In dealing with AAP, BJP exposes itself

The AAP has squandered much of that potential in recent times but it is still strongly entrenched in Delhi and the BJP keeps needling it, hoping to weaken it and its leader Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI file photo)

The sacking by the Delhi lieutenant governor of nine advisers to ministers in the AAP government on the recommendation of the Union home ministry has opened up another battle front between the Centre and the state government. The appointment of advisers is not as big an issue as the appointment, disqualification and re-instatement by the court of 20 AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. It seems the Centre has not learnt any lesson from the court’s reversal of the Election Commission’s decision to disqualify the legislators. The central government has been looking for issues to create problems for the AAP government in various ways. It has pursued this policy using the lieutenant governor or other agencies from the very first days of the AAP government. The BJP has not forgiven AAP for reducing it to near zero in the Delhi assembly. It has also seen the potential of AAP to emerge as a rival to it in other states. The AAP has squandered much of that potential in recent times but it is still strongly entrenched in Delhi and the BJP keeps needling it, hoping to weaken it and its leader Arvind Kejriwal.

The advisers issue is hardly worth a confrontation between the Centre and the state. The home ministry has said that the posts of advisers were not sanctioned by it and no prior approval of the central government was taken for the creation of the posts. The AAP government had appointed the nine advisers as aides to its ministers and the deputy chief minister. The financial impact of the posts was nothing because the honorarium was just one rupee per month. Four of the nine advisers left their posts some time ago and one held it only for over two months. So, the pointlessness of making an issue of these appointments should be clear to anyone.

The advisers have done some good and useful work. One of them was Atishi Marlena, a Rhodes scholar and an expert in education, who did excellent work to improve government schools in Delhi. The groundswell of popular support for her and the criticism of the Modi government for its action show how wrong and misconceived the Centre’s action was. The Centre is waging a political battle with the AAP government on every issue and even inventing new ones. Its slogan of cooperative federalism sounds totally empty and insincere in the light of such actions. The party’s hypocrisy is there for all to see, what with its government in Madhya Pradesh giving minister of state rank and high privileges to five self-declared godmen for doing nothing.

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In dealing with AAP, BJP exposes itself

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