On 28th December 2013, when an IITian took oath as the Chief Minister of Delhi, the winds of hope were blowing throughout the nation. A month later, it is not as breezy as before.
The AAP now looks like a successful revolution but a not so successful government. Embroiled in controversies, it is ironic that the party which campaigned against criminal MPs has genuine cases filed against its entire top brass. Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP government has earned kudos and brickbats – both aplenty – as it completes a month of action-packed and somewhat controversial governance.
The AAP has always been a party of change. There is no denying that. It saw a spectacular debut when it bagged 28 seats in the Vidhan Sabha and formed the government days later with the outside support of it’s biggest rival, the Indian National Congress party.
Expectations were ripe and people thought that Kejriwal would be able to fulfil his entire 5 year manifesto in a month. Obviously, that was not going to happen. In simple words, this one month of the Aam Aadmi (not aurat) Party has been a month of Deception, Distraction and also strengthening democracy.
The first 15 days saw a barrage of announcements on water, electricity, corruption and many more important decisions on the 18 core issues in the manifesto. The new government on Day 1 had enforced a Supreme Court order by banning the use of red and blue beacons on government vehicles, to put an end to the VIP culture. Now, all Delhi Ministers roam around Delhi in the Delhi Metro, or in Kejriwal’s Blue Wagon-R, which has become the new icon of the Aam Aadmi.
It has announced free water of up to 700 litres per day to those having metered connections, launched an anti-corruption and nursery admission helpline and ordered a CAG audit of the power distribution companies apart from subsidising power bills by 50% for those consuming up to 400 units. Though these decisions have been announced, the implementation of most of these decisions like that on free water and electricity remain a tough job. On the flipside, the government also drew flak for “populist anarchy, vigilantism, racial remarks and attacks on the media”. Also AAP’s promise to provide Porta cabins for the homeless is yet to see the light of day – for which the HC too pulled up the government. Similarly, progress is yet to be made on its promise of forming a woman commando force.
It also faced open rebellion from one of its own MLAs, Vinod Kumar Binny, and had to ultimately expel him. Apparently, the Jan Lokpal Bill, which he had promised to pass within 15 days after coming to power, has still not seen the light of the day.
Many have criticised the AAP for failing on the governance front ever since it stepped into power. The last 15 days have been uneasy and uncomfortable for the AAP. From the Somnath Bharti midnight raid controversy to the unconventional Dharna, the AAP has faced flak from not only the media, but also many supporters of the party. The AAP decision to go on Dharna was probably the only major flaw of the AAP government. However, the AAP will have to do some serious inspections because it seems that the AAP has lost the middle man’s support.
One month of the Kejriwal government has earned the AAP both censure & praise. Though recent controversies may have dented the AAP government’s image but the fact is that they have changed the political discourse in the country – making it a serious player in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Now with the expectations of the people really high & the polls approaching – the Delhi government needs to act & quick. Otherwise, the AAP may just become another small player in the big Indian political space.
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