In AAP words, the common man (aam aadmi) survived the floor test in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, thanks to the Congress on whom the former spewed a lot of venom. While the common man’s party has been uncommon throughout since it held the reins of power, the Congress too turned the good guy of politics by extending support “for the sake of the people of Delhi”. The BJP, however, did not try to stand out of the box and remained critical by terming AAP an “anti-national” force, without convincingly backing the allegation. The BJP’s distress was evident in the speech of its leader Harsh Bardhan who devoted much of his speech to national issues while opposing the motion.
Actually, the Congress has no option left than to wait for the AAP to falter. The party had foreseen Anna Hazare’s recent words that whoever opposed Arvind Kejriwal (at this juncture) is going to lose (votes). The party is more worried about the national scene than the Delhi one. If Congress remained the good guy in Delhi supporting the ‘aam aadmi’, it can salvage at least some votes, which were destined to be lost, in the Lok Sabha election. By then, as skeptics fear, cracks will appear in AAP to give the Opposition enough teeth pull the trigger for a re-election.
The floor test was unique in terms of the attitude of the ruling party and the party giving the outside support. The AAP was able to show its indifference towards the outcome of the test even though the party is on the edge and stands the risk of being toppled at the drop of a hat. There was no apparent backdoor understanding to keep the boat afloat, let alone any space in the government for the “partner”. The Congress, despite being battered time and again during the election and even now by the AAP, had no choice but to support the latter. This was also a rare instance in which a party giving outside support criticises, to some extent convincingly, the ruling party warning it to be cautious in spending the taxpayers’ money. This might turn out to be the smartest political move by the oldest political party of the country. From this moment, it will be the Congress who will gain from any possible AAP folly and not the BJP. The nascent party will create another history if it could sail through the five years without going for any “given and take” with the Congress.
(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on January 3, 2014)