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One Year of Kejriwal (AAP) Government Achievements

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One Year of Kejriwal Government: Headway and Hiccups

It's been exactly one year since Arvind Kejriwal's avant-garde, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), clinched a historic victory in the Delhi assembly elections. In its first electoral appearance in the 2013 Delhi elections, the AAP made an impressive debut by winning 28 seats and emerging as the second-largest party. Since no party could secure majority, the AAP formed a minority government with conditional support from the Congress which had eight seats in its tally. This government resigned soon after failing to enact the Jan Lokpal bill which had been an important electoral plank.

Arvind Kejriwal faced a lot of flak for resigning from chief ministership within 49 days of coming to power. Nevertheless, to the man's credit, he succeeded in getting voted back to power, this time with a resounding majority of 67 out of 70 assembly seats, through vigorous campaigning and big promises. This win was a major setback for the Bharatiya Janata Party who had to face defeat in the hands of the new and inexperienced AAP, despite having got majority in the parliamentary elections just a few months before. Before Coming to Power The AAP had made a lot of promises to Delhi residents before coming to power. Delhiites reposed their faith in the party and Kejriwal by awarding them a huge victory in the 2015 elections. Even so, it has been by no means a smooth ride for the party post elections.

Here's a brief report on the Arvind Kejriwal government as it completes an eventful one year in office.

The Journey So Far

Subsidies Galore
Kejriwal kick-started his tenure by sanctioning 50 per cent subsidy on up to 400 units of monthly power usage and 20,000 litres of free water every month to all households with metered connections. With this move, the Kejriwal government fulfilled an ambitious electoral promise and won the confidence of Delhiites instantly. However, this step came in for severe criticism from the opposition as well as economists who declared that it would spell disaster for Delhi's exchequer. Even so, the Kejriwal government claims that there has been increase in tax collections. It has also announced that the 50 per cent subsidy on electricity consumption, which was initially limited to one year, is likely to be extended after the CAG completes its audit of discoms.

Celebrating 100 Days of Government
Kejriwal organised a mega event in May 2015 to showcase his government’s achievements within 100 days of coming to power. Some of the achievements, as listed by the chief minister, were providing free power and water, beginning the process of regularising unauthorised colonies, unveiling an anti-corruption helpline, banning demolition of jhuggis and providing licences to e-rickshaws.

Regular Run-ins With the Centre
An overriding feature of the Kejriwal government has been its regular run-ins with the central government. The first of its series of confrontations came to the fore when Kejriwal had an ugly spat with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung over the chief secretary's appointment. Kejriwal alleged that the LG was trying to dismantle an elected government on the Centre's directive. He also contended that the BJP was miffed at losing elections in the capital and therefore, going all out to destabilise a democratically elected government.

Kejriwal had his next run-in with Delhi Police chief B.S. Bassi. Commenting on the poor functioning of the Delhi Police, Kejriwal maintained that it should be brought under the control of Delhi government. Relations between the two soured further when one of Kejriwal's ministers, Somnath Bharti, was chased by as many as 50 officers and eight police teams following allegations of domestic violence against him by his wife.

Kejriwal took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi next when the CBI conducted a raid on his principal secretary’s office. He accused Modi of seeking vengeance for losing in Delhi elections and the CBI raid as a ploy to intimidate the AAP government. An unrelenting Kejriwal hit back at the Centre with allegation of corruption against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in DDCA. He found a supporter in BJP MP Kirti Azad, who produced proof to back Kejriwal’s claim. Azad was eventually suspended from his party. It must be recalled that Kejriwal had earlier faced a jail term for failing to prove his allegations against BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.

Without doubt, the AAP-led Delhi government has had its share of controversies which made headlines from time to time. This first happened when an internal rift within the party was exposed and two prominent leaders, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, were expelled. While Yadav said that the AAP was functioning in an undemocratic way, Kejriwal argued that the two had been working against the party. This incident put a big question mark on the party's functioning and damaged its reputation to some extent.

The party was mired in controversy again following a farmer's suicide at its rally. Kejriwal, later, expressed regret and admitted that his party should have stopped the rally after the farmer, Gajendra Singh’s suicide.

To add to this, the party has also been embarrassed by its own ministers Jitender Singh Tomar and Somnath Bharti. While Tomar was arrested over a fake degree row, Somnath Bharti was found guilty of domestic violence.

