Arvind Kejriwal said recently when asked by NDTV's Barkha Dutt that there were many dissenting voices from within the AAP from people like Mallika Sarabhai and myself and overzealous people like Ashutosh, a new recruit ,and Shazia, a veteran, were impatient with differing views.
Barkha went on to ask if there's an attempt to muzzle dissent and stifle free debate within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Arvind said ordinary members must debate openly and that's the only way for new ideas to evolve and keep the party on its toes. "However," he added, "the party's official spokespersons must not be misaligned in public media."
So here is my personal view.
Kejriwal sitting on a Dharna demanding action against four junior police personnel is, according to many opinion leaders, the last straw that may break the camel's back when it comes to AAP missteps.
Here's my appeal as an ordinary AAP member to Arvind Kejriwal and Yogendra Yadav, considered a sober member of AAP's think tank.
AAP as a political party can and must protest. Not The CM. He and his cabinet must govern from their office as there's a danger of being looked upon as a rabble-rouser which is against the spirit of the constitution and also could diminish the good will bestowed by people upon the party.
Also, demanding the suspension of police personnel is missing the woods for the trees, apart from the fact that you are making a scapegoat of hapless junior officers who are mere cogs in the wheel. The Dharna should demand the implementation of police reforms, already widely accepted as the first step to remove corruption and end the nexus between politicians, police and criminals.
Asking the Delhi Police to be under the Chief Minister is as bad as keeping its allegiance to the Home Minister. The police force must enforce the law fairly and fearlessly. For that, they must be made independent and accountable as per the recommendations of 'police reforms'. There's interference with police and investigating agencies by all ruling parties in both the states and centre. So how can bringing it under CM of Delhi make any difference?
The AAP has captured the country's imagination and has swept to power in Delhi on the plank of ridding corruption and on simple values and the ideals of humility, transparency and honesty.
Amartya Sen said two days ago at the Jaipur festival that he has great admiration for AAP as they demonstrated that elections can be won without backing of black money, muscle and caste power but that's not enough, and to be able to deliver on their promise, AAP must bring in administrative reforms and good governance. To rid the country of corruption we need systemic changes like Jan Lokpal, autonomy to CBI, electoral, judicial and administrative reforms. And police reforms have been recommended even by the Supreme Court.
The series of missteps, blundering knee jerk policy pronouncements and flip flops, a rabid and reckless law minister rushing head long into becoming a cop himself has left a lot of admirers, well-wishers and party members who have just joined AAP a bit worried and the party is running the risk of losing its image as being Luddite or anti-development and pro- communist. It also runs the risk of losing the support of the educated middle class and the 'yuppie brigade' who catapulted it to power.
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