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There seems to be a fringe theory floating around about a larger international conspiracy (CIA etc) influencing Indian politics using the Ford Foundation (among other things). The Great Game India blog (linking to blog because too many interlinked posts to link individually) has been with this train of thought for a few years now. That the RSS creation VIF is manipulating Indian politics and that they started the India Against Corruption movement and so on. They link the Aam Aadmi Party with this larger political conspiracy.

Some of it is verifiably true. The Vivekananda International Foundation was indeed formed in the year after the Vivekananda Kendra got a grant from the Ford Foundation. Manish Sisodia, Kejriwal and others have got grants before the IAC movement and so on.

Some of it is only to be expected and verifiable through sources outside the country for example the US and CIA specifically not being interested in manipulating  a country the size of India makes no sense given their actions world over. There are leaks involving spying. The Great Game India Blog itself has provided considerable evidence of Mossad activity in India based on reports in Indian media including diamond mafia links and raising questions about Israeli role in the 26/11 attacks.

While there are many gaps in the logic that don't allow me to agree with many questions they make, the sheer effort they put into to reference their claims makes it important to at least consider the question with an open mind when they ask "Was AAP victory in Delhi Elections Planned?". The claim being that it was a larger part of a game plan all through to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister and Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister.

My views on this are mixed.

Observations that point to the possibility of scripted wins in Lok Sabha Elections for Modi and in Delhi Elections for Arvind Kejriwal

Both these results would not have been possible without the self-destruction of the other just prior to the polls.

It is likely they would still have formed governments, but If the Aam Aadmi Party had not collapsed so thoroughly after discrediting the Congress, the landslide win for Modi would not be possible. The run up to the Lok Sabha Election saw the Aam Aadmi Party pretty much drop everything to find God and criticize Modi.

And the BJP returned the favor for the Delhi Elections. We saw Narendra Modi and Amit Shah go out of their way to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" as a disgusted supporter put it. Would the Aam Aadmi Party have won anyway? Probably, but 67 seats out of 70? Highly unlikely.

Is there any advantage to these sweeping wins in terms of manipulating India? Definitely. Complete lack of opposition leaves one entity controlling what is done without question.

"Kejriwal for CM, Modi for PM" slogan

This slogan is fascinating, because BJP supporters had used it to woo AAP supporters during the Lok Sabha Elections, and AAP supporters almost used it to woo BJP supporters in the Delhi Assembly elections. The Aam Aadmi Party actually put it up on their website before outraged volunteers made them take it down again.

Kiran Bedi as CM candidate

While many paint this as a move to get some credibility to a discredited BJP, it is impossible that those who crafted the IAC had no idea just how absurd and damaging to credibility Kiran Bedi can be. This was a calculated move to demoralize the Delhi BJP leaders. Dr Harshvardhan, who had been a face of credibility was available and unused, so to say, while Satish Upadhyay did not even get a ticket.

BJP's "abandonment" of the Sikhs

Arvind Kejriwal had reopened investigations into the 1984 ant-Sikh riots. The BJP had made vague and unc0nvincing comments. This definitely lost them Sikh votes. Yet yesterday, a day after the results of Delhi election, the BJP government in the Center announced another SIT (Special Investigating Team) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. If this was their intention, it is rather astonishing that they did not do it before the Delhi Elections.

Religious alienation

There seemed to be a checklist of religions to alienate. Muslims were easy, with the "Ramzadon and Haramzadon" stuff. Churches were vandalized. Sikhs were ignored and BJP's most dependable vote bank - Hindus were achieved with absurd dictates to Hindu women to produce 4, 5 or upto 10 children (depending on which idiot you happened to hear). It was almost the exact reverse of BJP's calculated propaganda to target identities to con into supporting.

Why BJP may want to lose Delhi Assembly Elections 2015

There is an article by this name circulating. This article is fascinating, because of several reasons. It outlines a diabolical game plan to make Aam Aadmi Party responsible for its own failure and eventual decimation by making delivering of promises difficult from the Center. The intent being "The media spotlight on Kejriwal government will allow Jaitley to quietly to push through unpopular reforms — disinvestment of PSUs, budget cuts in health, education in his attempt to cut budget deficit." among other things. Do read. A fascinating article. Also probably untrue for the Delhi BJP and supporters at the very least - the Modi cartels in the center apart.