On the eve of completing its first year in office, the government is finding itself under mounting pressure. Resignation is now being also sought of its Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain whose staff member has been found asking for bribe in a sting video. The AAP minister has, though, denied this allegation.

Is It Odd or Even?
In order to curb increasing pollution in the city, the Kejriwal government implemented the odd-even car rationing scheme for 15 days. This idea caught the imagination of not just Delhiites but even other parts of the country. Critics slammed this step as marginally effective in curbing pollution. Nonetheless, it got everyone talking about how to check pollution in the city. Claiming success of the odd-even formula, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that this scheme will be implemented again from April 15, 2016 once the board exams get over and on the first 15 days of every month May, 2016 onwards.

The Politics of Garbage
Even as the Kejriwal government nears the completion of one year, it has been beset with a mammoth challenge as striking MCD workers have littered garbage across the city in protest against non-payment of their salaries. Kejriwal's government has contended that the BJP-led civic bodies have diverted funds allocated for salaries to other places. As a solution to this mounting crisis, Kejriwal has called for bringing the MCD under Delhi government's control. No resolution to this deadlock has taken place as of yet.

Long Road Ahead and Promises to Keep

The Kejriwal government has still four more years ahead to prove itself. Nevertheless, there are huge expectations from this government. After giving a historic mandate to this party which rode on the anti-corruption plank, the public mood seems mixed at the moment. Evidently, the voter is apprehensive yet willing to stand by and cooperate as the Aam Aadmi Party takes baby steps in governance and administration. The Kejriwal government may have won the people's confidence by giving subsidies, setting up mohalla clinics and taking suggestions through mohalla sabhas, but there are many poll promises yet to be fulfilled, few of them being making Wi-Fi available for free all over Delhi, filling 55,000 vacancies in government departments, installing over 10 lakh CCTV cameras, enacting the Swaraj Bill, transformation of Delhi into a solar city, building schools and colleges, making the capital drug-free and regularisation of fees of private schools. Generating finance for all these projects will be the biggest challenge for AAP as it steps into the second year.

Perhaps, the party needs to temper its radical approach with dollops of realism before the Delhi voter becomes disillusioned with it.

Track Day wise Work Report

Day 201 - 300

December 9: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured full support to Delhi government on implementing its odd-even scheme for plying of private vehicles in the city from 1 January. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that his meeting with the Home Minister was very positive and he has got assurance of full support of Delhi Police as well.

December 5: Describing the odd-even scheme as a drastic step that had to be taken to address the panic over pollution, Kejriwal said that it will be tried out for limited period of time and it will be stopped problems surface. He further said that Delhi’s roads will be vacuum-cleaned starting 1 April 2016.

December 2: Delhi CM offered “fullest support” to people in Chennai after an unprecedented downpour created a flood-like situation. Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa offering all resources at the disposal of the Delhi government to the flood-affected state.

December 1: The AAP government passed a bunch of bills to bring major reforms in education system of Delhi. The Delhi School Education ( Amendment) Bill 2015 and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill are among the ones passed.

November 28: The AAP government approved the proposal for a hike in salary and allowances of MLAs at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. In October, an independent panel appointed by the Delhi government had recommended over 400% increase in their basic salary.

November 23: The BJP government at the Centre allotted Rs. 3,250 crore for decongesting and developing the national capital. After allotting an additional Rs. 96.7 crore for making Delhi cleaner, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu praised Arvind Kejriwal for roping in three municipal bodies in Delhi for the week-long cleanliness drive.

November 23: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal claimed that the Aam Aadmi Party is not in the race for 2019 elections. Calling the Delhi win 'miraculous', Kejriwal said that the party is not here for power politics and it will keep working hard and with honesty.

November 18: The Cabinet of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal cleared the Jan Lokpal Bill that meets the long-standing demand of the chief minister coming under the purview of the ombudsman. The Bill will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly for approval.

November 13: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has launched a complaint against Delhi Police for not cooperating with the AAP government. In a letter sent to the MHA on 7 November, the Delhi government alleged that the police are “hounding” AAP MLAs by digging up old cases and slapping new ones against them.

November 7: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the result of Bihar elections was a referendum against the Narendra Modi government. The people's verdict, according to AAP Chief, “has broken the Centre's arrogance”.

