Aam Admi Party (AAP) grievances are legitimate. But AAP is targeting the wrong authority for the political impasse in Delhi. Over six months have passed since the last state government demitted office. During all this time no party has claimed ability to form the government.
There are credible reports based upon statements made by its own leaders that the BJP has contemplated attempt to form the government. It has not succeeded. Yet it keeps trying. In other words it wants to attract defectors from other parties to succeed. There is no other explanation. This prolongs an unhealthy atmosphere encouraging political horse trading and corruption. Allegations and denials are flowing thick and fast. Those responsible for prolonging this unhealthy atmosphere should be made to act. It is in failing to do it that AAP invites criticism.
AAP leaders are targeting the Lt-Governor Mr. Najeeb Jung and leaders of the central government for this state of affairs. AAP leader Mr. Manish Sisodia said: “It is not the Lt-Governor who is making decisions but the Centre which is ruling Delhi…. The L-G has said that (by holding elections) work will suffer for two months. But six months have already gone waste.” Another AAP spokesperson Mr. Ashutosh said: “Till now the BJP has clearly said that they are not in the mood to form the government. The AAP has said the same thing and so has the Congress… why is the L-G still exploring the option?” AAP leaders are accusing BJP president Mr. Amit Shah for Mr. Jung’s conduct.
Undoubtedly what is going on in Delhi is morally wrong. Even the Supreme Court has in a recent ruling asked why Delhi legislators continue drawing salaries when they do not work. But it is futile to blame the guilty parties that are beneficiaries of this situation. AAP must focus on the authority that ultimately is responsible for this situation. It must put pressure on that authority to rectify the situation. The ultimate authority responsible for the situation in Delhi is not Mr. Najeeb Jung. It is not ministers of the Union cabinet. It is not Mr. Amit Shah. The responsibility for the Delhi situation lies squarely with the President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. Why do AAP leaders not question him for dereliction of duty?
In the Dr Raghulal Tilak case (1979) Supreme Court clearly and unambiguously ruled that Governors are in no manner “subordinate or subservient” to the Union cabinet. They function directly under the President. Further, the oaths of office of the President and all ministers clearly indicate that the responsibility to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution and all laws rests solely with the President, not the Prime Minister. By not acting when the letter and spirit of law is violated the President is failing to exercise the responsibility he has accepted under solemn oath. If AAP leaders are convinced that law and Constitution are being violated in Delhi they should protest to the President. Mr. Mukherjee must act.