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Delhi badly needs a hand at the wheel

comment Updated: Oct 28, 2014 22:49 IST

The lieutenant governor is going by the book in seeking and now getting the President’s assent to invite the single-largest party to form the government in Delhi. Whether this will happen or not remains to be seen, but what is not in doubt is that the Capital needs effective governance. And the person who has been protesting the most on what he feels could be the L-G opening the doors to horse trading is the man who created the current impasse, the Aam Aadmi Party chief, Arvind Kejriwal.

After just 49 days in government, during which his party did little beyond carry out street agitations — with the CM sleeping on the pavement in protest — Mr Kejriwal resigned. This necessitated the L-G to step in.

The BJP may well be able to cobble together the numbers, given that it is on a roll. But the Supreme Court is right in saying that Delhi cannot lurch on like this, it needs a viable government. Mr Kejriwal had an opportunity to provide the sort of clean governance that people craved for, indeed voted for. But he was not up to the task. Now, he is doing a disservice to public discourse by alleging malafide motives on the part of the L-G and accusing all and sundry of trying to subvert the democratic process. AAP’s politics has been characterised by negativism. Many of its leading lights have left it, alleging that a high command culture had taken root in the fledgling party. In recent times, Mr Kejriwal has made several wild allegations about other parties trying to undermine AAP. None of these have been substantiated. The unfortunate part of this is that AAP was meant to put the people back into the governance model. But at the end of the day, Mr Kejriwal proved that like those he pointed fingers at, he too had an authoritarian streak and was not able to restraint rogue elements in his party, like Somnath Bharti. The Congress is pretty much out of the reckoning. Left to itself, the BJP as well as AAP would like fresh elections as each believes it will come up trumps. But all options need to be explored and this is what the L-G is doing.

The Capital is facing several problems, not the least of which is crime. Its resources are overburdened by migration and haphazard construction. The Yamuna is a filthy sewer today and pollution is at unacceptably high levels. These are just some of the issues that a new government must deal with. The sooner the issue is resolved the better, and unless there are substantial objections, it would be wise for all parties to go along a route that is not only democratic but also least burdensome on both the people and the exchequer.