“To not decide” is a decision in itself
Why does any person or party contest elections? To win and come to power. While the motive to get power can be righteous or ulterior but the aim of winning is to come to power. More fundamentally why does one vote for a particular candidate or party? So that he/she can come to power and govern the state. Now that inspiration to vote for a party/person can be driven by caste preference, party loyalty or ideology but the central motive is to see your candidate/party win and make it come to power. There are times when people realize that their candidate can never win or their party will not form the Govt but they still vote for it. But given a choice they would want their preferred party to form a Govt.
I do not suggest that coalitions should be formed just to avoid re-elections because then what is the point of taking support from people for what you believe in. But yes if a Common Minimum Program can be achieved without seriously impacting your core agenda/philosophy then a compromise must be made and save the exchequer’s money.
In Delhi AAP is the only party in any position to form a Govt. BJP falls 3 short (including SAD) and there are only 2 Others. Unless INC or AAP lends support BJP can’t form the Govt. Agreed that abstention of few MLAs during vote count in the house can put BJP Govt in power (although always at the peril of being rocked anytime), any party which is going to polls in LS in 5 months and that too with a stand against corruption and wrongdoing of incumbent Govt would never make the mistake of playing such a trick.
Now AAP had unconditional support from INC just after elections. It refused, understandably, to not arouse public sentiment. Then AAP prepares the most preposterous list of 18 demands (to both INC and BJP) of which 16 are administrative and need no approval from any party. INC again agrees to all. First of all what is the point of sending the demands to BJP when it never lent you any support. Were you just passing your time by asking to such questions when it is irrelevant what they say. You just want to know their stand. That’s it. Even if you aim to expose their stance on these key issues what is the point of it now. You did that before elections, now is the time to concentrate on forming a Govt. Now when AAP had asked for an answer on 18 demands did they not have a road map ready. Say like “If INC disagrees then we will not form Govt” or “If they agree on all or some issues then we will form the Govt”. There can be no third option. Either you form the Govt or you don’t. Unless you just want to fool around.
Now AAP was again faced with forming the Govt and it dodged it by switching to a referendum from Delhi’s public. Seriously !! If you were to ask people about every decision that you make then why did they elect you in the first place. You made your point clear that only if your core demands or all demands are agreed upon will you go for a coalition, then why ask people again. If people will feel cheated they will not vote you next time and if people feel you did the right thing then you will be voted again. And say even in this referendum 30% people say don’t form the Govt. And you decide to go for it because majority feels otherwise. So is that any respite to those 30%. They would still feel cheated. They can be won over only by taking the responsibility, forming the Govt and running a good government for 5 years. What problem does a referendum solve in this case is beyond logic. Even if AAP is afraid that INC will fell its Govt before 5 years then it would only dent INC and AAP will emerge out as the sincere party trying to run the Govt.
And even this aside why go for a referendum at all? Kejriwal had even suggested a referendum for FDI. How on earth are you supposed to take a response from the entire nation on an issue. And if you say that a small sample is enough then who decides that the sample is representative or not. And what about the cost of such a referendum. And then why leave other important national issues aside. Also take a referendum on new Energy policy, new Education policy etc etc. Then even a captain should ask all 11 players for every move he is about take in the next over. But we don’t want a whimp who meets 4 players after every over. We want someone who is experienced, smart and intuitive and who can stand by what he feels. Why select a CEO why not elect him/her and he/she takes a decision only after referendum from employees/investors and all stakeholders.
I agree that elected representatives must have devotion to public service but we don’t need servants who have to turn to us for everything. We want leaders at the helm who we can trust and rely on. We don’t need indecisive and confused leaders who are so afraid to put their neck on the line for everything. We expect leaders to be wise and smart so they can take good decisions. So that we can worry about our lives. And whenever such a leader fails us we vote him out and other strong leaders emerge to fill their place.
Either AAP is being too conscious about its image as a party or it is deliberately delaying the formation of Govt. In either case AAP must step up and show some true leadership. Winning elections is commendable but to deliver was the aim and they must prove that they are up to it. Their evaluation on performance can only come after that. AB Vajpayee once said about PV Narsimha Rao in Parliament that he is so indecisive that he defends by saying “निर्णय न लेना भी एक निर्णय है |” I hope that is not the case with AAP.