AAP: Inflicted By Felony Since Inception

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The Delhi MLAs’ assault on the chief secretary is an unpardonable offence, but lawlessness is expected from the criminal-infested AAP; the question is how to rein in this menace of urban Maoists

A quick recall of the nearly six-year-old Aam Aadmi Party would bust the façade of honesty it tries to build painstakingly. Before its rivals could get a whiff of the dubious credentials of the nouveau politicians was distributing tickets amongst, the party’s volunteers in Uttam Nagar of Delhi had revolted because an alleged racketeer who manipulated the public distribution system, Deshraj Raghav, had been nominated for that seat. That was 2013. That very year, it was known that 12 of its MLA nominees had no more than a higher secondary certificate; six had barely passed Class X and two of them managed to rise up to the eighth grade in their respective elementary schools.

Two years later, when the AAP swept the Delhi Assembly election, winning 67 of the 70 seats, trouncing the Bharatiya Janata Party and wiping out the Indian National Congress, 23 of Kejriwal’s MLAs were found to have declared criminal cases against them. What followed was a disgrace for democracy.

By September 2016, 11 of AAP MLAs were arrested on different charges. Three ministers had to be sacked on being caught indulging in acts of fraudulence. By then, 15 senior leaders of the AAP had quit or had been suspended for “anti-party activities”.

There are other dark aspects of this party which I, as a former (founding) member of the party revealed in Swarajya and the now closed NITI Central (the archives of my articles for the second website are still accessible). How Kejriwal had emerged as a disruptive force sponsored by some foreign agencies was described in four articles, which I later compiled in a Facebook note.

But what has happened now needs no insider for condemnation. It comes as no surprise that this party infested with hooligans could manhandle a senior bureaucrat, chief secretary Anshu Prakash, after calling him for a meeting on the controversy surrounding Delhi government advertisements at the chief minister’s residence. The British-era bureaucracy may be accused of turning the growth of the country sluggish, but one cannot imagine that these babus would, in a display of solidarity with their heckled colleague, call a strike due to some imaginary grievance. If Prakash says he was assaulted, he must have been. Everything said and done, the babus are, by and large, more credible than politicians. So, the AAP does not get the innocent-until-proven-guilty reprieve here. While retaliatory assault on Imran Hussain is as condemnable, even the complaining minister has no who the attackers were!

It is beyond atrocious that the self-styled custodians of truth continue to entertain a serial abuser of women such as their MLA Prakash Jarwal. But he is not the sole offender in the latest case of antisocial activity. There were 11 MLAs in Kejriwal’s official residence at that moment. Amanatullah Khan was allegedly the other MLA who attacked the chief secretary physically.

Khan is another character from the long list of alleged criminals in the AAP. In 2016, he, like, Jarwal, had been accused of threatening a woman with dire consequences, too. A few months later, his sister-in-law alleged he used to sexually harass her. Last year, Kejriwal was forced to suspend Khan for attacking Kumar Vishwas.

Among other crimes Khan is accused of, he was once booked for delivering a hate speech against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And the most shameless among the dramatis personnae is none other than supremo Kejriwal who brazenly embraced him in to represent the AAP in the Muslim-dominated constituency, knowing that he does not have a clean record. Khan had been exposed as the person who put up communally provocative posters in the area in 2014.

Thankfully, Kejriwal’s ambition to be the country’s prime minister received a severe jolt in 2014, and he will find it difficult to mesmerise the people of Delhi again, the civic poll from the city suggested. However, given the alarmingly high number of leaders and wannabes with a criminal bent of mind in the party, the Election Commission must consider disqualifying it. Few may recall today that there is another dark chapter in the young party’s past. It had forged signatures in some of the affidavits of support while getting the party registered. The case was dismissed only because the Delhi High Court thought the process of party registration did not fall under its jurisdiction. Some interested lawyer can take it up to the Supreme Court, as the judiciary cannot claim it has always steered clear of the EC’s domain.

The people of Delhi will be relieved by the cessation of this nuisance. Whereas no ruling party can please all — and Narandra Modi is particularly in the line of fire these days for not honouring his commitment to the BJP’s core constituencies — the AAP is one ruling party that has failed on both the socialist and capitalist fronts. There has been hardly been a positive change in the city since 2015 when Kejriwal came to power.

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