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Why AAP And Nestle Aren't All That Different

16/06/2015 8:20 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - FEBRUARY 27: Delhi Government Employees welcoming Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at farewell to Chief Secretary DM Spolia (IAS) by Govt of NCT employees Welfare Association, at Delhi Secretariat on February 27, 2015 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Like Maggi, AAP is in a soup. Like Nestle, AAP is facing a crisis of credibility. Like Maggi, most of us loved AAP at some point in time. Even those who detest the political AAP, flirted with the activist AAP a few years ago. Hit by lead and law, both are in a middle class muddle.

Ever since AAP captured the fancy of our taste buds, it has engaged in a battle with the Lieutenant Governor over what it sees as an encroachment of its turf. But to blame the Prime Minister for everything including fake degrees, wife beating, internal dissent, sanitation strike and overall failure to govern is as misleading as Maggi's promise of being healthy.

So where did the recipe go wrong? Well, in a hurry to take the two-minute route to power, our Ghaziabad-based first-timer ignored the safety standards by adding unhealthy elements like Jitendra Singh Tomar and discarding the relatively healthy ingredients like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. To make matters worse, Somnath Bharti's wife accused him of being Somnath Marti, which led the consumers to believe that rogue elements were a part of the AAP tastemaker. So, even while the consumer demand stays, AAP is under the scanner like the banned noodles.

Is AAP a soft target as some economists like Gurcharan Das believe Nestle is? Well, Arvind Kejriwal is not the first CM to be in power in Delhi with a not-so-helpful Centre. Shiela Dikshit cooked her noodles well, maintaining healthy standards even when NDA was at the Centre. Like Nestle, the Delhi CM should remember that he reached where he is on the basis of a massive mandate of trust. Like Nestle, blaming the rival brands for your own indiscretions does Kejriwal no good. Much like the Maggi slogan 'Taste Bhi, Health Bhi', AAP's anti-corruption slogan sounds unpalatable when its ministers occupy positions of power on the basis of fake degrees.

The press statement that announced Nestle's decision to withdraw their product was as vague as Manish Sisodia's defence of Tomar's alleged fake degrees. He insisted Tomar was innocent in the morning, but removed him from the shelf by the evening. In this Ajeeb Jung of transfers, appointments and garbage disposal, the LG doesn't emerge smelling of roses either. That an antagonistic BJP is posing hurdles for the AAP is as obvious as Kejriwal's morally superior ego. But you can't hide behind a shield of victimhood and continue to blame rivals.

Barkha Dutt in an article on Maggi says, "Even if the lead detected is sourced back to groundwater, as some have argued in defence of Nestle, why is it not their duty to first treat the water?" Likewise, even if the Centre is creating hurdles, as most in the AAP argue, why is it not AAP's duty to solve the issues amicably?

Whatever the case, the Delhi CM must come good on his promises or we will have no choice but to believe that what is fast to cook is not good to eat. At least, not in politics. Needless to add that once you are thrown out, occupying the coveted market shelves becomes a painstaking affair. Unless you want to run away from the market. Again.

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