By Divyansh Dev
Within 48 hours of coming to power, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal delivered upon his biggest manifesto highlight: Free Water.
Delhi Households now get free 20 Kiloliters water of each month, little close to the poll promise of 700 liters chargeless water each day.While the mainstream junta is all euphoric about the move, the tampered facts have been largely ignored. If you adventure beyond 20 kiloliters mark, even by a liter – you pay the entire amount, that too with a 10% hike in tariff.
Game changer – If you are not identified by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) as metered connection holder, you are not entitled to this super water package.
No, they don’t consider your economic standing for this. Upper and middle income ‘metered’ homes are thereby crown recipient for this complimentary aqua scheme. This adds more fortune to the residents of neighborhoods like GK, Vasant Vihar , Punjabi Bagh , Defence Colony : the ultimate beneficiaries. While those living in Seelampur , Seemapuri and unauthorised colonies can be optimistic of having free water amongst other facilities someday. They will go into merrymaking mode, if alone safe drinking water is provided by the government, leave aside the free water.
Little is heard from AAP’s end on resurrecting the current water distribution in the city. Reportedly, nearly 47 % of Delhi water gets disused due to faulty leakages.
Situation might get worse, if the AAP government manages to remain in power till summer of 2014. Former Sheila Dikshit government frequently iterated ‘water-scarcity’ as the biggest challenge for Delhi. Finding Delhi’s per capita water consumption as the highest in the world, Ms.Dikshit was in constant scuffle with neighboring Haryana over water release.
This lands Mr.Kejriwal in a peculiar position. He has to ensure water for all ‘and’ free water supply. When there’s not enough water for all, who will get the promised free water?
Power is another sector where AAP played it extra smart, instead of cutting the tariff by half, the government provides 50% subsidy on power consumption up to 400 units. Alarmingly, the cost of this subsidy would be borne out of taxpayer’s money.
AAP’s own supporter – The Indian National Congress has taken this decision to diagnose. In a recent statement by Arvinder Singh Lovely, the Delhi Chief of Congress Party said “The power department lacks funds to comply with this subsidy. The Government must explain from which fund it will transfer the money to meet the financial requirements. Only the House is entitled to approve the budgetary allocations. Since the revised estimate has not been approved, the Government’s decision to announce subsidy is against the rules and the privilege of the House has also been compromised with”
AAP manifesto also talks in detail of electricity meters running ‘fast’ than usual. The party has seldom made any statement about it. For those people whose fast meters are putting a toll on their pockets, this impulsive power-bolt of AAP holds little use.
While the Delhi Lieutenant Governor has approved the audit of Delhi discoms by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. If the audit statement shows loss being incurred by the power companies, will the Kejriwal led government increase the prevailing electricity rates?
There has been detectable difference in psyche of AAP and its frontrunners post poll result. While Mr.Kejriwal on record has said no to ‘sarkari’ bungalows and VIP culture, he was later seen defending his initial obtainment of 10 room double duplex apartments in Lutyens’ Delhi. Not to forget SUV’s worth 14 lakh each being provided to AAP ministers as official cars. They are adorned by VIP number plates.
It’s the same Arvind Kejriwal , who in choir sung corruption sonnets against Sheila Dikshit . Calling her an “emblem of corruption”, he was all vocal in saying Ms.Dikshit is in a graft tie up with Delhi’s power-water corporations .Now, Delhi’s new CM demands evidence against Ms.Dikshit and her ministers against alleged corruption cases. Amazingly, too early in his political career, Mr.Kejriwal has learnt the language of politics. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEHxBQv2-KQ )
It is observed as an activist, Kejriwal was more aggressive against corruption. Fresh corruption charges against Himachal Pradesh’s CM and senior Congress member Virbhadra Singh have surfaced. Maharashtra Government has ‘partly’ accepted Adarsh Housing scam report. Why do we not hear any response in this regard from Kejriwal ? Back in 2012, he had refused to issue an unconditional apology to Virbhadra Singh when the latter threatened sue him over defamation charges. Kejriwal had then enlisted him amongst 14 corrupt ministers in the UPA-2 against whom the corruption charges need to be investigated.
