Monday, 17 April 2017

Will Delhi save India on April 23?

           Those days of struggle            AK Today: Effect of power writ large on face
Destiny has cast a heavy responsibility on Delhi voters. On April 23 this year, they have to decide whether to atone for their mistakes in 2014 and 2015 and start the process of dumping Arvind Kejriwal (AK) and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the dustbin of history or to give him and his party opportunity to do more damage to democracy in India. A resounding defeat of the AAP will be trailer to its defeat in Delhi Assembly election in 2020 which is badly needed to get rid of an undemocratic political 'leader' who has been misleading people.
In my opinion, in future AK will be remembered for all wrong reasons: as a politician who aroused maximum hope and also gave maximum disappointment; as a Chief Minister (CM) who had neither knowledge of nor respect for the country's Constitution and laws; as a politician who lacked maturity and even common sense, was foulmouthed, highly egoistic and self-opinionated and considered all others either mischievous or stupid; and last but least, as a politician and CM who considered Narendra Modi as his biggest rival without any of Modi's qualities.
I have solid reasons for making such strong statements. Like many others, I too was happy to see his entry in politics but unlike many others, my disappointment started soon after he resigned from the post of CM on February 14, 2015.
Rise and fall AK
AK made his debut on the political horizon when majority of Indians were anxiously looking for a charismatic leader to save the country from a puppet Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh), remotely controlled by Sonia and her son, during whose regime maximum progress was made only in the field of corruption. In Delhi too CM Sheila Dixit was presiding over a very corrupt regime. When AK formed AAP in November 2012, Gujarat CM Narendra Modi was not being presented, at least not publicly, as the one to take on Congress in 2014. Perhaps, AK read the mood of the people and sensed a political vacuum. His credentials — degree from an IIT, resignation form IRS to join public life, years of dedicated work for the empowerment of slum dwellers, Magsaysay Award for successfully struggling for right to information in India and a co-founder of Anna Hazare-led "India Against Corruption" — were enough to impress people from diverse walks of life. Large number of people flocked to him, some in the hope of doing something good for the country and perhaps most to join the elite club of `political leaders'. The contributing factors were that Congress and BJP were in bad shape in Delhi. With a white cap on head, prominently describing the wearer as `Aam Aadmi', and a broom in hand, raising the slogan to banish corruption, workers of the party which promised to be different from others, were able to establish immediate rapport with voters.

The result was impressive gain to the AAP. With 28 seats, it remained behind BJP (32) but way ahead of the ruling Congress (only 8). The best part, for AAP, was that BJP was unable to form Government. The government lasted just for 49 days — because of AK's resignation — but AK established himself as a powerful political figure. So overwhelmed was he by his unexpected success that he convinced himself that since he could be the rallying point against Narendra Modi, there was no need to waste time on a small role in the Union Territory. He rushed to Banaras to challenge Modi but Modi trounced him by 3.37 lakh votes.
At that time Modi's detractors had not properly estimated Modi's potential and AK derived satisfaction from the fact that BJP did not get support of even 50% of voters in the general election. He continued to nurse the ambition of being an alternative to Modi since the other candidate, Rahul Gandhi, stood nowhere. The result of mid-term poll in Delhi in early 2015 — unprecedented 67 out of 70 seats — raised his morale to new height. Having conquered Delhi, the next natural target was 7, Race Course Road.
Beginning of disappointment
It is one thing to have high ambition, it is quite different to have capability to achieve that. Soon after becoming CM in December, 2014, he started behaving like an utterly novice and started saying 'care two hoots' for the Constitution and law. He introduced Jan Lokpal Bill — a money bill — in the Assembly without mandatory prior recommendation of the Lieutenant Governor (LG). When the Bill was not supported by non-AAP parties, he resigned crying that opposition parties were preventing him from fighting corruption.
Soon after resigning, he launched his mission to widen his political base. On February 25, 2014, addressing an audience of prominent Muslim academics and intelligentsia at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi, he declared that "Communalism is a bigger problem in front of the country than corruption." He sent a message, loud and clear, that as politician, he would play to the gallery.
Illegal activities and corrupt practices of AAP MLAs and Ministers
On March 30, 2012, i.e. before AAP was formed, in response to a privilege notice served on him for 'insulting Parliament', AK said, "How can one respect an institution, which has members with a criminal background?"
On February 14, 2015, after taking oath as CM, he promised corruption-free Delhi and warned his ministers and party MLAs against arrogance. The idea of formation of a political party comprising only honest and straightforward persons capable of winning sufficient number of seats to form a government contains its own antithesis. If there are so many honest persons available to form a large political party, win elections on the strength of their honest character and form government, then there should be no corruption in the country. Most of the people who are honest and straightforward prefer to stay away from active politics.
AAP has proved my hypothesis. One cannot become honest and straightforward just by wearing a cap or even changing his attire. AAP is perhaps the only party with about 30% of its lawmakers (CM, Deputy CM, one serving Minister, 3 former ministers and 14 MLAs,) who have faced charges or are still facing charges, major or minor, for offences post-election. 13 lawmakers were released on bail. The only saving grace is that the two were cleared of all charges.

