Sidharth Mishra

Dikshit Should Plan For A Longish Innings Beyond 2019 Lok Sabha Polls

On Thursday, the Congress high command appointed veteran leader Sheila Dikshit as its Delhi unit president for the second time. The last time she was nominated to this post was more than two decades back in the summer of 1998.

 The situation for the party, however, is not very different from what it was then with the BJP on an ascendance and the minority voters harbouring a distrust for the Congress following the demolition of the Babri Masjid with PV Narasimha Rao at the helm as the Prime Minister. This had led to a rout of the party in the national Capital in the 1991, 1996 and 1998 Lok Sabha polls, 1993 assembly polls and 1997 municipal polls.

The state leadership lay in tatters with factional satraps Har Kishan Lal Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, in addition to battling their own feuds, also contesting charges of pogrom of the Sikhs during the 1984 riots in the law courts. Today the situation may not be as abysmal but is somewhat similar.

Sidharth Mishra 2

Congress-AAP Alliance In Delhi Could Mean Challenger Going With Spoilsport

Ajay Maken has resigned, for the second time in past six months, as the president of Delhi Congress. Former chief minister Sheila Dikshit is back in Delhi from France, having convalesced from a heart ailment. In the past few weeks she has expressed the view that she wasn’t averse to leading the party once again in the national Capital. This should be the ideal situation for passing the baton back to Dikshit.

However, there are forces within the Congress party who may not be very keen on having Dikshit back lest she become an impediment in their ‘Pan-India’ plans of alliance with the regional forces. The appointment of the next president of Delhi Congress is umbilically connected to the party’s strategy for the Lok Sabha polls in the summer of 2019. The next president of Delhi Congress who would have to bear the burden of leading or rejecting an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).    

Contrary to the general perception, Dikshit may not be very vocal about her reservations on having truck with the Arvind Kejriwal-led party but she is very focused of regaining “halcyon days” of the Congress in the national Capital, which can be easily interpreted as restoring her own lost legacy.

Dr Sanjeev K Tiwari

India Oasis Of Peace Despite Fears Of Sarkari Mussalmans

We have now one more Muslim who feels insecure in this country. Thinking about his children’s safety in India makes Naseeruddin Shah shudder. This comes on the heels of the recent autobiographical account penned in Sarkari Mussalman by his brother Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah, who was Deputy Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.

Zameer Shah was also the Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. He has written in the book the role of the State Government, both in surreptitiously   inciting and later handling riots which spread after burning of the train coach with karsevaks.

Zameer Shah was tasked to lead the Army troops in riot-torn Ahmedabad. What is more dismaying now in his statements is that by remaining silent then in the line of duty and several years since, is it not his implicit admission of having given precedence to personal convenience over his duty oath, reasons best known to him?

Sidharth Mishra

Kejriwal Govt Has to Come Clean on Cleaning Delhi’s Air

Delhi entered the New Year reeling under severe air pollution. There are no farm fires in Punjab right now and still air pollution condition in Delhi, if not worse, it’s definitely not better than what it was during the harvest time in November first week. The Delhi Government, having blamed one and all for the bad air of the national Capital, has now ordered a study to find out the reasons for the cloak of pollution hanging over the national Capital.

What do we need to study? Will it be possible for the present government led by Arvind Kejriwal to accept the honest findings of a sincere study? Unlikely; especially having come to power riding on populism propelled promises, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) can least take the chance of annoying its vote bank. Thus the souls in the national Capital can live and rest in polluted air for sometimes to come.

In order to provide for the promised subsidies to the power and water consumers, the Delhi Government has been scratching the bottom of the barrel to meet the financial needs. The has led to most unreasonable ‘rationalisation’ of budget expenditures including a 25 per cent cut in the funds meant for controlling air pollution in Delhi in its revised budget estimates for 2018-19. This has happened when pollution in Delhi is at dangerous level for the past one week.

Sidharth Mishra

AAP Resolution On Rajiv Gandhi Manifestation Of Ideological, Personal Differences Within Party Rank And File

Revolutions eat their children, goes the famous saying. This maxim was very effectively used by one of the founders of political journalism, Jacques Mallet du Pan while writing pamphlets during the French Revolution, in support of the Royalists. Time may have come to use the famous phrase with context to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which was born out of Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement and has since then devoured several of its founding members.

The latest farce in this context was played out in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, where a motion moved to provide succour to the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots ended up demanding stripping late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award bestowed by Government of India. It led to a skirmish among the different factions of the ruling party inside the house, it played out on their WhatsApp group and later spilled over into the news columns.