sure AAP will never run out of “issues” and conspiracy theories. But whatever little chance he had of convincing anyone with them is gone today.
Another thing for Kejriwal to remember is that the Congress ecosystem, which was totally demoralized in 2013-14, has come alive now. They no longer see the need to prop up somebody like him. I wouldn’t have said this if it was only the right-wing ecosystem (if such a thing exists) that was against him. But he is no longer a favourite of the Congress establishment, which means the entire elite of media, academia and intelligentsia are against him as well. In the face of all this, he is left exposed without even his excuse of last resort.
There is nobody left to blame for his failures and no media, no intellectual, no academic is going to cover for his failures now. And the Delhi CM doesn’t like to work. Tough place to be in.
Like on everything else, I know that Kejriwal has flip-flopped on whether he believes in god. But I would suggest that if he can remember a prayer, he should say it now.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.