November 5: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ordered a probe against Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) chief MK Meena for allegedly intimidating his juniors in office. The probe will be based on the reports of misconduct or misbehaviour against Mukesh Meena.

October 30: Arvind Kejriwal wrote an open letter in a national daily absolving his party of any responsibility for the garbage crisis in the wake of ongoing strike of municipal workers in the Delhi. The Delhi CM clarified that MCD workers are not on strike because of non-payment of dues.

October 29: Arvind Kejriwal rallied in support of Nitish Kumar as Bihar was gearing up for the third phase of Assembly polls. He appealed to the people of Bihar to vote the incumbent Chief Minister to power. Kejriwal had publicly backed Kumar’s candidature since the beginning of the elections campaign.

October 28: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condemned the Delhi Police's "raid" at Kerala Bhavan after a complaint was lodged that its canteen was serving beef. Stating that Kerala house is a government establishment, he added that the raid was an attack on federal structure.

October 22: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led a cycle rally to mark the first ever 'Car-Free Day' in Delhi. Hundreds of people joined him in the cycle rally, which was held between Red Fort and Bhagwan Das Marg.

October 17: After the ghastly incident of three rapes within a week, Kejriwal reiterated his demand for full authority over the police department. Besides shaming the repeated rape of minors, he also criticized the Delhi Police for completely failing to provide safety.

October 15: The AAP government extended "full support" to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan after it announced its decision to launch a major drive on 21st and 22nd November to clean up Delhi of "all garbage and debris"

October 9: Delhi CM sacked environment and food minister Asim Ahmed Khan for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs. 6 lakh from a builder. Emphasizing AAP's zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, Kejriwal dared the BJP to sack its leaders – Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Madhya Pradesh's Shivraj Singh Chouhan – on corruption charges.

September 30: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s efforts to bring all the CMs of the states together for a meeting to build a pressure group against PM Modi didn't yield a positive response. The CMs of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar intimated they would be unable to attend the function. Kejriwal was counting on non-BJP and non-Congress chief ministers to make the conclave a success.

September 27: Arvind Kejriwal took at dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project ‘Make in India’ by asserting that the focus should be on ‘Making India' rather than 'Make in India'. He argued that the Centre should concentrate on “providing proper infrastructure, rendering honest services and ensuring a conducive atmosphere for making India.

September 26: Although Kejriwal has been locked in a tussle with Governor Najeeb Jung over several issues since AAP government came to power, the Delhi CM rallied in his support when BJP called for his removal. Describing him as a 'good man”, he added that removing Jung will not help sand the real solution lies in PMO not interfering in Delhi's affairs.

September 25: After the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) announced its decision to keep the power tariff at the prevailing level for domestic consumers, AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal attributed this development to “honest politics” of the party. The AAP-led Delhi government had urged DERC to reduce the tariff or keep it at existing levels, till an audit of the discoms is finalised.

September 23: Delhi chief minister described his former law minister Somnath Bharti as an “embarrassment” to his party, AAP. He added that Bharti should surrender in a case of domestic violence and attempt to murder filed by his wife. On the contrary, other senior AAP leaders had shown solidarity with Bharti.

100 Days of Kejriwal (AAP) Government Achievements

On 24 May 2015, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government completed 100 days in office in Delhi and now, all stakeholders want to look back and review what was promised in the Election Manifesto and what has been achieved till date by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government.

The last 100 days were hectic and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal continued to remain in news, though not always for the best reasons. His time in office has been mostly spent fighting one controversy after the other. Immediately after taking over as the Chief Minister, 47-year-old Arvind Kejriwal took on party colleagues Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav in full view of the media. Arvind Kejriwal’s handling of internal dissent reflected poorly on his ability to work alongside people with divergent and sometimes dissenting views, when actually politics is all about bringing people together through accommodation and consensus.

With an overactive media critically scrutinising his and his party’s every move, Arvind Kejriwal stoked yet another controversy when he issued a circular asking his bureaucrats to report any case of misreporting or defamation by any section of the media. He went on to the extent of threatening the media with legal action. This move only resulted in further antagonising of the already critical media and it took the Supreme Court to intervene by placing a stay on the implementation of the order.

This ugly spat had barely moved out of media glare when another controversy broke out with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung appointing Shakuntala Gamlin as an acting Chief Secretary in the absence of Chief Secretary KK Sharma, who was on a 10-day leave. Rather than addressing the tricky issue with tact, he responded by issuing a notification cancelling Shakuntala Gamlin’s appointment. This caused an unnecessary debate on constitutional rights between the Lieutenant Governor’s office and the Chief Minister’s office, with the matter reaching the President’s office.