Here is the colourful record of AK and his colleagues in the present Delhi Assembly.
S. No.
Name & Designation

Arvind Kejriwal — Chief Minister
First Delhi CM to stand trial in a criminal defamation case. Delhi Chief Metropolitan Magistrate gave order in a defamation case filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Though the case is against AK in his personal capacity, he wants Delhi government to pay   Rs.  3.42 cr. as fee of a lawyer fee who is not even on the government's approved panel.

Manish Sisodia — Dy. Chief Minister
CBI has started enquiry about alleged irregularities in a contract to a private firm for a social media campaign, "Talk to AK".

Satyendar Jain - Health Minister
In over 100 raids, Income tax Department unearthed properties
worth   Rs. 33 crore in form of land and shares in companies
allegedly linked to Jain and has initiated action against him under the Benami Property Transaction Act. CBI it is also enquiring into allegations of corruption and money laundering of Rs. 13.69 crore.

Sandeep Kumar — Former Women & Child Welfare Minister
Arrested after a woman in a sex CD filed a case accusing him of raping her. Sacked by AK.

Asim Ahmed
Sacked on corruption charge
Khan — Former Minister

Jitender SinghTomar — Former Law Minister
Forging of two of his degrees and a migration certificate. Was arrested in 2015 and spent a month-and-a-half in Delhi's Tihar jail. The 200 page charge sheet filed in a Delhi court against him   covers    15  others    including   his   personal    assistant,
University staffers and touts for being part of a "fake degree racket"


Somnath Bharti — MLA (Minister in first AK  government)
Arrested in December, 2015 after his wife registered a case against him on charges of attempt to murder and domestic violence. Arrested on Sept 9, 2016 for damaging AIIMS' property and assaulting the security guards there.

Gulab Singh — MLA

Manoj Kumar - MLA
Arrested on July 10, 2015, on charges of alleged cheating and land-grabbing. He has also appeared before Delhi Commission of Women in a case of domestic violence.

Amanatullah Khan — MLA
Arrested following an alleged sexual harassment case filed by his relative.

Sharad Chauhan —MLA
Abatement of suicide of a woman AAP volunteer

Tripathi — MLA
Sexual harassment and molestation

Naresh Yadav - MLA
Arrested for blaspheme against the Quran in Punjab on June 24, 2016.

Mohaniya -
Arrested in June 2016 on charges of molestation and sexual harassment. A second FIR was also filed against him in June 2016 for slapping a 60-year-old man.

Prakash Jarwal - MLA
Arrested on charges of molesting a woman in July, 2016. Earlier in 2014 arrested for slapping a Delhi Jal Board employee.

Sanjeev Jha & Akhilesh Tripathi — MLAs
Arrested for rioting and injuring police persons when they led a mob that stormed a police station to get an FII registered against AAP opponents on February 21, 2015

Jarnail Singh — MLA
Arrested   for    assaulting    a junior     engineer              of municipal
Corporation (later he resigned to contest Punjab election which he lost.)

