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AAP's USP is its clean image, Modi is trying hard to taint it

Ashutosh | Updated on: 6 July 2016, 16:45 IST
Problems in the camp
  • AAP has been consistently plagued by one arrest or another
  • AAP members have also been targeted by the government
But why?
  • The Modi government is trying to taint AAP\'s image
  • They are worried of the effect AAP will have if left \'unchecked\'
More in the story
  • The repeated attacks on AAP
  • Why is Modi worried?

US President Richard Nixon was famous for saying that "if two wrongs don't make a right, try three".

Narendra Modi believes that if three wrongs don't make a right, try four. The last ten days exemplify this belief.

First, AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya was arrested on false charges of outraging the modesty of a woman. Then MLA Naresh Yadav was booked by the Punjab police for an absurd charge based on an allegation that he conspired to desecrate the Quran.

Also Read: Rajendra Kumar, Principal Secretary to Delhi CM, and 4 others sent to 5 day police custody

On 4 July Modi's wrongs struck twice within a few hours. First, AAP cabinet minister Kapil Mishra was interrogated in the water tanker scam though he was the complainant.

By evening the principal secretary to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Rajendra Kumar, was arrested on corruption charges.

The Rajendra Kumar story

Rajendra Kumar was the same officer who was used as a pretext on 14 December 2015 by the Modi government to raid the Delhi CM's office.

He was alleged to have indulged in corruption in 2006 and later during Sheila Dixit's regime as well.

The complaint was made by a disgruntled officer of the Delhi government which gave the Modi government an opportunity to hound Arvind Kejriwal.

Also Read: Graft charges on Kejriwal's man Rajendra Kumar; 8 facts about Delhi's top babu

The CBI could not find any evidence except a few bottles of liquor at Rajendra Kumar's residence. The CBI court was livid with the way the investigation had been carried out. In fact, on 8 April, the court referred the matter to the Delhi High Court to initiate contempt proceeding against CBI officials in this case.

The Delhi HC pulled up the CBI several times as it had not followed the due course of law and had failed to produce credible evidence. The court said, "CBI being the premier agency is expected to follow the mandate of law." The court found CBI's conduct to be "conspicuously ambiguous".

Most mysteriously, about a month ago the concerned HC judge was transferred.

And now Rajendra Kumar has been arrested along with a deputy secretary, Tarun Sharma, who was working with him. Surprisingly, Tarun Sharma's name did not figure in the FIR.

Unanswered questions

Today, the CBI could not reply to the questions posed by the defendant's lawyers, during the hearing when Rajendra Kumar was produced in court, as to why the CBI was demanding police custody when all the officers were cooperating with the investigating agency and what was the need for sudden arrest of the officials after six months of the raid?

In fact, the entire court room clapped when one of the senior lawyers said that the CBI is a politically manipulated agency that serves its political masters. I was present in the court then when this happened. The CBI officers' faces turned red.

Other than Rajendra Kumar's case, the morning of 4 July also witnessed another bizarre incident.

Kapil Mishra, the Water Minister was called by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for questioning in the water tanker scam.

I wish to categorically inform the readers that there is no charge of corruption against Kapil Mishra. The charges are levelled against Sheila Dixit, the then chief minister when this scam took place.

This scam has nothing to do with the Arvind Kejriwal government. But an accusation was made by a BJP leader in the Delhi Assembly that the AAP government did not act on this matter. And when the Kejriwal government forwarded this matter for investigation, the first person who was interrogated was none other than the minister who instituted the inquiry in the first place. The very same minister who had the report prepared and forwarded for investigation.

The person who is allegedly responsible for the scam, Sheila Dixit has not been served a notice till now. This raises very disturbing questions about the motive of the Modi government as ACB directly reports to the home ministry.

Let us not forget that the AAP government in its first regime did lodge three FIRs against Sheila Dixit. It's been more than two years and no action has been initiated yet. She was not even questioned, forget about custodial interrogation!