My guess is BJP Delhi is discovering what Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena, Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan, Telangana and many others discovered after raising Modi to his lofty Lok Sabha victory. What Vidarbha is discovering after bringing BJP to power in Maharashtra. The goals and agenda of those "driving" the BJP have little to do with those of supporters or even their expectations when they supported.

There are other smaller pieces of information from news reports and more that fit into these patterns. Like information for exposes on Delhi BJP leaders coming from leaders within the BJP itself.

What do I think?

In my view, politics is rarely so black and white with a single agenda playing out. Where there is power, there are grabs. Is there a longer game plan involving the VIF? I believe so. Is Aam Aadmi Party a part of the plan? Not so sure.

The Aam Aadmi Party, in my observation was formed when BJP tried to bottle the IAC genie before it got too inconvenient and expected them to not be corrupt as well. Till then, the IAC had the strong backing of the RSS and BJP. For all its claims of being an apolitical movement and it probably was, in terms of the leadership of the movement, the amount of support on the ground it got from the RSS and BJP cannot be denied. In many places, "IAC" protests were organized by BJP offices, often right outside the office, where most of the speeches made a point of praising the BJP while criticizing UPA corruption.

Was Anna Hazare complicit? Many in the Congress claim so. Particularly after he praised Modi before hastily withdrawing his statements. He may have been influenced by the support rather than doing the influencing.

However, it cannot be denied that there was an abundance of VIF-RSS-BJP support, which eventually led to an ideological clash. Those in the IAC who were not willing to exempt the BJP would have to find other means of going about their agenda, because they could very likely no longer count on the support of the BJP machinery to hold nationwide protests (which took Anna and Kejriwal by surprise initially).

Thus, the Aam Aadmi Party being a VIF-RSS-BJP creation sounds a bit outside the realm of probability. However, it is almost guaranteed that there were people planted in the party right from the start. It is simply how the RSS operates. These people may have been able to influence the actions of the party to a greater or lesser degree or simply attack from within at inopportune times. So AAP actions could have played into a larger game plan UNKNOWINGLY - for example during the aftermath of the Ambani FIR and subsequent resignation of the Arvind Kejriwal government or the Lok Sabha Election.

We saw AAP leaders and volunteers "defect" for no apparent reason. The stated reasons of a lack of internal democracy or whatever the accusations were, were hardly something to have cropped up at specific times - they would be a part of the party culture that they didn't appear to have a problem with till the time to leave - within days of each other. So it looks more than a coincidence. Given the complicit media promoting all and sundry quitters as "ex-AAP leaders" and in one instance calling an "ex-AAP leader" a representative of AAP in a programme that had no one from AAP on the panel, it seems to be organized and given visibility in a time when media was openly called "Modified".

Also, AAP being a US-Israel conspiracy seems a little more improbable, because I cannot recollect offhand the last time these forces empowered "communist" ideology to empower their agendas. It is counterproductive to the US-Israel agenda for people who don't like "imperialists" to get too much voice - which is a sentiment often shared by Aam Aadmi Party supporters - while they are not actively against, they have a perception of being unwilling to bow to imposed interests or disproportionate or unjust appropriation of national resources by big business.

Thirdly, the US-Israel lobby almost always rattles up countries by empowering the right wing. We also see this in action with the occasional comments of right wing leaders that are in agreement with these two countries as well as the larger tendency - for example being fine with attacks on Hindus by the right wing Buddhists in Sri Lanka or on Rohingya Muslims in Burma or even a VIF member meeting the top right wing terrorist influencer in Pakistan and endorsing him on Indian television channels. A lot of the anti-Muslim propaganda arguments and methods used by the Hindutva brigade are extremely similar to Israeli propaganda. Right from selective history to demonize, to organized social media propaganda.

There are no such "behavioral" corelations with the Aam Aadmi Party that I have noticed so far. There is disproportionate weightage to Ford Foundation as funding anti-national interest. While it would hardly be surprising that the CIA uses front organizations or makes opportunistic use of genuine organizations, it is a little extreme to imagine that all its funding is proof of destabilization. The same with the Magsaysay awards. Only a complete idiot would imagine that P. Sainath is somehow working to further US imperial capitalist interest in India given how much time he has devoted to deconstructing such influences.

