New Delhi: “Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje, Smriti Irani, Isteefa Do (tender your resignation).” This is how the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will begin its day om Monday. However, it would tone down aggression and won’t go much beyond slogans and demonstrations while targeting the BJP. Already at loggerheads with the Centre, courtesy its fight against Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor over sharing of power in administration, the AAP would make a point but would avoid getting into a situation of confrontation, sources in the party say.
The party on 25 June had threatened a nationwide agitation if Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not sack the three leaders within three days. The youth wing of the party had staged a fierce demonstration outside Sushma Swaraj’s house in Delhi, which led to the detention of 67 volunteers. Simultaneously, the party had also questioned the Modi government that if the AAP government accepted the resignation of its ex-Law minister Jitender Singh Tomar for his fake degrees, why Irani, who gave two different educational qualifications in different election affidavits, shouldn’t step down from her post.ccording to the AAP sources, the state units of the party will simultaneously stage demonstration demanding resignation of the three leaders. But the party is treading cautiously on this issue.
“We don’t want to make it an aggressive demonstration, or else we’ll face a backlash from the Centre. The Modi government is already after us and causing obstacles in governance for us in Delhi through the L-G. If we go on an aggressive mode, they will hound us by targeting our people and make our working difficult. We’ve already seen the vindictive approach of the NDA government,” an AAP source said.
The tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government turned murkier, after L-G Najeeb Jung appointed joint commissioner of Delhi Police as the chief of the Delhi’s Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) on 8 June, by superseding additional commissioner SS Yadav — an AAP government’s choice, who was already heading the ACB. The Centre on 27 June had asked the AAP government in Delhi to leave its ‘confrontationist’ attitude and not to create confusion in the administrative appointments, a mandate for which lies with the Union Home Ministry.
Meanwhile, a tweet by former Indian Premier League (IPL) chief Lalit Modi, mentioning that AAP leader Rahul Mehra sought favours to get exclusive food and beverage rights for all eight IPL stadiums for the second IPL and future seasons, has left the party defensive.
Some former volunteers of the party feel the call for the nationwide stir is only empty talk as it has no presence in a large number of states. “While, on one hand, the AAP already has several allegations against it, on the other the party has a negligible presence in other states. AAP’s call for a nationwide agitation holds no ground. The AAP is doing it to justify its presence as a strong political party, which is not true,” a former AAP volunteer said.
Though, on the same page with AAP on Lalit Modi controversy, the Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj Abhiyan, a splinter group of AAP, as of now, won’t stage any demonstration or rally against the Modi government. Anupam Singh, national committee member of Swaraj Abhiyan said, “We’re not staging any agitation or rally but, we’re concerned over the recent revelations in the Lalit Modi . The names tumbling out of the cupboard of Lalit Modi has exposed the unholy alliance between politicians, businessmen and criminals. Right from the central and state governments, bureaucracy, judiciary to who’s who of our society, we find people in every section to be a part of this dirty nexus. This is truly unfortunate and worrying.”
2015 Kashmir Despatch