Surender Singh - MLA
Arrested on August 21, 2016, for allegedly making casteist remarks against an NDMC official.
Jagdeep Singh ­MLA
Arrested in May, 2016, on charges of assault when he bashed up the manager of a waste management company.


In addition, two candidates were arrested before election on February 7, 2015: Rain Niwas Goel (now Speaker of the Assembly) on charges of raiding a builder's house and trespassing on February 6, 2015; and Naresh Balyean ( now MLA) was arrested on January 31, when Delhi police seized 5000 bottles of liquor from him.
Of course, almost invariably AK supports his colleagues and accuses Prime Minister Modi of misusing CBI, income tax (IT) and police for harassing his 'innocent' colleagues.
The party itself has faced several allegations. For example:
·      On February 2, 2015 a group of former AAP members alleged that four Delhi-based bogus companies — which existed only on paper — donated Rs. 50 lakh each on April 5, 2014. My own investigations show that the allegations were not baseless. Those interested in details may read my earlier blog on the issue.
·      In December 2016, IT department issued a notice to AAP to explain discrepancies in the donors' list submitted to the Department and what had been put up on the party website. As usual, the party claimed total transparency and accounts and condemned the notice as "malicious".
·      On 17/2/2017, Enforcement Directorate served an eviction notice on AAP office in Patna alleging that the property had been bought with cash fraudulently withdrawn from banks by a private business house involved in money-laundering in the past. Eight persons including two State Bank officers involved in the case have been arrested.
·      In March this year a former AAP youth leader and his elder brother were arrested in connection with a robbery case on March 12.
Illegal/unfair means adopted to keep MLAs on his side
AK has adopted several illegal/unfair means to ensure that party MLAs and important workers continue to support him
·      In March 2015, 21 MLAs were appointed Parliamentary secretaries. When legal questions were raised, in June 2015, Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, was amended to exempt the post from the definition of the office of profit. However, the President declined approval to the proposed amendment. The issue of their disqualification is still pending before the Election Commission.
·      Eleven (11) AAP MLAs have been appointed co-chairpersons of district disaster management committees, violating the Disaster Management Act, 2005 which provides that only a local body elected representative could be appointed co-chairman to preside over the committee meeting in chairman's the absence.
·      In December 2015 Delhi government sent five legislative proposals to LG seeking four­fold salary hike of Delhi MLAs, Ministers, Speaker and Dy. Speaker, Leader of the Opposition and Chief Whip in the Assembly (a Delhi MLA's pay packet will increase from Rs. 88,000 to Rs. 2.1 lakh per month, the highest in the country). Home Ministry to which LG forwarded the proposals sought clarifications in May 2016. The Ministry is not satisfied with Delhi government's reply.
·      Many Mohalla Clinics are reportedly operating from AAP workers' premises at inflated rents.
Illegal decisions and action of the Kejriwal government
Every government is required to ensure that people carry out their activities in accordance with law. AK government is perhaps the first government in history which, though legally constituted, is guilty of taking decisions and carrying out activities in utter violation of the Constitution and law of the land.
National Capital Territory of Delhi is not a full-fledged State. It derives powers from the NCT Act which imposes several restrictions on Delhi government's power. The real administrator is LG. The constitutional position has been confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Though the Supreme Court has referred the issue to a Constitution bench, it has not stayed High Court order. But AK is not bothered about the Constitution and law. Or maybe, since he has got unprecedented mandate he thinks he is above the Constitution which is meant for lesser mortals, not for a revolutionary like him who is different from all other politicians.

In an interview published in a section of media on January 12, 2017, former LG Najeeb Jung stated that he had post-fact approved 175 proposals with a note that such decisions should have been originally taken with his prior approval and declined approval to other 80 proposals. The V. K. Shunglu Committee, appointed by Najeeb Jung to look into over 400 files, found numerous examples of decisions/actions which were beyond the powers of Delhi government or which could not be taken without LG's prior permission. CBI is already looking into 7/8 cases and a few more cases are likely to be referred. In addition, 12 cases are with vigilance department. If the charges of nepotism and malfeasance are proved, AK and his ministers may be in serious trouble.
Some glaring examples of illegal decisions are as follows.