Of course, it could "all" be astroturfing. But it isn't useful intellectually to believe something that goes contrary to observable dynamics just because it is possible.

This of course does not exclude the possibility of influencing or otherwise manipulating.

Role of Shanti Bhushan

Shanti Bhushan is a respected lawyer and ex politician of BJP and close to Jaitley as well as one of the founders of the Aam Aadmi Party. He made a donation of one crore rupees to the Aam Aadmi Party, but almost every time he has come to attention since then, it has been for damaging the interest of AAP. Just before the Lok Sabha Election, an article "by Shanti Bhushan" was published in India Today, which he claimed to not have written and it was subsequently taken down. Many of the things said in that article continue to be attributed to him in recent interviews, though he denies writing it.

A "breakaway faction" or "collective of ex-supporters" of Aam Aadmi Party, the AVAM, which has made news with absurd allegations against the AAP appear to enjoy his support. More recently, in answer to some questions I asked after a stray remark by an AAP supporter caught my eye, several AAP volunteers shared privately (since they cannot provide proofs and he's a respected and senior member) that he had been in favor of AAP's overreach in contesting in the Lok Sabha polls, which was possibly the single biggest factor in AAP's defeat.

Whether Shanti Bhushan has an ulterior motive or whether he was simply easily influenced by inconvenient narratives is difficult to say and irrelevant at this point, but he does appear to be a consistent source of damage for AAP, including often reported disapproval of Arvind Kejriwal as the leader.

The curious case of Shazia Ilmi

If there is anyone who topped Shanti Bhushan in damage to AAP, it is Shazia Ilmi. The only two "sting" videos to do real damage to AAP credibility involve her. The first appears to show her providing methods to make donations to AAP off the record. The second is where she supposedly asks Muslims to be communal. Whether these were genuine mistakes and she was targeted for stings because she was observed to be careless with words or if she was corrupt or if she was setting AAP up cannot be said. But other common factors seems to be an inopportune exit, affiliation with the "apolitical" AVAM (the RSS is apolitical as well, for a benchmark), new affiliation with the BJP - incidentally a party she leveled outrageous insults at, including personal insults aimed at Modi - some of which even me, an open Modi critic would cringe at.

Binny seems to be more of an opportunist who wanted a way to easy power and got his hopes dashed, who later found enough "appreciation" from BJP. BJP is unlikely to ever give him a cabinet seat either.

All this is water under the bridge. merely stating as an example of how while the AAP as a party may not be "in" on any conspiracy agendas, there is no telling how many people committed to other agendas are embedded inside, who influence or sabotage the actions of the party to suit.

The RSS machine is an expert at subversive strategy and poor at accountability. Sooner or later, disillusionment was inevitable, because there is only so much you can tell people that Acche Din are here, if their lives don't get easier or actually get more expensive. They are smart enough to deploy propaganda at key times and let disillusionment happen in the interim.

So can the Aam Aadmi Party government be trusted?

It would be the height of gullibility to blindly trust ANY political party. Whether the AAP has an ulterior motive or not is irrelevant. It has abundant gaps where more refinement of policy is needed in order for their actions to not harm people's interest. The bottom line always ought to be whether the ACTIONS are helping people or not - regardless of motives or intent.

The AAP has some protection from outright damaging citizen's interests simply because it cannot stand without its volunteer base, and it is impossible to have a conspiracy large enough to include thousands of volunteers and still keep it secret. So even if there are foul agendas at play, implementing them would be an uphill task. That said, it wouldn't be impossible, and only the foolish would believe that all that it takes to receive good governance is casting a vote.

The Aam Aadmi Party government has been entrusted with making Delhi a happier, safer place where all its citizens can thrive. This is a tall order. And if the AAP is honest, spotting mistakes and objecting on time will HELP their objectives. If it is not honest, spotting mistakes on time and objecting may improve chances to prevent them.

Regardless, citizens should not trust governments, but hold them accountable, relentlessly.