On its part, the MHA clarified that as per the existing rules, the LG was entitled to make the appointment; however, the MHA left it to the offices to amicably settle the matter. But CM Kejriwal refused to let it rest. He has now further hardened his position and called on for a two-day special session of the Delhi Assembly and may pass a resolution demanding full statehood. Caught up in the ugly fight for one-upmanship are the bureaucrats serving the Delhi government, whose morale is at an all-time low.

In all this, the people of Delhi continue to live through the searing heat of Delhi’s summer, waiting for signs of better quality of life that they hoped Arvind Kejriwal would provide.

Poll Manifesto Promises fulfilled by AAP

Controversy aside, there are several positive steps that Arvind Kejriwal has taken after becoming the Chief Minister. Here are some of the promises on which he has delivered, while many still await action.
  • Power Subsidy

    In the Poll Manifesto, the AAP had promised to halve power tariffs for consumers in Delhi. To his credit, one of the first actions Arvind Kejriwal undertook was to announce 50% reduction in power tariff. On the other side, not much action has been announced on how he plans to make up this shortfall.

    The manifesto also spoke about Delhi meeting 20% of its power needs through solar energy in the next 10 years. That translates to about 2% per year starting this year. However, 100 days have gone by and not much concerted action or investment in this regard has been seen.

    With Delhi succumbing under scorching heat, not much has been done towards working with discoms to ensure optimum power procurement and distribution. A new power plant for Delhi was promised but not much has been done towards allocating funds, nor has any action been taken towards land acquisition. The manifesto also spoke about optimising the Rajghat and Bawana plants for power generation without specifying how the government planned to do so. With the government bogged down with controversies, little action has been taken in this regard, while people continue to suffer power outages.
  • Clean Drinking Water

    The manifesto spoke about people’s right to clean drinking water and promised to make 20 kilolitres of free water lifeline connection to every household. Here again, CM Kejriwal must be applauded for implementing this poll promise immediately after taking the office.

    The manifesto promised a water pipeline to every home in Delhi supplying clean drinking water. In the last 100 days, very few water pipelines have been laid, with large parts of Delhi still waiting for water to be made available through tankers, etc. The citizens who still do not have water pipeline connections are still a long way from getting this promise fulfilled.

    A network of Piaos (water kiosks) was to be set up in JJ Colonies to meet the drinking water requirements of the people; however, this summer has not seen many new kiosks being set up. The city continues to depend on tankers to meet their daily requirements of water.

    Another promise was on water conservation. The party promised to implement a dual water distribution system to recycle community waste water for non-domestic use. This was to be implemented in housing societies, commercial complexes, malls, etc. However, no announcements have been made in this regard.

    The manifesto also promised that the government would build underground water reservoirs, booster pumping stations and water treatment plants. All these require planning, fund allocation and land acquisition before any tendering process begins.

    Safe drinking water that meets BIS: 10500 Certification standards was to be supplied. Zonal water testing facilities in all the nine zones of Delhi were to be put up to check, test and monitor water quality levels.

    The manifesto also promised to initiate a program for the supply and installation of bulk and domestic water meters to monitor pressure, flow and supply using latest data analytical tools.

    A lot was promised on the revival of the river Yamuna – all requiring detailed planning, coordination with stakeholders, fund allocation and comprehensive monitoring.

    100 days have gone by; however, no word has been uttered on any of the above.
  • Building Community Toilets and Effective Sewage Systems

    The AAP set for itself an ambitious target to provide a comprehensive sanitation system to 42 lakh people of Delhi who still do not have access to toilets and proper sewage system. The plan included building of two lakh new public toilets, half of which were to be for women. Till date, little is known regarding whether any areas have been earmarked, funds have been allocated or tenders have been issued on this account. The people of Delhi are still waiting.
  • Education

    The manifesto highlighted the previous government’s budget allocation on education of 15% and showed that only 1.6% of GSDP was spent on education. Furthermore, the manifesto highlighted the fact that from 2003 to 2011, only 211 new government schools were opened in Delhi.

