Some three or four years ago, a former student of mine who was then a budding leader of a national political party, told me that he could “sell” me a party ticket for Rs 5 crore. The sum astounded me. “It’s nothing, sir,” he reassured me, “I’ll teach you how to get that amount back in a month’s time once you win the election.”
When I heard Aam Aadmi Party’s lament that the BJP was trying to buy its MLA for Rs 4 crore, it didn’t surprise me. If people are ready to buy party tickets before the election for crores of rupees, the neta’s price after winning the election should be a double digit crore. Four crore is rather cheap, I think, for a sitting MLA. Is that why AAP decided to cry foul?
Delhi BJP vice president, Sher Singh Dagar, reacted very formulaically. “If it is proved I’ll not only resign from the party, but from politics itself,” he said. Every neta worth his sodium chloride knows how to plug any hole with darkness. If you are not a master of darkness, you can’t be a neta, in the first place. Once you become a neta, you will find it painful to come out into sunshine. The air-conditioned comfort of the dark halls and alleys will make light unbearable.
Once you’re used to those halls and alleys, whenever any challenge is levelled against you ,you can boldly place your palm on your heart and swear that you would quit politics if the charge is ever proved. You know it won’t be proved. That is the art of plugging holes with darkness. Such plugs are costly, though. In politics everything is costly, except the citizen who votes each time hoping for a brighter tomorrow.