Arvind’s Defamation Case Explanation

I was asked by a friend to explain what’s going on with this case and the protests. I have written the following as a response based on my understanding and knowledge. Would love to hear back if there is anything wrong in it or any contradictory views/opinions:

1. What exactly happened inside the court is not known. Both sides have their own story as usual. So I will not comment on the exact sequence of events inside the court. 

2. AAP in 2012, right after their formation, did a press conference with evidence of Gadkari’s corruption. At that time, many media houses also came out with evidence for Gadkari’s corruption. A lot of it is now in public domain (http://aamaadmiparty.org/documents-related-to-nitin-gadkari). I am sure if you do a google search you will find even media articles writing about Gadkari’s corruption and the proofs. Ram Jethmalini (BJP politician) has also said the same – http://news.oneindia.in/…/bjp-versus-bjp-ram-jethmalani… …Gadkari was removed (he resigned just to make it nicer) by BJP from party president position.

3. After the above press conference, there was no defamation case launched by Gadkari.

4. In January this year, AAP came up with a list of corrupt politicians and said that these politicians need to be defeated in the upcoming LS elections. This list also included Gadkari. If you watch video of when Arvind was shouting out these names, a lot of the volunteers were actually adding names in this….it was not only corrupt…also included dynastic, communal etc. which AAP believe have to be defeated.

5. At this point Gadkari launched the defamation case. 

6. I do not know exact procedure of defamation case and whether the one accused is expected to show proof of his charges to prove himself innocent? So was AK asked yesterday to show proof of the charges he made? I am not sure about that….but there is definitely enough proof out there and AAP has competent lawyers to deal with that if needed. 

7. Now comes the bail part. First of all this case is not over, the next hearing is on Friday. So it’s not as if AAP/Arvind is/was losing the case. It’s just that till the next hearing you have to either sign a bail bond to ensure the judge that you will be present for all the hearings. According to AAP and its lawyers, this part about signing the bail bond is not a strict law and its upto the discretion of the judge. In 4 previous cases, Arvind has been granted bail without signing this bail bond based on an oral/written undertaking that he will appear in court whenever he is called.

8. Arvind has on principle denied to file bail bonds when he is not guilty. This has been his position for many many years…even before IAC days. (http://www.dnaindia.com/…/report-rti-activist-arvind…)

9. But the judge this time (unlike the previous cases) decided that Arvind will be arrested if he declined to sign bail bond. So Arvind said he is prepared for that. (anna and arvind have done this in the past too).

10. This cannot be pre-planned or drama as others are calling it unless you imply that AAP influenced the judge and wanted Arvind to be arrested. After the arrest, senior leaders and supporters decided to show solidarity outside Tihar jail (same thing happened in 2011 when Anna was arrested…infact at a much much larger scale with 1000s taking the streets outside Tihar). They were sitting outside the jail, police imposed section 144 and then started dragging senior AAP leaders from their site of protest to other jails and detaining them. Reason for detaining? violating section 144….old way used by Delhi police to disperse any form of protests.

All this is then labelled to be political drama by the media and others. BJP just a couple of weeks ago sat on dharna in Varanasi (they could not sustain it for even 4 hours cuz their leaders like Jaitely couldn’t take the heat)….but that was not drama…that was a legitimate form of protest according to our media and Modi supporters.

Its simple….Arvind lives on certain principles and he will continue to do so. People of Delhi took the streets earlier but now they have given up because they believe it does not solve anything. AK and Anna were the ones who ignited this street fighting spirit amongst our youth, which was also used by the youth in the Delhi gang rape protests. At that time it was not drama, it was revolutionary, path-breaking…nation on streets vs corrupt Congress regime. Now its called drama? A 100 people sitting outside Tihar jail with their leader is drama? A leader staying in jail for 2 days for calling a corrupt leader corrupt is drama? While Gadkari gets elected into parliament? Congress was not only corrupt party…BJP have lots of corrupt leaders too and people like Yeddyurapa were taken back into BJP cuz they were “winnable” candidates. People have given mandate for Modi and are expecting miracles….ok…i am fine with that. But please do not forget that he has people like Amit Shah, Gadkari, Yeddyurapa and many others by his side. AK and AAP will continue labeling them as corrupt..in fact yesterday #CorruptGadkari was trending on Twitter. How many defamation cases will he file? I want to see if BJP can now give Gadkari a position in Modi’s cabinet?

