Today the BJP continued its daily chore of flinging five questions at the Aam Aadmi Party for the fourth day in a row even if the Prime Minister’s weekend rallies rendered the entire exercise superfluous. The sight of BJP central leaders taking turns in the inquisitor’s seat makes one wonder if this is a mere state election or in fact a national election. The questions have ranged from the stale to the bizarre like Nirmala Sitharaman’s attempt to insinuate that NRI supporters of AAP in the Gulf countries were somehow anti-national elements was beneath contempt and ultimately a wasted opportunity as it was too ludicrous to take seriously or necessitate a reply. You see, the problem is that if the BJP knew what they were doing all they should need is five questions in total, not wasting a press conference a day on inanities.
Thus I thought I’d take as shot at showing the BJP how it is really supposed to be done by posting five questions of my own for them to answer. But then I was left in a quandary as to which entity I should address the questions. The BJP’s CM candidate only speaks when permitted by her minders, the Delhi state BJP leaders have been sidelined by the national leadership from election management duties and are mere spectators at this point. Arun Jaitley has commandeered the office of the state president at Delhi BJP headquarters but he too is taking his marching orders from the BJP’s very own prince of darkness, Amit Shah. However, in truth Amit Shah is nothing but the creation and stooge of our great Prime Minister. So when it comes down to it the BJP’s campaign in Delhi began with Narendra Modi as its mascot and after a misjudged detour or three has ended exactly in the same place. The buck always stops at the top and particularly so in the current iteration of the BJP.
So, Mr Prime Minister, the colossus bestride our polity, lover of fine fashion and selfies, sirjee, forgive my natural-born impudence, but here are my five questions for you, which naturally I don’t expect you to ever answer but it is imperative that I ask them all the same. I shall try to keep them brief. Here they are:
1) To start with basic issues first, sirjee, before the 2013 assembly elections your party promised the Delhi electorate that their electricity bills would be reduced by 30% if BJP ever entered office, but after eight months of direct rule in Delhi by your government far from any reduction in rates they have in fact gone up with Discoms doing as they merry please. This has not stopped you from making another hollow promise of a 50% cut in this election. The aam aadmi wants to know why, Modiji?
2) Another manifesto commitment of your party from 2013 is a solemn pledge to grant full statehood to Delhi. Now, though, we hear that your party has decided to do without a manifesto altogether because you do not wish to reveal your repudiation of early commitment to state hood now that you are comfortably in the saddle at the Centre. The aam aadmi would like an explanation for this betrayal, Modiji.
3) Forgive me a touch of parochialism, sirjee, but I am Punjabi and I remember well your assurance during the general election campaign that Punjabi farmers in Kutch, who were being harassed regarding ownership of their land due to the actions of your state government. Eight months later many those farmers have been chased out of Kutch. Your word stands broken. Is this the anti-farmer philosophy at the heart of your Gujarat Model of governance that we now see applied in the Land Ordinance your government passed without consultation or consideration. Rural Delhi is up in arms at amendments made in the ordinance. Why should they trust your government’s assurance about safeguarding their interests when you did not keep your word in protecting the Punjabi farmers of Kutch in your home state?
4) Modiji, your allies in this election the Akali Dal is campaigning in full force with you shoulder to shoulder, apparently unmindful and uncaring of the events in Kutch. Nevertheless, it is amusing that up till very recently members of your party were referring to the Badal family-led party as a den of drug lords who had to be vanquished at all cost for the good of Punjab. Your chief sidekick Amit Shah had even planned a massive rally in Amritsar to underline just this issue. The Badal family in turn accused the Sangh Parivar of trying to sow seeds of communal disharmony in Punjab. All that seems forgotten now at the altar of political expediency in an attempt to garner Sikh votes in Delhi. Is this not the height of hypocrisy and political opportunism, sirjee? What kind of government will you offer Delhi with this unholy alliance at its heart?
5) Personally, I did not believe President Obama’s recent visit should have been dragged into the Delhi election campaign, but clearly that ship has sailed. I found it interesting that you opined in your campaign speech on Saturday about how much prestige and glory the US President’s trip brought to India but completely forgot to take notice of his Siri Fort speech, in which for perhaps the first time in living memory a visiting dignitary of such stature admonished India’s ruling dispensation in a public forum about the importance of respecting freedom of religion and underlined the significance of Article 25 in our Constitution. Do you not think that this was a great blow to your government’s international reputation and reason for introspection for your party, sir?
In conclusion, Prime Minister, if I may offer some gratuitous fashion advice. I strongly recommend you find a new tailor who has a more sober and Make-in-India approach to men’s wear. When your extravagant clothing choices grab world headlines instead of anything you have had to say, and you don’t happen to be a supermodel, it is time for a change.