S. No.
Illegal decisions/actions
Remarks and action taken against illegal decisions/actions

A   secret   "spy   unit" called
"Feedback      Unit" running
According to a newspaper report, "The remuneration of the Feedback Unit was paid on the basis of attendance. The staff have recorded 100% attendance and paid Rs. 40.83 lakh since February 2016 by way of secret service expenditure, remuneration, telephone and other expenses. But the Vigilance Department, under which the spy unit was formed, is clueless as to where the staff sat and what work they did since inception."
CBI is examining its legality and cases of corruption
directly on the orders of Chief Minister to keep a watch on the working of officials.
(It    is  reminiscent   of secret
police of dictatorial regimes in Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.)

Allotment      of ministerial
LG cancelled allotment and notice has
been   served   on AAP to          vacate   the building.
bungalow        (206, Rouse
Avenue) to AAP for use as party office

Appointment of AK's relative, Dr. Nikunj Aggarwal first as Senior  Resident    at  Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, then OSD to Delhi Health Minister. Post-appointment, he was sentto    IIM,       Ahmedabad,      to
CBI has registered a case on the basis of complaints by LG office and Vigilance Department.
improve his CV and to visit
China        on government

Appointment        of Health
Minister      Satyendar Jain's
daughter, Soumya jain, an   
architect by qualification, as Advisor to Mission Director Delhi State Health Mission.
A clear case of nepotism. She had no qualification for the post. She had been paid Rs. 1.5 lakh when she resigned due to controversies.

Appointment of Amanatullah Khan as chairman of the Waqf Board and of retired IPS officer Mehboob Alain as its CEO.
Both appointments were struck down by L-G for not having obtained prior approval of the competent authority.
CBI has registered a case on the basis of complaint by LG office.

Appointment     of    a     school
dropout as Advisor (tourism) on monthly salary of Rs. 1.5 lakh.
Under investigation.

There are many more instances mentioned in the report: appointment of AK Singhal as advisor to Health Minister without any experience in the field; appointment of Rahul Bhasin as advisor in CM' s office though there was no such post; expenditure of crores of rupees from the state exchequer on (unnecessary) foreign visits of various ministers and AAP functionaries without LG's approval; setting up of an autonomous body on publicity to be financed by the government; and so on.

Instead of admitting illegal decisions/actions, AK questions LG's authority. "Is the LG headmaster of Delhi?" He once asked arrogantly. His stock defence is that the Modi government and its agent LG are creating "obstacles" to hamper the "good work" being done by his government. His deputy, Manish Sisodia, goes a step forward and raises a 'fundamental question' : 'if LG has all the powers, what is the use of elections to the assembly?' If a person of with this mindset becomes Prime Minister, he will claim that he has all the powers to rewrite the Constitution because the Constituent Assembly, comprising members elected on the basis of limited franchise and nominated by princely states, did not really represent the people of India whereas the Lok Sabha does.

There are many other serious illegal actions/decisions not referred to the Shunglu Committee. For example:

·   On January 15, 2017 the Supreme Court sought answers from the AAP government on a PIL which has accused the government of illegally diverting Rs. 900 crore from building construction workers' welfare fund for other purposes.

·   A Centre appointed committee headed by a former Chief Election Commissioner reported that the Delhi government spent Rs.97 crore on advertisements promoting AK in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines. Subsequently, CAG reported that the Kejriwal government had spent Rs. 29 crore on advertisements outside Delhi. The present LG has directed Chief Secretary to recover Rs. 97 crore from AAP and to investigate the spending and fix responsibility.

Unfulfilled Promises
AK government spends a fortune on advertisements to take claims for fulfilment of various promises made in the election manifesto and for doing a lot for the Delhi. He has been seen in advertisements on TV channels posting that 'he did what he promised'. He is never tired of claiming and advertising that he has given cheap power and 20 KLs of piped water free every month to each household but giving subsidy or doles is not an achievement to be proud. Moreover, people in several areas are still waiting for piped water and 24-hours electricity.