Just one line to end it all –> a strong mandate does not mean there is no scope for opposition. Whether people now chose AAP in Delhi is up to them but I and many AAP supporters agree with this form of protest. As Arvind said when forming party – ab parliament mein bhi ladenge aur sadkon par bhi.

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My predictions for Lok Sabha 2014

So the Lok Sabha 2014 elections are at hand and there seems to be a different kind of buzz this time around. Various factors are at play: anger against UPA, a polarizing figure like Modi in the PM race and the entrance of AAP. This blog is just a quick take on my predictions and expectations from these elections. Just for fun!

I am no political expert and have only started following Indian politics after the IAC movement and the formation of AAP. My judgements are based on opinion polls, social media trends and my gut feeling. Obviously when political analysts and opinion polls have gone completely wrong in their predictions, it is not possible for my judgement to carry any weight at all. But here is what I feel will happen:

NDA – 220 (BJP around 185-190)
UPA – 120
AAP – 30
Others – 170

Numbers are not meant to add up exactly (just approximate)

As I am an AAP supporter I would honestly hope they prove me wrong with more seats but as of now, here is how I feel they will get their seats (UDPATE at the very end):

Delhi – 5
Maharashtra – 5
Punjab – 3
Haryana – 2
UP – 5
Karnataka – 2

Other states + surprises – 10-12

I believe there will be at least 10 surprises because some constituencies have a lot of AAP volunteers working very hard and could end up getting the kind of support needed to win those seats. Especially in states like Rajasthan, Himachal etc.

While I would like AAP to reach this target of 30, I believe its still a challenge. They might fall short but then again they might surprise us too. Its hard to predict.

Obviously whats stopping AAP from reaching higher numbers is lack of funds and organizational strength but I believe that even 30 seats will be a huge achievement (especially if they defeat a couple of heavyweights like Kapil Sibal, Nitin Gadkari, VK Singh and even Rahul Gandhi). 30 will be more than enough to stay as a pressure group in parliament and at the same time consolidate the party structures to fight upcoming assembly elections. Its only after they form a government in Delhi or Haryana that we will see their governance again and be able to judge. If they do well then they will spread quite rapidly. If not, well I don’t want to consider that right now….they are the only hope!

One very important factor that’s going to come into play is that Delhi elections are rather early in the polling. Once the Delhi elections are over by 10th April, Arvind along with a huge number of volunteers and other prominent faces will be able to campaign in other states.  AAP has its largest volunteer base in Delhi and they will surely spread across UP, Punjab etc after the Delhi elections. This will help and propel many AAP candidates who have been fighting a lone battle so far.

There is also the interesting battle in Varanasi. I am sure even Arvind does not think that it will be easy to put up a fight there but he is not really fighting to become an MP. The battle in many ways is symbolic but if he can win or even put up a strong fight, there will be a huge effect of that in the coming years.

So with 230 seats we can expect BJP to form the next government with a number of coalitions unless they implode internally. Other than Modi there are definitely a few others in BJP who are eyeing the PM position and if Modi cannot cross the 230-240 mark, then questions will be raised on the so called Modi wave.

So let the elections begin. If you are reading this and will be voting – Vote for AAP 😉

UPDATE

My prediction for UP and Maharashtra are probably on the higher side and AAP will not get those 5 seats. Having said that, they are expected to get a great vote share in Maharashtra (especially Mumbai). Hoping that they win a couple there and also in UP. Punjab on the other hand seems to be embracing AAP big time. If this last phase of campaigning and voting day goes well, we could see AAP getting up to 5 seats in Punjab, which will be amazing.

The battles in Amethi and Varanasi are heating up. I have full expectations for Kumar Vishwas’s win in Amethi. Varanasi will be difficult but as I have mentioned before, Arvind does not take the easy route.