News media quoted Anna Hazare criticizing the Modi government on not fulfilling its promises re black money and Lokpal Bill. Here is a quote from January 29th, 2015 - Indian Express:

“Before he became the PM, Modi had promised to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s account by bringing back black money. It has been eight months but none has got even Rs 15. Modi has refused to utter a word on black money and Lokpal appointment. There’s a huge difference between what Modi says and what he does,” he said, adding that he would soon launch a protest in Delhi against the central government.

Two days later, this ad is on the front page of the Indian Express (New Delhi edition). What appears to be a BJP campaign advertisement targeting Kejriwal also shows a photograph of Anna Hazare with a garland in the background. In India, a garlanded photograph has a specific symbolism - death. Photographs of living people are not garlanded as per Hindu belief.

Delhi, 30 January, 2015 Indian Express Frontpage
Delhi, 30 January, 2015 Indian Express Frontpage

Given that Anna Hazare has little to do with Arvind Kejriwal or his political party "Aam Aadmi Party", there appears to be no reason for Anna Hazare to be in the image - alive or dead. Nor does the text of the advertisement indicate any relevance.

BJP advertisement showing a garlanded photo of Anna Hazare
BJP advertisement showing a garlanded photo of Anna Hazare

Which leaves the mind troubled given the symbolism of the garland on the photo, and the position of the photo behind Arvind Kejriwal. It appears to be yet another of our government's menacing (but politically not incorrect) messages.

 

Update: Anna Hazare has said that he will complain to the Election Commission and file an FIR against BJP for the advertisement that shows a garland on his photograph. Here are screenshots from Total TV and AajTak. I will add links to videos as they become available.

Anna Hazare will complain against BJP to the Election Commission
Anna Hazare will complain against BJP to the Election Commission
Anna Hazare will file an FIR against BJP for cartoon showing a garland on his photo
Anna Hazare will file an FIR against BJP for cartoon showing a garland on his photo

 

Anna will complain to election commission about BJP
Anna will complain to election commission about BJP

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Raj Thackeray is making news with the toll plazas again with 4 road toll booths vandalized. Earlier this month it was Shiv Sena that torched 3 road toll collection booths. The objective is to disrupt toll collection. They see toll booths as economic crimes by overcharging people, faking accounts to show less profits and continue collecting toll for a longer period. Their actions are violent. To put it bluntly, they are wrecking toll booths. People are getting Pavlovian frowns. Violent is bad, right?

I agree that violence is bad. But I disagree that in this case the only violence is by Thackeray & Co. In Maharashtra, the collusion of powerful people is such that large profits are being made by those in power and their affiliates. It is not a new story. These are known illegal practices by an established mafia that aren't even dented by repeated exposes. MNS have a point. If the cost of a road is 5 crores, why is 45 crores collected? If vehicle owners pay road tax, why should they also have to pay toll tax for making that road?

Livemint had this to point out earlier this month: Wanted: A transparent road policy in Maharashtra

Many are not against the tolls per se but they feel there is no transparency in the manner in which the contracts for tolled roads are given out and that the government is literally taking them for a ride for the benefit of a few contractors.

For example, the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI’s) norms say the distance between two toll plazas should be at least 80km but the Maharashtra government’s policy uses a vague terminology and fixes the distance between two toll plazas at 35-40km. It has never explained why the distance between two plazas should be brought down by half.

Besides, on toll roads, BOT contractors are supposed to provide facilities such as ambulances, toilets and eateries, but except for a few roads like the Mumbai-Pune expressway and the Mumbai-Nashik highway, hardly any other toll road has these facilities.

Contractors are also supposed to maintain the roads during the so-called concession period, when they enjoy the right to collect the toll; but, except in a few major highways, the contractors don’t seem to be interested in taking care of damages caused by usual wear and tear. Officials from the public works department are rarely seen being pro-active and compelling contractors to do their job.

Then there are questions on the manner in which the tendering process is carried out. No one knows who, how and when the traffic surveys are carried out, how the toll fee is fixed, how the period for which a contract is given is calculated, or what formula is used for increasing the fee every year.

