Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will tell you about scheme after populist scheme. But you cannot escape the wave of aspiration and ambition in Rajasthan thats forcing even Rahul Gandhi to do a significant rewrite.
A new willingness to go out into India and compete rather than stay back and sulk is the most significant writing on the Assamese wall today.
There is a reason why even as the AGP is declining, and the BJP is moving into its space, it isn’t credibly challenging the Congress.
AAP-ocracy or democracy?
Commenting on the functioning of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, journalist and poet Hasan Kamal, in his column in Rashtriya Sahara on January 25, writes: “The AAP can only get absolute majority in the Delhi Assembly if the present government supported by the Congress falls and the assembly is dissolved and elections are held again. The AAP and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal even now enjoy Delhiites’ goodwill and support. Kejriwal would like this to happen soon as he wants to get the benefit of the people’s goodwill in the parliamentary elections as well.” Kamal adds: “Even if Kejriwal’s demands about the nature of the relationship of the government with the police were just, his method of staging a dharna was not. His opposition has so far been limited to the Congress, even though he says he is against both the Congress and the BJP. If the Congress falls in his trap, it would harm itself. It should not withdraw its support to the government.”
Munsif in its editorial (Jan 22) writes: “The Congress party crying loudly till yesterday about the rise in crime in the capital due to the state government’s lack of control over law and order, now finds that ministers of the AAP government raising questions about its functioning are spreading anarchism… if an unbiased assessment is made of the issues that have led to this situation, the battle of Kejriwal and his colleagues seems legitimate.” Sahafat writes in its editorial on January 25: “One cannot condone the arbitrary behaviour of Delhi Police. The police has resorted to disloyalty to the Delhi government. What can one expect from Kejriwal except anger at this helplessness?”
President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day was given more importance than usual. Jadeed Khabar, in its lead comment on January 26, highlighted his warning that if political parties on assuming power do not live up to expectations and fulfil the promises they made, people would dislodge them from power. Hamara Samaj on January 27 writes: “The president’s political sentiments do not ask us to act depending only on the government. His words raise the national and collective consciousness of every citizen.”
Sahafat, in its editorial on January 28, tried to find some harmony between the president’s address and the Delhi chief minister’s speech. It mentions the president saying that if the people of the country are angry, the reason is that they are witnessing corruption and that governments would be dislodged if they do not find remedies. The paper mentions Kejriwal, saying that ever since the AAP has assumed power, a “sense of fear” has gripped the “corrupt”.
Chaos in Pakistan
Pakistani columnist Asif Jeelani, in a commentary in Munsif (Jan 22), details the attempts in Pakistan to protect former president Pervez Musharraf from being chargesheeted for treason. He writes: “One fails to understand the type of ailment of Musharraf, which cannot be treated in the most advanced army hospital in the country. Is this an effort to prove that Rawalpindi’s army hospital is worthless?” Responding to pleas by Musharraf’s former aides to highlight his achievements in his defence, he writes: “Merely on a telephone call from the then US Secretary of State Colin Powell following 9/11, Musharraf dangerously pushed Pakistan into the US war… It was not Musharraf’s economic policies but the military aid extended by the US that came to Pakistan’s rescue. It is necessary for the dignity and future of democracy that the case of treason against Musharraf is pursued honestly.”