I examined the present status of eight other major promises in the election manifesto.

Look at the chart below.
Promise in Election
Reality check in April 2017 (as per claims in an advertisement on 14/02/2017 and media reports)

Jan Lokpal: Enforcement of
Jan Lokpal Act within 15 days
of coining to power to control

Delhi assembly passed the bill on Dec 3, 2015; was sent to LG who forwarded it to the Home Ministry which returned the Bill to Delhi government on June 2016 with remarks that:
·      Being a money Bill (because of financial obligations), it needs LG permission before introducing in the Assembly which was not done.
·   Jan Lokpal's power is extended to
whole of NCT of Delhi which includes Central Government employees who are out of jurisdiction of Delhi government.
It     is       currently      with     Delhi

corruption         strictly          and

Devolution of Power to People: one of the first things the AAP
government would      do    is   to
legislate   the    Swaraj    Act   to
devolve power directly to the people and contain provisions for the formation of Mohalla
Sabhas    (MS)     comprising  all
adults in each Mohalla to meet every month to take care of
almost      all      local       issues,
from maintenance                     of
streetlights        to       communal

The Swaraj Act could not be made because it would clash with other laws. The June 2016 notification of 2,972 MS is yet to be approved by the Lieutenant Governor. No meeting of any MS during last one year. In his budget speech this year, Deputy CM stated that Z 350/- cr provided in 2016-17 could not be used and there is no outlay in 2017-18 budget.


AK is unable to understand that for a large modern city, it is a utopian concept.

To open 500 new schools and appoint 17000 new competent teachers to lower the student-
teacher    ratio;               standard of education in government schools to be equal to the best private schools.

No new school building constructed.
No   new    teacher    appointed.  The
government told the Delhi High
Court (on 12/11/16) that the ratio of the students to teachers being 33.9:1 against the prescribed ratio of 35:1,
there  were     more   than adequate
teachers in government schools.

Public       Healthcare: High-
quality healthcare facilities to all
citizens;     new government
hospitals to ensure international
norm     of    5   beds             for   every thousand people    as                    against existing     0.58;    to               open  900 primary     health             centres;   to immediately fill         vacancies                              of 4000 doctors and 15,000 nurses in government hospitals.

Only 107 Mohalla clinics opened in first two years. No improvement in government hospitals.

Public Toilets: Construction of
2   lakh     new     public toilets
(including one lakh for women) mainly in public spaces and slum
areas;    Mohalla           Sabhas       to maintain/monitor almost everything.

In the first two years only 8000 new community toilets built.

Women's Rights and Safety: Measures promised include (a) effective last-mile connectivity —
by providing combination of
shared autos, feeder services and e-rickshaws synced with Metro and bus timings — in Delhi's public transit to reduce number of crimes, (b) Women's Security Force made up of 10,000 strong home guard, (c) bus marshals to
prevent       crime                   on                   public

The Delhi government claims to have deployed about 3000 marshals in buses and at bus depots. Claim could not be verified.

transport,      (d) Surakha/SOS
button      on     every mobile
phone and (e) connectivity to the police, nearest PCR van, relatives and volunteers.

Improving Delivery of Justice: New courts to be opened and more judges to be appointed; if required, courts will be run in two shifts; special courts to be set up to decide cases pending in lower courts; proceedings of all court cases to be video recorded and made available to citizens.

Nothing heard of

Protecting Common Man              from   Rising           Prices:   Black marketers to be arrested, their godowns            raided and
their hoarded goods to be released so that food grains and vegetable are available at lower prices.

No claim of any action.