Here is an excerpt Chauthiduniya's June 2012 coverage of the toll tax scam frustration

The illegal exaction of toll tax in Maharashtra has snowballed into a major controversy after the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) cadre resorted to vandalism... In many cases toll is still being charged even after the period of exaction has expired. It is for this reason that none of the political parties of the state condemned the actions of MNS. Instead, many a political heavyweight came out in open support of the protest. Even anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare was seen condoning the protests. The Public Works Minister Chagan Bhujbal was left in a spot of bother as even his cabinet colleagues raised their voice against the malpractice. As a matter of fact, as per a court order, an FIR has been lodged against many senior officials of Bhujbal’s department in connection with the Shiroor toll picket case. The protests against this malpractice later spread from Nasik to Mumbai, Nagpur, Wardha, Amraoti and Bhandara districts.

... The period of toll exaction had ended way back in 2011 but charging of toll has continued unabated even to this day. The 30 kilometer stretch has become the hub of illegal toll collection.Interestingly, even if the toll collection period had ended in 2011, the state government has extended the period by another year and the contract has been given to three contractors. People started a protest movement over this and vandalised the toll picket...

Another interesting facet of the story is that Nasik, from where the entire movement against illegal exaction of toll started, is the home district of Chhagan Bhujbal. He is, perhaps, the only person who has denied any illegality in the issue and is justifying the toll collection. Anna Hazare had earlier raised this issue, and this time state Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Patil too has pointed fingers at the misplaced toll policy which he wants reviewed so as to prevent any untoward incident happening over the matter.

Patil questioned the wisdom behind the current toll policy and said that it was just filling the coffers of the contractors. MNS says that once the road tax is included at the time of the registration of the vehicles there is no merit in again collecting toll tax. If the cost of the road is just five crores, why does the government authorise a toll tax collection of 45 crores? Toll collection is entirely illegal if we look at some facts. The Nasik-Yewala road was built at a cost of 174 crores yet the government authorised the collection of 1550 crores as toll over a period of 28 years. Similarly, the Aurabgabad-Vadala road incurred an investment of 190 crores, but the government authorised the collection of 1330 crores over 25 years; Shiroor-Ahmadnagar highway was built at a cost 162 crores but collection of 713 crores was authorised for 19 years; Jalan-Watur highway was built at a cost 100 crores but collection of 915 crore was authorised for 30 years; Pune-Shiroor highway built at a cost 105 crores but collection of thrice the amount was authorised. The list is not exhaustive and many more examples can be cited.

Another example of how the poor are suffering at the hands of this draconian taxation is the Dewali village toll picket on the Wardha-Yavatmal highway. As per the law, there should be no toll picket within a kilometer of a village or a town but this one is just 200 metres from the village and for getting to the filling station, the villagers have to pay toll tax. Actually, there is no system for regulating the collection of toll. Though computer-generated slips are given at various places, there is no cross checking of whether the total receipts have broken even with the cost or not. Consequently, the officials take the amount reported by contractors at face value and turn a blind eye to the primary question.

...The leader of Opposition in Maharashtra, Eknath Khadse, has alledged that illegal toll collection is a scam worth at least 10,000 crore for which Chhagan Bhujbal is responsible.

- See more at: http://www.eng.chauthiduniya.com/toll-takes-a-heavy-toll-in-maharashtra/#sthash.tlibsLmd.dpuf

Two years ago, there was a virtual flurry of exposes related with the toll booths. Today, there is no change. This seems set to go the irrigation scam way, and there is little people can do about it.

We see the visible violence - that of a vandalized booth, but we fail to notice the constant violence of exploitation of state resources for the profit of a few powerful entities.

Is the Shiv Sena or MNS wrong in vandalizing the toll booths? Sure. But the fact remains that these cartels entrenched in the system are not going to go away with petitions and candles. I am not all that bothered as long as people are not hurt. Particularly when it comes to property that belongs to the target of the protest (as opposed to breaking random windows and burning cars) and can be easily replaced in a fraction of the ill gotten wealth that is being protested... if it shows results.

But the other fact also remains that vandalizing the toll booths for several years now also has not resulted in any change either. It remains a method of grabbing attention for the cause that lacks teeth to do anything beyond that. Today toll booths all over Maharashtra are being vandalized. It is pointless to tell them to stop, because it is deliberate, and political and long running enough to have a lot of fed up people backing it. If this merely achieves the lack of toll collection till they are repaired, then it does not mean much. If it forces transparency and accountability, perhaps the anarchy will have achieved something.