    The party promised to open 500 new schools and 20 new colleges. This translates to opening 100 new schools and five new colleges every year. With 100 days gone by, it is still a mystery as to how does CM Kejriwal propose to meet its target of 100 schools and five new colleges this year when neither any land has been acquired nor any budgetary provisions have been allocated.

    Furthermore, 17,000 new teachers are to be recruited. When this process is likely to start and how the Delhi government proposes to meet the additional cost given its already precarious financial situation are still an enigma.

    The party had also promised to allocate Rs. 1 lakh of untied funds to every school principal and give him/her the administrative and financial control over his employees. While this may sound a welcome step towards delegating more responsibility and freedom to principals, little has been stated on how the same will be monitored for misuse. And if these funds are made available to school principals, then from where the financial resources will come to build the much publicised 500 schools?
  • Public Healthcare

    The AAP has made some very ambitious promises to improve the medical infrastructure in Delhi. The manifesto stated that the party would increase the number of beds in primary and tertiary hospitals of the Delhi government from 10,600 to 40,000. This means that the party plans to add 29,400 beds over its term of five years. This translates to 5,880 beds per year. The per capita budget required for each hospital bed is significant and the per year funds requirement will be massive. Beds can’t be added without accompanying civil infrastructure and support staff of doctors, nurses, paramedics and technicians.

    With 100 days gone by, can the CM throw some light on the project status of the targeted 5,880 beds for this year? There are 4,000 vacancies for doctors and 15,000 vacancies for paramedics that the party had promised to fill immediately. Firstly, where these 4,000 qualified doctors are available for recruitment and how one raises 15,000 paramedics in a short period are a conundrum. Moreover, the question is how the Delhi government proposes to fund this additional expenditure when meeting expenses in just maintaining the existing medical facilities is a challenge. Another poll commitment had been to build 900 primary health centres in Delhi. This translates to 180 new primary health centres to be built every year over the next five years. Again, 100 days have gone and neither word nor any provision towards these has been initiated.
  • Women’s Rights and Safety

    Women’s safety was a major poll issue for the AAP and the party promised to undertake several measures immediately to address this vital issue. The party promised to install two lakh CCTVs across public areas of Delhi and in buses, to monitor and respond to crimes in real time. To augment Delhi’s security, the party had committed to raise a Mahila Suraksha Dal comprising of new 10,000 home guards who will be recruited from the vast population that is currently working as maids or drivers or in other support services in the domestic area. Additionally, the party stated that they would use 5,000 bus marshals to monitor security in buses.

    While this is a laudable initiative, any recruitment by the government comes with a total cost package and a force this large will require a matching budget to recruit, train, deploy and maintain. Then there are other benefits and costs involved as well.

    Along with the aforementioned promises, additional working women’s hostels and shelters for the homeless had been promised. Though no numbers had been committed, what is interesting to note is that even no discussion on an action plan for implementing these has been initiated.

    CM Kejriwal is going to be hard-pressed to raise funds for the above.
  • Pension Scheme for Senior Citizens

    The manifesto promised immediate implementation of a universal and non-contributory old age pension system that would assure a dignified amount, indexed to inflation, to the beneficiary. The government is yet to announce any action taken so far on this account.
  • Development of Rural Areas of Delhi

    The AAP had promised several measures for improving the quality of life of those living in rural areas of Delhi by providing better water supply, electricity, education and infrastructural facilities.

    The party has also committed to build 100 new schools, more veterinary hospitals and 50 new ambulances. It remains to be seen how many of these have been kick-started by the Delhi government thus far and how it plans to roll out these in the remaining time it has.
  • Regularisation of Unauthorised Colonies

    The AAP has promised and fulfilled their promise to ban demolition of ‘Jhuggis’. Furthermore, the party had promised to regularise the unauthorised colonies within one year in office and give full ownership rights to all the valid residents who had built their structures.

    It must be said that CM Kejriwal remains committed to fulfilling these and some work has already been started. The party plans to mobilise the ‘Mohalla Sabhas’ to assist and coordinate the same at the local level.
  • Mohalla Sabhas

    Towards fulfilling his poll promise for ‘Swaraj’ in Delhi, CM Kejriwal has taken an initiate to start ‘Mohalla Sabhas’, which is one of the efficient ways of empowering people and involving them to take decisions on developmental issues that impact them most at the local level. As a concept, the attempt at involving people as a part of the planning and execution process at the local level is indeed admirable.

