First they meet, greet & become friends. And then they part ways in the middle leaving countless fans & followers confused.
This was coming. And it did come months before the Lok Sabha polls of 2019. Notwithstanding the health issues, that Mr. Maken have to genuinely address, it is clear as daylight that he didn’t want to be seen sharing stage & breaking bread with his bête noire’ Kejriwal & AAP whom he thought were responsible for congress’s worst performance ever in Delhi in decades. Having retrieved the party from the ruts of extinction, Maken must have been feeling belittled by such playing with fire, an open dalliance, between his party high command & AAP top brass.
With the old guard in Sheila Dixit having thrown more than a broad hint on helming the party that is still smarting from its electoral isolation, Mr. Maken was only one step away from the exit door. It may be a matter of time before we were either to write home a beautiful script for the grand old party or condemn its self defeating, self written obituary of sorts. Maken was handed over the reins of a party at a time when few would stand with it in any political arithmetic. It goes to his credit that with his affable personality & a clean image, he was able to stem the rot & fuel the party’s imagination of a better showing in future elections. Despite the inner party rumblings, various power centres & Burroughs of defiance, Mr. Maken could deftly keep the flock together & that won him more than an admiration of his political masters. He made friends with media as well as his political opponents & took centre stage in all of the Congress strategies for capital city Delhi.
It doesn’t come as utterly surprising then that the AAP has also warmed up to the prospect of an alliance with congress, come 2019, sensing a change in Delhi’s air. Well, the Narendra Modi factor could also be weighing heavily in their equations, having been consistently at the receiving end of a tormenting tenure & unwanted interventions by the central government. Even though we had heard murmurs about Maken resignation back in September also, it is only this time that his request has been acceded to by Rahul Gandhi, the party President in the backdrop of frantic parleys between two adversaries.
He may be out, but not down & congress would do well to entrust Maken with a less taxing yet a significant responsibility & use his influence in reaching out to the electorate in coming days.
The other significant resignation has been of the AAP leader & senior advocate H.S Phoolka. Phoolka, it must be said has been the most visible, the most vociferous face of the campaign for Justice for the 1984 riot victims. He has almost single handed-ly been running from one court to the other in pursuit for truth & to bring the culprits of the pogrom to justice. His biggest achievement would be Sajjan Kumar’s recent conviction for Life pronounced by the Delhi High court. Reading between the lines & saving AAP the ignominy of a deeper embarrassment, Phoolka said in his press conference that it was “wrong” to convert the 2011 anti-corruption movement led by social activist Anna Hazare into a political party in 2012. While he may have sounded politically correct on this front,; Some would say that he was being magnanimous in his oblique references that did not show AAP in too bad a light at the end of the day, perhaps an attempt to repay some debt to the party; He made no bones of his intentions to form a non-political organisation that could “call a spade a spade” without any diplomacy. It is a sort of going back to the drawing board & pulling in people into his outfit whatever name & nature he may wish to give it, quite reminiscent of the original Anna Hazare movement.
Mr. Phoolka has more than expressed his displeasure & non-approval of any tie-up with congress by reiterating his appreciation for non-congress outfits, who he said lent him lot of support in his mission to bring the culprits of 1984 to justice. So when there are more than the whispers & murmurs about AAP cosying up to congress in its quest to see a common enemy in BJP off the throne, Mr. Phoolka chose to be the battle hardened crusader as opposed to singing the party tune or wearing the chameleon colours. Those who do not suffer any type of amnesia, they would recall that it was AAP who had ordered SIT probe & offered compensation to 1984 riot victims, purportedly orchestrated by Congress led government at that time. Politics they say is the fine art, a last refuge, perfected by scoundrels.
Not many would find any fault with Phoolka & his tirade against those who are accused of masterminding acts of violence & hate against humanity. His heart may still be where his passion is; but in his continuing with a ragtag political outfit like AAP, he may have found the going against his grain a bit too much in the twilight of his illustrious career. And when he mentioned about many others having quit the party before, he may well have been inviting to the likes of a Prashant Bushan, a Yogendra Yadav & ilk to join his crusade against drugs & corruption in public life.
Punjab legislator Sukhpal Khaira also has resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party, making him the second leader from the state to leave in a week. Yet again he has cited lack of inner party democracy as his main reason behind his decision apart from his known discomfort of any impending alignment with Congress in the run up to 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
They say enemy’s enemy is your fried & if AAP believes in this adage, it may well have ushered itself in as a thick skinned political outfit with no qualms about anything. Such can be the brazenness & devil may care approach to principled politics that even an AAP who had dawned on the horizon as fresh air, an alternative discourse that it can get easily & conveniently sucked into a hell hole & succumb to the trappings that come with bigger political ambitions.