If Kapil Mishra can be questioned for supposedly sitting on the report then the LG of Delhi Najeeb Jung and ACB chief Mukesh Meena should also be booked for inaction vis-a-vis Sheila Dixit.

This also raises the serious question about why Sheila Dixit is being spared. It clearly establishes that the Modi government is working with a vengeance against the Kejriwal government.

More problems

But Sheila is not the only case. BJP MLA OP Sharma was caught on camera beating a political activist outside the Patiala House Court. He is the same person who used the choicest of abuses against the MLA Alka Lamba. She was openly threatened by him. His men had also pelted stones at her.

But the Delhi police, which reports to the Modi government, did not act. He was not even arrested initially. When the media launched a campaign on this issue, then a formality of arrest was observed. He was technically arrested and immediately given bail by the police.

Also Read: CBI arrests Principal Secretary to Delhi CM, Rajendra Kumar, and 4 others in corruption case

Similarly, during the Kanhaiya episode, the Delhi police did not move an inch to take punitive action against rogue lawyers who beat up Kanhaiya and journalists; abused and threatened Supreme Court appointed committee of senior lawyers to inquired into the violence inflicted on Kanhaiya in the court premises.

In contrast AAP MLAs are arrested at the drop of a hat. Mahendra Yadav, an MLA, was arrested; he was fighting to get justice for a three-year-old girl who was raped.

Another MLA, Commando Surendra who fought terrorists during the 26/11 attack on Mumbai, was also arrested. His crime was that he tried to save a young boy from being thrashed by corrupt MCD officials near the Prime Minister's residence.

Delhi Police has not even bothered to summon BJP MP Mahesh Giri and NDMC Vice Chairman of NDMC, Karan Singh Tanwar in the MM Khan murder case. These two gentlemen had written letters in favour of the murder accused.

I dread that if similar letters had been written by AAP leaders, by now they would have been sent behind bars. But, here also, no action has been taken in spite of Khan's family repeatedly appealing for justice.

All bought over

I don't need to say that several agencies reporting to the Modi government, be it the Delhi Police, ACB or the CBI, are acting in a manner most discriminatory while dealing with AAP. This can't happen without the political patronage from the top.

Modi has two fundamental reasons to be vindictive. One, since he became the chief minister of Gujarat he never lost an election. Delhi was his first electoral defeat - and the most humiliating one. The BJP under his leadership was virtually decimated in the capital. He is not known to forget and forgive his enemies. His stint in Gujarat is a pointer to how he deals with his competitors, enemies and those who defy him or disagree with him.

Secondly, he is a very ambitious man and a sharp politician. After its victory in Delhi, AAP has grown exponentially in Punjab and Goa, two states where the NDA is in power.

According to opinion polls, the AAP is up for an unprecedented victory in Punjab and Goa which will definitely upset for the BJP. AAP is also doing very well in Gujarat where elections are due in December 2017. There are encouraging reports from Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh as well. If this pace continues then AAP will emerge as the principal opposition party in the country.

Modi knows that the Congress Party led by Rahul Gandhi is no match for him but AAP under Arvind Kejriwal is potentially, the most serious threat to his mission 2019 where he is looking to repeat the success of 2014.

AAP's USP is its clean image. If it can be proved that AAP is no different from the other political parties then AAP will lose the sheen and the moral aura.

The indiscriminate arrests of AAP leaders and its officials is an attempt to paint AAP with the same brush.

Will Modi succeed in his endeavour to discredit AAP, rob it of its USP?

As a student of history, I can say that despite all the Machiavelli-ism Nixon failed in his mission. He was disgraced and had to resign.

I am confident that politics is not mathematics and two wrongs don't make a right.

Edited by Jhinuk Sen

Also Read: What does Rajendra Kumar know that AAP is so keen to hide? BJP demands to know

Also Read: Rajendra Kumar, 4 other accused to be produced in Patiala House Court

First published: 6 July 2016, 16:45 IST