BJP VS AAP
Ever since the BJP government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power after the 2014 general elections, it has been trying to be autocratic. The fact that the BJP had a majority by itself, unlike the Vajpayee government, made Modi and the coterie around him known as the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) , wielded all powers. Cabinet and other institutions were informed, not consulted, to carry out the instructions of the PMO.
However, the winning of the Delhi Assembly elections a year later by the Aam Admi Party (AAP) led by Arvind Kejriwal with an overwhelming majority and its forming the government became a thorn in the flesh of the Modi government and the BJP. The Modi-centred Centre could not digest the reality that a new untried party defeated it in the very Capital of the country it ruled.
The AAP that was different from conventional political parties could not be snubbed or subdued. Its government did much to fulfil its election promises. The lower and the lower middle class people got direct financial benefits by drastically reducing water and electricity charges for lesser consumption. The government educational institutions, where common people sent their children, were closely watched and were made more efficient.
But Modi and BJP had to defame the Kejriwal government to see that the AAP never came as a challenge to them. All laws passed by the state government was blocked by the Lieutenant Governor. IAS officers were made to stop work so that administration came to a standstill. In short, the AAP government was tied hand and foot not to allow it to move.
The Supreme Court to which the state government had gone for protection has given relief to the aggrieved. In a landmark verdict, a five judge constitutional bench ruled that decisions of the elected government of Delhi do not require the concurrence of the Lt. Governor who only needs to be informed.
However, the Modi-Centre is not going to forget the challenge Kejriwal-state posed. The Centre-inspired Lt. Governor and the IAS are out to defeat the AAP experiment. They are not able to reconcile to the spirit of the Supreme Court verdict and are refusing to hand over the services department to the state government.
But people are not that easily deluded. They are watching and the electorate is a court above the Supreme Court, giving its decision fast and decisive.