So, the dream of a new politics, clean politics, lies shattered, smashed in a million pieces by the skullduggery of its latest, and foremost salesman, Arvind Kejriwal. The AAP leader’s Hitlerian mindset has killed the AAP experiment even before it could get underway. Now, all that is left is yet another one-man party, a la Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party or Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party. The people who will certainly feel cheated are the Delhi voters who gave AAP an unprecedented 67 out of a total 70 seats in the State Assembly. The manner in which Kejriwal engineered the expulsion of Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Anand Kumar and a few others from the party’s national executive at the weekend would do proud to any Tammany Hall operative. And the men he threw out so mercilessly, like flies from a glass of milk, were no ordinary workers. These were well-meaning professionals widely respected in their respective spheres of work. Yadav is a social scientist who made his name as a psephologist. Bhushan is a senior Supreme Court lawyer who has championed diverse public causes and spearheaded epochal PIL cases such as the 2-G and the coal scam. Anand Kumar is a well-regarded Jawaharlal Nehru University professor who has always fought for social justice and equity in a society steeped in injustice and exploitation. These and a few others who find themselves ejected out of the party they had helped found only about two years ago have become victims of Kejriwal’s I-me-alone obsession. Quite clearly, finding himself unequal to the intellectual and social prowess of the Yadav-Bhushan duo, he took the easy way out of removing them from the party’s top-most decision-making body. The age-old syndrome of second-raters only wanting to surround themselves with third- and fourth-raters was at work here. Kejriwal is now left with craven yes men who are ready to do his bidding because without him they themselves will be rendered irrelevant. This hotch-potch crowd of carpetbaggers is now set to rule the roost over the national capital, shaming people who had believed that a new dawn in Indian politics was about to come thanks to the anti-corruption zealots nurtured in the Lokpal movement of Anna Hazare. Even the simple-minded Hazare was made redundant once his fast was exploited by Kejriwal to become the face of the Lokpal movement, what with him appearing on a thousand television channels as the self-promoting anti-corruption crusader. Like all fake crusaders he too was out to take the people for a merry ride, as the voters in Delhi are already beginning to realize. Surprisingly, even the well-meaning AAP ombudsman, the retired admiral Ramdas, finds himself made unwanted. He does not fit in the devious game plan drawn up by Kejriwal in order to rid the party of all dissent. Now, the AAP is a one-man party where Kejriwal alone matters, everyone else being a cringing doorman. Days before Saturday’s disorderly and even violent show of strength by Kejriwal and his fawning supporters at a luxury farm house on the outskirts of Delhi, — after all, it is a poor man’s party which must feel entitled to some opulent luxuries — there was enough evidence that the decision to throw out the naysayers from the party was already taken. Kejriwal came, delivered the set-piece charge-sheet against the Yadav-Bhushan duo and left, leaving the dirty work to be accomplished by his henchmen. Even the kangaroo courts take care to appear more even-handed. The accused were not allowed to say a word in their defence. Indira Gandhi in her heyday had conducted herself with a little more dignity than this mid-level revenue service babu-turned-self-styled-anti-corruption neta. Want to know how his mind works. Spare a few moments to read the transcripts of the sting operations his own people carried out against him, in keeping with his call to sting anyone who is indulging in corruption. Kejriwal is heard telling pointblank that he cannot work with Bhushan and Yadav; also, he is heard using foul language against the duo who have even in their worst moments refrained from raising their voice. Earlier, in another sting conducted last year before the dissolution of the 2013 Assembly, he was ordering a party leader to lure away six Congress legislators so that he could become the CM again. It was as if Congress MLAs were apples and oranges to be plucked freely from roadside trees; inducing defections invariably involves a price, and Kejriwal was ready to pay it.
What next for AAP? Well, some members of the executive have felt so disgusted that they have left the party already. Of the four AAP MPs, one has publicly accused the Kejriwal group of riding roughshod over all democratic niceties in conducting a charade of a meeting to throw out the dissenters. Several more feel disgusted by Kejriwal’s dictatorial behaviour and can be expected to leave soon. A quick poll conducted by a Delhi newspaper after the expulsions of Yadav and Co. has blamed Kejriwal for wanting to become Hitler. The people of Delhi must be regretting their decision to vote for a man who was so unscrupulous, so devious that all he cared about was unbridled power so that he could become the unquestioned superman of Delhi. Democratic politics does not nurture the fuehrer complex for long. Kejriwal will learn that bitter lesson the hard way when AAP disappears as easily as it had surfaced on the Delhi scene.