Mentor Vs Protege
Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal drifted apart within a few months of the highly successful rally in Delhi, which awakened the country especially the young to the deep-rooted corruption. Since then the issue of corruption has become an integral part of the electoral issues.
Now, the distance between the two has become so big that now seemingly there is no possibility of return to the old days of guru and shishya bonhomie. These days Anna has been promoting Mamata Bannerjee, not because he admires her administrative skills, but he likes her simplicity—cotton saris, no cavalcades when she travels and that too in her own small car and lives in her modest house.
Anna wishes to help her secure maximum of 39 seats and to ensure that he has set up a committee. One of its responsibilities is to contain all parties opposed to TMC from cutting into votes of Mamata Didi, including Aam Aadmi Party of his erstwhile protégé.
So, one of the immediate tasks of his committee would be to do all it can to prevent Kejriwal from cutting into Didi’s votes in West Bengal or anywhere else. Anna Hazare would use all his guise and popularity to see that AAP is contained. The feud between the former mentor and protégé would be no-hod-barred one.
Rebellion In Kejriwal’s Backyard
Agitation against Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has cropped up with several disgruntled AAP workers protesting against its chief for allotting party ticket to former IAS officer Yudhvir Singh Khayalia from Hisar Lok Sabha seat. He is the officer who succeeded Khemka, the officer who had cancelled all orders allotting land to Vadra, the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi because they breached rules and regulations. Khayalia rescinded Khemka’s order and the land deal in favour of Vadra was validated. An officer who favoured Vadra could not measure up to the standard Kejriwal set for AAP candidates–should be honest, clean and upright. Why then he did it. To oblige Congress, the support of which enabled to become Chief Minister in Delhi. He would be depending on it to join any coalition that is able to form the government.
So, it’s not being honest! Kejriwal seems to have become a politician who would do anything to get power. He is facing the party workers who burnt posters of AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Yogendra Yadav and Kejriwal after the party announced a second list of 30 candidates for the general elections.
Notably, Hisar and Bhiwani are Kejriwal’s home districts. AAP workers had gathered outside the party office at Rishi Nagar and expressed their resentment and raised slogans against the party and its leaders for allotting ticket to Khayalia, who was recently inducted into the party.
They accused the party high command of ignoring old party leaders and workers and also lodged complaints against the allotment of party ticket to Khayalia, demanding cancellation of the ticket. The workers also said they would oppose Khayalia in the election. Khayalia had resigned from the post of Commissioner, Hisar Division, on February 9 and later joined AAP.
Advani’s Periodic Outburst
The fact that veteran Lal Krishna Advani has been seething with anger over the choice of Narendra Modi as prime minister nominee is no secret. He has after his initial resistance through letters, press meets and statements, quietened down and sulked. Then he slowly recovered and seemed to have bowed down to the RSS diktat and the rising popularity of Modi. He has recently spoken out again, if reports are to be believed. He reportedly said that the BJP and campaign have been led by one man–Modi. There are other leaders in the party like Sushma Swaraj who speaks very well and is widely known. But when he realised that it would have a backlash, especially with him planning to contest from Ahmedabad. So he reportedly called BJP President Rajnath Singh and asked him who was spreading rumours so as to cause rift within the party leaders.
There are few takers for such late denial. People feel he did say what was reported and then having developed cold feet he issued a rebuttal.
Was the warning out of anger or real? During the phase when he was livid at Narendra Modi having been chosen BJP’s prime minister nominee, LK Advani warned that with Modi at the helm no party would be willing to join BJP to help form a coalition and bid for power. He said it many times.
As if to substantiate his point Nitish Kumar withdrew JD(U) from the NDA. Insiders allege that Advani convinced Nitish Kumar that if he threatened to leave the NDA even if Modi was made Chairman of the Election Committee, RSS would hesitate to nominate Modi. The RSS bigwigs cannot afford to lose a powerful member of the NDA. So Nitish Kumar continued to warn. But when Modi was chosen despite his repeated warning Nitish Kumar was left with no option but to leave NDA. This means he has lost the huge numbers of committed workers.
Nitish Kumar was lost but many more have jumped on the Modi-led BJP bandwagon. The more Modi appears to be on a winning streak, the more defectors and parties would seek to be under the BJP umbrella.
In Tamil Nadu, Vaiko’s MDMK, Ramdoss-led PMK and a few others agreed to form a sort of Third Front. BJP would contest 12 seats. In Andhra Pradesh, Pawan Kalyana, bigger actor than his brother Chiranjeevi who is with the Congress, has joined BJP. Five Congree MLAs of Gujarat have joined the party. MNS of Raj Thackeray agreed to the request of the BJP not to contest Lok Sabha seats. BS Yeddyurappa came back to the party at the request of Modi. More are slated to join the BJP. Advani’s warning, it seems, was more due to anger and envy.
Bad Stars Cast Evil Eye On AAP
It seems a very upsetting period for AAP. Arvind Kejriwal’s election expenses statement submitted to the Election Commission shows Rs 21 lakh were spent. A candidate is not expected to spend more than Rs 15 lakh. If the EC takes a fair view, Kejriwal would lose his seat and be barred for six years from contesting any election. Furthermore, the party’s star Ashutosh was detained for alleged vandalism when he led protesters to the BJP office at Ashoka Road in Delhi.
Baba Ramdev And Rajmohan Gandhi
The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has been given ticket by Aam Aadmi Party for contesting from Delhi east. His only claim to represent a constituency is that his grandfather is Father of the Nation. Otherwise, he would be as ‘good’ to the people as Dr Manmohan Singh has been to Assamese. But before his success in the election, there stands Baba Ramdev. One does not know whether he had any prior knowledge that Gandhiji’s grandson would be contesting from there, but he and his disciples covered the entire constituency–from house to house. The message was vote for Narendra Modi for development in the country, job opportunities, security for women and free of corruption administration.
Baba is confident that the door-to-door campaigning would do wonders, as it is Baba with a saffron flowing dress and beard, who is revered by most. At many places people touched his feet. So whoever stands from the BJP in the constituency need not be cowed down by the heritage and personality of Gandhi. Moreover, the party is searching for a strong contender against him. Who knows the likes of Hema Malini could be put up.