There is a need for clear and transparent process of tenders, accounts, toll collection, traffic measurement and more. There is no getting around that.

An article India Today has published in Shanti Bhushan's name, which he denies writing

India Today apparently has no idea how the slanderous article got there. Considering the stature of Shanti Bhushan and his role a founder of Aam Aadmi Party, the article being published "accidentally" seems rather far fetched.

The false article has since been removed from the India Today website:

Kejriwal on course to ruin 2014 for BJP

Arvind Kejriwal might prove to be a spoiler for the BJP bandwagon in 2014. During the Delhi assembly elections, Kejriwal and party made it quite clear that they were opposed to the BJP more than the Congress. Kejriwal very cleverly targeted BJP using the corruption plank, equating BJP and Congress on one hand and on the other hand meeting Muslim leaders to acquire Muslim support on a secular plank knowing that Muslims, who were notionally against the BJP, are now were fed up of the Congress and seeking a new platform to stand against the BJP.AnnaKejriwal and his party are the product of 'Anna' Hazare's movement, which erupted against the Congress's colossal corruption and patronage to corruption. Later on, however, the movement, which was essentially against the misdeeds of Manmohan Singh's government, took a different turn and was made to look as if it were against the BJP too on purpose, by some vested interests, with the active support of Arvind Kejriwal. Once it was done, it confused the people and the movement, which started with a bang, ended up slowly with a whimper. The sheen of the movement was gone. It put Kejriwal and company out of a job.But Kejriwal would not accept defeat. He came out with the decision of entering into electoral politics, which he had claimed to be stoutly against. However Anna Hazare did not consent to the idea, and it was a big dampener to Keriwal's ambitions. So Kejriwal defied Anna Hazare and formed a political outfit by the name of Aam Admi Party, giving it a colour of an anti-corruption unit against both the national parties, instead of just opposed to the Congress against whom the movement was initiated in the first place. He intentionally and mischievously raised the bogey of Gadkari's corruption and bracketed him with the Congress party's known corrupt politicians to show his 'secular' credentials. The BJP's name was sullied to please a particular community. Otherwise the BJP was nowhere near power so there was no question of them having been involved in corruption.

Arvind Kejriwal took full advantage of the BJP's complacency in ignoring AAP. He was preparing his ground ingeniously, working silently against the BJP and outwardly showing his opposition to the Congress. He exploited the sentiments of the people and gained phenomenal success at elections, cleverly shifting the blame for rampant corruption on the BJP too along with the Congress. He did it on purpose to attract minority votes. Kejriwal showed exemplary skills in election management and deserved credit for his forthrightness, his courage and his hard work.

Corruption

Riding high after his phenomenal success, he announced his arrival on the national scene. His crusade against corruption is laudable, but governance does not mean eradication of corruption only, as Kejriwal thinks and would have us believe. There are other many threats staring the nation, because of misdeeds of this present Congress government. The economy is in shambles, despite or one may say because of the economic wizard we have as our prime minister. Ever-increasing prices of essential commodities and petroleum products for no valid reason is threatening the life of common people. Nobody knows the extent to which such price rise would continue. The Congress government mandarins seem to have no clue as to what has been happening, let alone taking any measures to control the rising prices. Internal strife, increasing crimes particularly against women, lawlessness in the country as a whole indicate the total failure of law and order machinery.

And the biggest threat the nation is staring is external aggression, which has undermined country's security. China is surrounding India with aggressive postures much beyond the tolerance of any sovereign state. Pakistan is daringly abetting insurgency and rebellion in Kashmir, sponsoring terror in India and breaching our borders on a regular basis and our Prime Minister as a helpless onlooker has failed to take any appropriate measures. He always resorts to dialogues with the neighbouring countries who are behaving as enemies, without realising that talks or dialogues may avoid the aggression but the aggression can not be talked about. It has to be met with full force at your disposal, if you are a self-respecting nation.