As AAP is all set to function through participatory democracy, the idea of taking crucial decisions through ‘mohalla’ sabhas and referendums holds little sense. There’s a reason why people choose their leaders through elections, they think their representative are in full capacity to take sane and responsible decisions. One issue that might be relevant to a ‘mohalla’ might not be relevant for the entire state.
If Narendra Modi conducts a referendum in Gujarat on his alleged involvement in 2002 riots, the result as expected might be in his favor. Will AAP or in fact the entire nation believe it in without a reservation?
Conduct a referendum in Ayodhya’s mohallas over Ram Janmabhoomi , the results whatever it might be , will it be accepted unanimously ?
AAP’s idea is simple: to hold people accountable for everything. “A decision is taken because people asked us to do so”.
Who will bear the repercussions of that decision: ultimately, we the people, ‘Aam Aadmi’ to be precise
Alliance with the tainted Congress? Yes, because people asked us to form the government with them. There was no way in which technological authenticity of these polls could be checked. One person can vote 10 times out of a same mobile number, He might not altogether be a resident of Delhi; one can hit the “yes” tab innumerable number of times on website.
In an innovative way, politics of Delhi became similar to that of a reality show by AAP & Co., where you vote for your favorite candidates and save them from elimination.
AAP was 8 short of elected members to claim majority, BJP needed 4. BJP offers its ‘constructive’ support to AAP. Congress shows indications of providing external support as well. AAP goes into denial mode. Its leader swore on his children, said in all possible scenarios we will not form the government with either BJP or Congress. While both the parties came across as corrupt, AAP appeared ‘holier than thou’.
Things proceed, AAP takes a sudden U-Turn. It sends a letter to both BJP and Congress seeking assurance on 18 issues. It puts a condition, only if parties accede to the issues mentioned in the letter, it will ‘take’ support from them.
AAP very well knew that 16 out of 18 issues in the letter sent to the parties are administrative in nature, the rest of the 2 requires Centre’s nod. Congress grabbed this umbilical cord; it had been decimated to a single digit number in Delhi Elections. Amidst acute humiliation it suffered in other 3 states’ poll mandate, it sent a formal letter of issue based support to AAP accepting all its demands. This saved some face for Congress in Delhi
BJP , on the hand had emerged as the single largest party in all 4 states. It was forming the government in other 3 states; Delhi’s case was hung. AAP, not even a state party then knew – BJP, now electorate’s favorite would not comply with its conditions. The ego clashed, self-pride ushered and BJP refused to even reply to Kejriwal’s letter. And thus happened the AAP-Congress alliance.
AAP is yet prove its mettle in the national capital which is not a even a full state, but without any prior political experience at all, it is all set to contest for Loksabha Elections in 2014. A two weeks wait, and we’ll have AAP’s first list of candidates contesting Loksabha elections.
Will AAP do a Delhi again in 2014? A betrayer of words or a man of words? A vote cutter or an alternative?
Whatever he may be, one thing is for certain – this aam-aadmi on whose testimony the politics is being played cannot be conned.
Be it the outsmart populist schemes or fanciful freebies seeking vote.
If ‘Et tu Kejriwal ?’ happens at any level , the aam-aadmi will seldom spare AAP .
Divyansh Dev is a second year student at Delhi University (DU) pursuing B.Tech Humanities and majoring in business. Having qualities of head as well heart , he possesses high degrees of openness to experiences . These experiences have helped him lead organizations , represent his country abroad and have multifaceted exposures in daily walks of life. Having keen interest in public policy and governance , Divyansh always has his views on recent issues of strategic importance . Through the medium of Indian Economist , he envisions to make his views reach out to a greater audiences You can connect with him at email@example.com
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