Decline of AAP

AAP began with great expectations. There was hope of new type of politics. It was to be an alternative to all political parties. There was talk of grassroots democracy, no high command, no government accommodation to ministers and MLAs and so on.
In 2011 there was India Against Corruption movement. Anna Hazare was the face. Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Baba Ramdev, Santosh Hegde, Shazia Ilmi, Swami Agnivesh and many others were part of it. Lokpal Bill was the main demand. Cracks developed in the movement. Some wanted to join politics. Anna Hazare did not want to join politics. Arvind Kejriwal and others formed Aam Aadmi Party on 26/11/2012. It had members from different parts of India and viewed as a national party.
AAP contested Delhi elections and won 28 out of 70 seats. Congress with 8 seats supported AAP. Arvind Kejriwal became CM. He had disputes with Central Government and Lieutenant Governor and resigned after 49 days.
In the Lok Sabha elections that followed in 2014 AAP contested more than 400 seats and won 4 seats in Punjab. Arvind Kejriwal contested against Narendra Modi in Varanasi and lost.
In 2015 AAP had said good bye to grassroots democracy and so on. High command had taken over. Arvind Kejriwal was the high command. In Delhi elections AAP got 67 seats out of 70. Within weeks there were actions against Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. Both were out of the party. This shocked and disillusioned many. They quit AAP.
In the years that followed AAP contested elections in Punjab, Goa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan without much success. When the time came to send AAP members to Rajya Sabha, out of 3 seats 2 went to who were not members of AAP. This disappointed many. Ashutosh and Ashish Khetan left AAP. Some MLAs started leaving AAP. On 6/9/2019 Alka Lamba quit AAP and joined Congress. She was in Congress before.
Some politicians against whom Arvind Kejriwal had made certain accusations filed defamation cases against him. One of them was Arun Jaitley. After fighting them for some time he submitted apologies. That dented his credibility.
As elections draw near Arvind Kejriwal resorted to freebies and waivers. He said it is free ride for women in buses and Delhi Metro. Water bill payments will be waived. Supreme Court on 6/9/2019 ruled against free ride for women in Delhi Metro as it will cause loss to DMRC.
Like most parties in India AAP has become property of one man. It is just like other parties. While other parties did not give much hope of different politics at their founding, AAP gave that hope. Disappointment is great. Cynicism about anyone who talks of different politics is great. Not many will miss AAP if it ceases to exist.

P. Chidambaram in jail

Palaniappan Chidambaram is in jail. On 20/8/2019 Justice Sunil Gaur of Delhi High Court rejected his anticipatory bail application in two cases of corruption and money laundering related to INX Media. The court said it was a classic case of money laundering and Chidambaram is the kingpin i.e., the key conspirator in the case. Later that day CBI team went to his house. He was not found. CBI officers pasted a notice to appear before them in two hours.
On 21/8/2019 Chidambaram’s lawyers tried to get a hearing from Supreme Court to prevent his arrest. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid and others represented him. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for CBI and opposed granting bail to Chidambaram. Bench of Justices N. V. Ramana, Mohan M. Shantangoudar and Ajay Rastogi heard the arguments. Justice Ramana said he was sending the matter to CJI. Sibal cited urgency. Justice Ramana replied “Usually, we send all these proceedings in the evening. In your case, we are sending immediately to the Chief Justice. The five judge bench headed by CJI was hearing Ayodhya case. It dispersed at 4 p.m. after ending day’s hearings. At 4.45 p.m. the office of the Registrar (Listing) informed Chidambaram’s lawyers that the case has been listed for 23/8/2019.
Meanwhile many talked of Chidambaram as an absconder. Chidambaram held a press conference at Congress office on Akbar Road and read a statement. He said he was not running away. He wanted a hearing. He was working whole night and day with his lawyers. Between life and liberty he will choose liberty. He is not accused. There is no chargesheet against him.
After that Chidambaram left for his Jor Bagh residence. CBI officers could not get through the door. They scaled the wall and arrested him.
Chidambaram was Finance Minister and Home Minister of India. He is a Rajya Sabha member. He is a member of CWC. Congress spoke against his arrest.
When India Against Corruption had a movement it had list of 15 ministers who were said to be corrupt. Chidambaram was one of them. The list included Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid. Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted wives of Chidambaram and Khurshid are also corrupt. If CBI had been free, they all would have been in jail.
Congress and supporting parties have condemned Chidambaram’s arrest and called it political vendetta. BJP justified Chidambaram’s arrest. AAP, SP, BSP, TRS and YSRCP have been silent.
There was no chargesheet against Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy. He spent many months in jail. That was because he opposed Sonia Gandhi. She overruled the demand of AP Congress MLAs that Jaganmohan be made CM. Jaganmohan was unhappy. He used his TV channel against Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders. Chidambaram was minister. Jaganmohan landed in jail. That was political vendetta.
At one time Chidambaram was Home Minister and Amit Shah was in jail. Today Amit Shah is Home Minister and Chidambaram is in jail. The wheel turns.
Chidambaram was a guest at inauguration of CBI headquarters on 30/11/2011. Chidambaram spent the night after his arrest in suite no. 5 of guest house.

Article 370

President Ram Nath Kovind by using powers granted to him by Article 370 virtually revoked it. Home Minister Amit Shah introduced a Resolution in Rajya Sabha ending Statehood of Jammu & Kashmir and splitting it into two Union Territories: Jammu & Kashmir with Legislative Assembly and Ladakh without Legislative Assembly. The house was not adjourned in spite of shouting by opposition MPs. It raises the question why Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are adjourned on other days when there is shouting. If the government is determined it can carry on.
The movement of armed forces and para-military troops to Kashmir in the last week of July was initially seen as to provide security to Amarnath pilgrims and for Independence Day events. In the beginning of August, pilgrims and tourists were told to leave Kashmir at once and outside students were also told to leave. Something was to happen. There was talk of scrapping Articles 370 and 35A and trifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir into Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The notification dt, 5/8/2019 of Presidential Order called Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019, issued by Legislative Department of Ministry of Law and Justice put the speculation to rest. This Order superseded Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 as amended from time to time and made Article 152 redundant.
Outsiders working in Jammu & Kashmir had sent their dependents back and had stored provisions enough for many days. They knew something much before others came to know.
Parties are divided about scrapping Article 370 and ending Statehood of Jammu & Kashmir. Congress, NC, PDP and JD(U) oppose it. BJP has support of AIADMK, BJD, BSP, YSRCP and AAP. JD(U) is in NDA and BJP’s ally in Bihar. It also opposed Triple Talaq Bill. AAP wants Statehood for Delhi but supports scrapping Statehood of Jammu & Kashmir.
Congress MP and Rajya Sabha chief whip Bhubaneshwar Kalita resigned from Rajya Sabha in protest against Congress stand on Article 370.
Union Territory status means law and order will be controlled by Centre.
Amit Shah said Jammu & Kashmir can be state again at an appropriate time and under normal circumstances.
Article 370 was in Part XXI of the Constitution which has Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. This part has Special Provisions for Maharashtra and Gujarat (371), Nagaland (371A), Assam (371B), Manipur (371C), Andhra Pradesh (371D, 371E), Sikkim (371F), Mizoram (371G), Arunachal Pradesh (371H), Goa (371I) and Karnataka (371J).
Repeal of Article 370 was part of BJP manifesto. It 2014 it could not do it because it did not have enough members to support it in Rajya Sabha. Uniform Civil Code may be next.