NEW DELHI: With Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal kicking up a storm over the recent CBI raid on his principal secretary’s office and alleging corruption in the DDCA, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday accused him and other AAP leaders of lowering the level of public discourse, saying vulgarity is not a right available to people in positions.
“Lumpenisation of public discourse can never be high point of politics,” he argued. Jaitley, who had earlier filed defamation cases against Kejriwal and AAP leaders for accusing him of corruption, attacked them, in a blog post, for holding a special session of the Delhi Assembly to discuss the DDCA issue. “What about the statements made by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi about the Prime Minister and others, both inside and outside Delhi Assembly? If any functionary of the Government of India were to use such language, it would witness a nationwide outrage,” he pointed out.
“Is vulgarity the new norm of Indian politics? I hope not,” read the subtitle of his blog post. Jaitley said objectionable statements made by his partymen were taken care of, and had stopped after those leaders were cautioned. “Some months ago, a few members of the Bharatiya Janata Party made statements which were not appreciated even by the Party. The Party President cautioned them and advised them to refrain from making such statements. The result of the caution is visible,” he said.
Questioning AAP’s style of politics, Jaitley said, “People in positions are expected to act with restraint. They cannot be outlandish. Vulgarity is not a right available to them. The political discourse cannot be couched in vulgar language. Falsehood delivered with vulgar overtones is not a substitute of truth,” he observed.
“Functionaries of the Delhi Government and its supporters have lowered the level of political discourse. They rely heavily on general falsehood without ever stating the specifics,” the BJP leader alleged. Also attacking the Congress, he said the party was drawing inspiration from AAP. “The Aam Aadmi Party’s success in Delhi seems to have misled the Congress Party that vulgarity brings votes. Indian public opinion has a sense of fairness,” he said. “If Pandit Nehru can be credited in the initial years of our democracy of having laid down healthy precedents... the current generation in control of the Congress Party will find a place in history for having weakened what their ancestors established. Has the country not lost out by delaying the GST since the last year’s Budget Session? How far is it desirable to pass important legislations on the last day without discussion? Statistically, we have passed a law. But has Parliament applied its mind to the law?,” Jaitley asked, accusing the Congress of disrupting Parliament.