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BJP renews ‘anarchy’ fire at AAP

Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Jan. 21: The BJP today pointed to Arvind Kejriwal’s protest to assert “it is clear by now that the Aam Admi Party’s alternative politics is anarchy”.

“The AAP was born as a reaction against conventional politics. It promised alternative politics. It is now clear that the alternative politics is anarchy. This has been admitted by the leader of the AAP (Arvind Kejriwal). The demagogue is unambiguous,” Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Arun Jaitley said in a statement.

But despite the scathing attack, the BJP refused to respond to questions on whether the Centre should issue a directive to the Delhi government under Article 355 of the Constitution.

Under the provision, the Centre can ask a state to ensure the government is run in accordance with the Constitution and protected against “external aggression and internal disturbances”.

The BJP also declined to spell out whether Delhi chief minister Kejriwal’s dares to the Centre over police-related demands and his actions amounted to waging war against the nation.

But BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar held the Congress, which is supporting the Kejriwal government, equally culpable, if not a tad more, than Kejriwal for creating a law-and-order crisis in the capital.

“The Congress and the AAP have conducted a joint operation. Their reasons are different but they are supporting each other. The AAP wants to duck questions on what action they have taken against Sheila Dikshit (the former chief minister) and its (the AAP’s) law minister (Somnath Bharti). The Congress cannot accept a BJP led by (Narendra) Modi so it is using Kejriwal as a firewall,” Javdekar said.

Jaitley too hammered away the same point: “The AAP didn’t have a mandate to rule the capital. It was the unpreparedness of the Congress to face the electorate that resulted in this crisis.”

The BJP — which considers itself the exclusive custodian of the idea of “nationalism”— attacked the AAP for challenging the celebration of Republic Day at Rajpath, next to Kejriwal’s sit-in spot.

“On January 26, the thousands of soldiers who protect our borders day in and day out, year in and year out, are felicitated. Every country has its equivalent that is a big day on its national calendar. To question the relevance of this date is inappropriate,” said Javdekar.

Jaitley dwelt on the issue too, pointing out that the AAP was trying to disrupt the R-Day parade at a time it was aspiring to a national profile. He likened the alleged attempts to those of separatist outfits in Kashmir that called for boycotting the celebrations in the eighties.

Jaitley recalled a discussion in Parliament to make his point. “Last year, when I heard a phrase ‘federation of anarchists’ used in the Rajya Sabha, I doubted very much if anarchists who are not bound by any existing regulations and are highly individualistic can ever have a federation. I have now discovered the answer. There is on display a ‘federation of anarchists’ on the streets of Delhi,” the Opposition leader said.

Jaitley sought to portray the AAP as a collection of disparate elements “under a single roof”.

Jaitley stressed that the AAP had displayed scant regard for the rule of law, indulged in political adventurism, exhibited extreme arrogance and showed lack of civility in public discourse and the least concern for established institutions.

The civility potshot appeared to be an allusion to AAP law minister Bharti’s alleged offensive remarks against Jaitley — a senior lawyer — and another senior advocate, Harish Salve.