Moreover, there are allegations of inefficiency and corruption. Mohalla clinics have been opened at random, some in close proximity of government dispensaries and quite a few in small and dirty places. Several clinics are running from AAP workers' houses taken on inflated rents. Since private doctors are paid per patient examined, there are allegations that they adopt unfair means — calling patients unnecessarily for subsequent visits and entry of fictitious names — to claim more fee. Prescriptions are written on ordinary pieces of paper. Out of more than 1000 government schools, AK has selected 54 schools to develop as model schools and spends huge amounts which cannot be justified. For example, one school on Rouse Avenue was reportedly renovated at a cost of Rs. 10 cr. At this rate, for 1000 schools, Rs. 10,000 cr. would be needed. In several government schools children are unable to get course books for the new session.
Even about the life style of his ministers and his own, he did not fulfil his promise to people. In the beginning he claimed that he and his ministers would lead simple life, would not take official bungalows, cars and security. Today he has everything.

 CM Saheb's Bungalow

CM Saheb on road

AAP dinner: symbolofsimpleliving
Highly egoistic, self-opinionated, foulmouthed and rabidly anti-Modi
He thinks he is the only honest and intelligent person in the country. He cannot tolerate any person who questions his style of functioning. He makes all sorts of allegations without any proof and all sorts of irresponsible statements even about constitutional authorities including the Prime Minister. Here are a few examples.

He has been calling PM Modi all sorts of names — 'psychopath' and 'coward," for example — and blaming him for all his woes, whether as CM of a union territory functioning under several constitutional and legal constraints or as leader of AAP. When the central government returned 14 bills passed by the Delhi assembly,(“मोदी जी का नारा - काम करूँगा, करने दूंगा” (Modi’s slogan: ‘Will neither work nor will let others work’.) This he says about a PM who is being praised all over the world for his hard and sincere work for the country.
On July 27, 2016, AK crossed all limits when he said: "He (Modi) can go to any extent and may get us killed. Talk to your families and see if you are ready for the ultimate sacrifice. All MLAs will anyway have to go to jail."
At the 50' anniversary of Delhi High Court on October 31, 2016, he alleged that "phones of judges are being tapped."
On November 1, 2016, he accused PM Modi of having lied to the country about the implementation of 'one rank one pension'. He said that improper implementation of OROP was the cause of suicide of a former soldier Rain Kishen.

PM Modi rightly ignores AK's hysterics. It is below a PM's dignity to enter into oral or legal battle with a petty politician but everyone is not ready to tolerate AK's nonsense. When he publicly accused Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of corruption, Jaitley filed a criminal defamation case. Now, AK is facing the music.
Other reasons for opposing AK
On the eve of the Punjab assembly polls, former state DGP KPS Gill had openly warned that the AAP was providing a platform to "radical Sikh diaspora, settled abroad to "create a big base from which to operate." About the bomb blast at Maur Mandi ahead of the Punjab polls that claimed six lives, he said: "Actually, I had predicted that because of the activities of certain political parties there will be terrorist incidents." He further said, "Probably the leadership of AAP would not know about it. It (terrorism) is the agenda of radical NRIs."
What KPS Gill has said is a very serious matter. I wonder if the IB or RAW are looking into the allegation.
His demand of proof of surgical strike was not only a proof of his stupidity but gave propaganda material to Pakistan where he became media's darling.  

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AK saga is endless. One can go on giving examples of AK's mistakes and arrogance. I would like to conclude with the remark that had he been a little intelligent, he would have concentrated on the work for which he was given unprecedented mandate. The fate gave him an opportunity to work for Delhi and prove himself for bigger roles. Unfortunately, he has frittered away that once in lifetime opportunity. His biggest enemy is he himself.
I hope, people of Delhi will teach AK a lesson he deserves, notwithstanding poor record of BJP in Delhi Municipal Corporations. But BJP should not be overenthusiastic about its victory by default in Rajouri Garden by-poll. As against 44,880 votes in 2015, BJP candidate got only 40,602 votes in 2017 by-poll. The victory was due to voters' apathy towards AAP: as against 54,916 voters in 2015, only 10,243 AAP voters came out in 2017.
                                                                                                 Devendr Narain

                                                                                           April 12, 2017 
Please also read: "Who inspired Kejriwal/"