New Delhi, Mahesh Peri (huffingtonpost): In May 2014, I was absolutely clear that I preferred to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. UPA deserved to be punished and Arvind Kejriwal was not ready for a national role. I also wished that AAP would get around 20 seats to have a semblance of an opposition in the parliament. From our motley crowd of leaders Modi was the best bet to be the Prime Minister. He had people support like no other leader and could drive change taking people with him.
Modi got a complete mandate. He is not running a coalition. He is not answerable even to his own party. In the recent past, no leader commanded such respect or wielded such control over government as Modi has. It is now commonly accepted that the government is controlled from the PMO. Ministers do what PMO tells them to. I was recently speaking to a friend who was meeting a cabinet minister. In the middle of his interaction was a call from the cabinet secretary discussing high level appointments. All that the cabinet minister blurted was, “I will recommend whatever the PMO suggests”. Period! This may be good or bad depending on which side of the table you are sitting on. Even after petrol price deregulation, the price is not decided by OMCs or petroleum ministry, but by the PMO.
While I write this opinion, I am thinking of India’s constitutional structure as envisioned by our founding fathers and our multicultural society. I think it is absolutely crucial that BJP loses Delhi. I want the rampaging BJP to be questioned, challenged and alerted. I want action in the past eight months to decide my vote. I want the 1.4% Delhi’s population to force a re-engineering of Modi from Bhashans to Action. Here are 10 reasons why I want AAP to win the Delhi elections.
- We hated CMs being imposed by a high command. We rejected the culture of sycophancy. Let us not promote it again. Let us vote for a leader who we know will be accountable to us and not to any high command.
- We need to create alternatives to Congress. The left is dead and gone. We need to create a strong opposition. We need checks and balances. Authoritarian rule in a multicultural country like India will create social conflicts that will harm our economy too.
- AAP has changed the discourse from caste-and religion-based politics to transparency and accountability. We must persist with this directional change.
- Every politician today from the big national parties have been tried over the last 65 years. There is a severe scarcity of honest leadership. Time to vote for honest people in politics. Governance can be learnt but honesty is a part of our DNA.
- AAP has also pushed the existing national parties to include clean, fresh faces and made corruption amongst politicians a central issue. It is important to keep that pressure on national parties. A win of AAP will force them to junk the rotten and embrace fresh blood.
- There is a strong sense of complacency at the centre. The intent has been there but actions have been few and far in-between. The government led by Modi needs to be pushed. A loss in Delhi will hasten the process of reforms and change. Delhi’s population is just 1.4% of India and a defeat of BJP will not cost the country at all. However, It is a good laboratory to check and push positive governance.
- It is crucial to silence the religious bigots and ultra right fanatics who have become a headache for Modi too. It is time to bring the train back on track for reform and change, and also silence these looneys.
- Modi has been elected as the Prime Minister of India. Delhi doesn’t need him as much as India does. I find it an idiotic slogan that I should vote in the name of Modi for the CM of Delhi. I am not ready to bury federalism without a fight.
- Kejriwal ruled for 49 days. Modi’s been in power for almost eight months. While we have judged AAP for 49 days of governance, we are willing to give more time to BJP. I think we should give more time for an alternative style of governance to emerge.
- There seems to be too much importance to one person. We need multitude of leaders and multiple voices. The congress was not good in governance and neither good as an opposition. It is time we create a voice that speaks up and is heard. AAP and Kejriwal can be that voice.
Many of you may have issues with some of the arguments put forward by me. But think. What will it cost India if BJP loses and how will it benefit India if BJP wins. Do the cost-benefit analysis, and you will find an answer.
Editor’s Note: Mahesh Peri is a Delhi based entrepreneur cum journalist who is a regular writer of the Huffingtonpost and this article also first published in Huffingtonpost.