Governance

All these issues concern the governance of the nation and need to be addressed effectively without wasting time. This is why it is essential to rid the nation of this inactive and failed government of Manmohan Singh which has become a liability. And it is why Narendra Modi is becoming the people's choice because he has shown the acumen and guts both to solve the nation's problems and restore the nation's pride. Kejriwal seem completely oblivious to governance in a larger perspective.

Moreover he does not seem too bothered about the practicability of his lofty ideas of governance through 'Janata Durbar'. At least he realises that so called Janata or Aam Admi choose their representatives through elections to deliver goods for them. So as an elected representative he can not throw the responsibility of governance back to them, as he has been shouting from the roof tops that it is the janata which would decide what to do and what not.

His priority is seemingly to destabilise the political system of the country - which is well established and need no replacement - by discrediting political parties, particularly the BJP and stop Modi from coming to power irrespective of the consequences for the nation. Because once Modi comes to power his shop would be wound up, and his dreams whatever he has and his lofty ideas would be shattered beyond repair.

In a national scenario like this Arvind Kejriwal and his party does not fit into the scheme of things. But his popularity among the masses can't be denied. He is a good person and for the masses, he is honest too. His decision to jump into the fray in the national election might pose a serious threat to BJP. His lofty ideas about governance by the masses are neither understandable nor backed by history. His idea of fighting elections does not seem to be providing good governance, but to derail the system first. And then he thinks a new system would evolve. He is clever enough to play the emotional card to get the people's support. Therefore he is a dangerous antagonist the BJP needs to be wary of.

The writer is a former law minister, a former member of the BJP and a founding member of the Aam Admi Party

4

The Aam Aadmi Party has made allegations about a suspicious group of independents, all contesting using symbol similar to them and who got thousands of votes without any campaigning on the ground.

A case of what appears to be electoral fraud has been brought to attention by volunteers of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Note: This post is based on allegations made by some supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party, which I found suspicious enough to make note of. I have not verified any of this information independently, but I imagine it won't be so difficult. If you find this contradicts facts in any way, please inform me, and I will update the post accordingly.

Independent candidates using the "TORCH" symbol contested in at least 17 and up to 19 constituencies in Delhi elections. There was no ground level campaigning by these candidates that Aam Aadmi Party workers are aware of, yet 'Torch' symbol in Delhi election got the highest number of votes for any independent candidate. Each torch symbol got between four and five thousand votes.

The placement of the "BATTERY TORCH" symbol (Symbol 10 on page 85) during voting was above the Aam Aadmi Party's broom, and looked quite similar to the "BROOM" symbol used by the Aam Aadmi Party.

Now, it is rather surprising that so many independents independently happened to think of the same symbol as the Aam Aadmi Party, and got thousands seats without campaigning, but was placed just above the broom symbol during polling. Too far fetched a coincidence.

Shyam Gupta'ss misleading poster

Aam Aadmi Party claims that the Torch had an impact on their results.

This is a rather serious allegation if true.

It may also be independents supporting each other who haven't yet formed a party, and the placement above the Aam Aadmi Party symbol could be a coincidence, though sounds like a very big coincidence.

The Aam Aadmi Party seems convinced that it was a BJP ploy to divide votes AAP got. I would have been skeptical, except the BJP swarms and anonymous accounts had already started attacking the Aam Aadmi Party over the accusation, which kinda looks like a lot of money to spend over unknown independents and their actions. Though it is also possible that the swarms discredit anything said as a default rather than this specifically.

Besides, it would hardly be the first time BJP affiliates invoked Anna Hazare to use against the Aam Aadmi Party. Think of the "supporter of Anna Hazare" who threw ink at Kejriwal during the Press Conference who turned out to be a BJP worker.

They could be genuine candidates, but then where was the campaigning? Too many coincidences.

This needs more investigation, but I doubt if anyone has the spine to do it. So just keeping it here for now, since we seem headed for reelections anyway.

Interestingly, these are not the only allegations of independent candidates being used to sabotage a party's potential. In Madhya Pradesh, former Congress MLA Kalpana Parulekar has accused Digvijay Singh of backing at least 70 independent candidates in order to harm the chances of Scindia winning the elections.

One has to wonder, even as we marvel at the stunning AAP show in Delhi against obviously engineered odds, whether Mark Twain was right, after all:

If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it.