Former minister Kapil Mishra contributed his bit to the noise pollution in Delhi on Friday. He occupied television space for about half-an-hour. He made a PowerPoint presentation. And he uttered brave, dire words against Arvind Kejriwal. He must be mighty happy with himself. The only problem is he was not achingly original in his allegations against the Delhi chief minister.
Shell companies, mysterious donors, fudged records and under-declaration of funds before the Election Commission — haven’t we heard all this before? The BJP had made the same allegations long ago and has been repeating these over time. There’s nothing original in his charges on dubious foreign funding and the use of the hawala route.
Mishra’s only addition was slightly deeper information on Mukesh Sharma’s business and the suspected role of Hem Prakash Sharma, director of several companies, in the questionable transactions of the Aam Aadmi Party. He threatened to take Kejriwal to Tihar jail. If it was on the basis of what he revealed on Friday, then the Delhi chief minister can breathe easy. Whatever incriminating evidence Mishra produced is already under the scrutiny of relevant agencies.
Mukesh Sharma, for those in the know, is the businessman who is supposed to have donated the controversial Rs 2-crore to the AAP’s kitty in 2014. Earlier, Mishra had claimed that the money was funneled through shell companies. Rebutting it a couple of days ago, Sharma, a property and tobacco dealer, told the media that he indeed had made the contribution through a demand draft in March 2014 and the shell company allegation was without merit. Mishra, on Friday, tried to substantiate his allegation with ‘proof’.
This follows his indefinite fast a few days earlier over the demand that the party reveals the details of foreign trips of five senior leaders. Kejriwal and his party won’t mind the show at all. They could have some complaints about the decibel level though. It was not long ago they were doing the same to others — calling media persons and hurling high voltage allegations with ‘proof’ against others. So they would accept the 'Kapil show' with some empathy.
Friday's episode is another chapter in the unending farce involving the AAP. But how long would we be subjected to this torture? The charges on donations have been floating around for over two years. It should not take the government agencies, if they are serious, too long to get to the core of the transactions and unearth wrongdoing, if there’s any. One has no reason to be sympathetic to the AAP, but there’s a feeling that the delay is deliberate.
It allows space for political drama. The drama follows a tired script. Since it has nothing fresh to offer it has to discover new actors every few days to keep the audience interest going. If it is Mishra today, it will be someone else tomorrow. The director is invisible yet no one is in doubt who it could be. The AAP would like to believe it is the BJP because the party has a vested interest in destabilising the Delhi government. If the government collapses under the weight of graft allegations and internal power struggles, the BJP could move in to fill the space.
But till that happens the drama has to be repeated, no matter how insufferable it is. It serves a purpose for everybody. The likes of Mishra get their television space, the Opposition parties get to attack Kejriwal, the latter gets the opportunity to play victim and the media get something to talk about.
So get ready for another episode of the farce around AAP. A new actor could be rehearsing his lines already.
Updated Date: May 19, 2017 20:13 PM