    To his credit, CM Kejriwal has shown serious intent towards this and directed his team to organise a series of ‘Mohalla Sabhas’ across Delhi. The initial reactions to the initiative have been mixed, with the RWAs expressing concern at the overlap of responsibilities and becoming marginalised in the process.

    The ‘Mohalla Sabhas’ have been entrusted with the coordination of several developmental issues at the local level, pertaining to regularisation and development of unauthorised colonies and slums.

    Going forward, the concept of ‘Mohalla Sabhas’ will need further refining for standardization of processes for identifying projects, debating viability, selecting contractors, ensuring quality material supply and finally doing work audit. All of these are yet to be addressed and unless addressed quickly, it will give rise to accusations and counter-accusations regarding favouritism and corruption in selection of contractors and quality of material supply and finally creating financial irregularity.
  • Employment Generation

    The manifesto promised:
    • Establishing technology incubators at the college and university level
    • Providing 3 million sq ft of affordable incubation space
    • Filling 50,000 vacancies in government departments and other autonomous bodies in GNCT
    • Undertaking on priority to skill one lakh youth per year for the first two years and then increase it to five lakh per year for the remaining three years
    Actions on all the aforementioned points are yet to be taken. This year alone one lakh youth are to be skilled. With 100 Days already gone by, the government is going to be hard-pressed for funds and time to meet the promised targets on any of the above. The party has already opposed FDI in retail in Delhi. It remains to be seen what measures the Delhi government will take to attract investors to the state, for creation of new jobs, which is not just a necessity but a priority.
  • Infrastructure Development

    The AAP has promised to work towards making Delhi a modern and green city. Towards improving the public transportation system, the Delhi Metro will continue to get support of the Delhi government; however, the DTC remains a problem area. From fleet modernisation to reforms in recruitment including regularisation of contractual workers, all remain work in progress as only little work has been done so far.

    The state was to acquire modern air-conditioned buses to ease the pressure of traffic ; however, little progress has been made on this front. Availability of funds remains a problem.
  • Jan Lokpal

    The AAP was formed on the anti-corruption plank and had committed itself to building an effective Jan Lokpal as top priority. This remains a desired goal but little progress has been made to get the required consensus to pass the Bill.

    There are several poll promises that require serious review. What’s next is whether people will allow the party to go back on its poll promises, even partially.
  • Demand for Full Statehood for Delhi

    The recent spat with the LG on the right of the state government to appoint bureaucrats has now led Team Kejriwal to push for the demand for full statehood for Delhi.

    CM Kejriwal realises that this is an opportunity for him to press for the demand as it resonates favourably with the people and will give him the requisite powers for more effective governance.

    This is not going to be easy by any means. If Arvind Kejriwal succeeds in his endeavour, he will emerge as a hero and remain one at the time of the next state elections and both the BJP and the Congress realise that. Therefore, in all probability, despite his attempts to get the Delhi Assembly to endorse his demand for full statehood, it will run into a wall when it reaches the Parliament. This, in turn, will force the CM back to taking the streets, something that he relishes, and try and emerge as both a victim and a hero for the cause of Delhi. His next moves will be closely watched by all the stakeholders.
  • Narendra Modi vs. Arvind Kejriwal

    Similar Mandates,Contrasting Styles It was Arvind Kejriwal who wanted a comparison between the 100 days of the NDA with his 100 days in power. While a comparison between the two parties is difficult as they have differing mandates and scale, it is interesting to note that there are a lot of similarities between the rise of both the leaders in national politics, the popular support from the voters and the subsequent style of leadership. This comparison becomes inevitable given that both reside in the same city.

    Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India after a long and successful stint at the state level, where he honed his political and administrative skills. His taking to politics at the national level was a huge step but he took it as a fish would take to water.

    In contrast, Arvind Kejriwal rose rapidly on the back of street-agitation politics. His lack of political understanding and administrative skills is seriously impeding his chances of emerging as a leader with a difference. He came into politics with the mandate of providing corruption-free administration with people participation and empowerment as his hallmark. However, he has not been able to inspire confidence or leadership among the bureaucrats working in his administration. In fact, many want to revert to central cadre.

And finally, what do people of Delhi think of Kejriwal after 100 days?

One thing remains clear and that is the Aam Aadmi of Delhi still believes and remains loyal to Arvind Kejriwal and what he stands for. In him, they see a David who cares and one who is willing to stand up to the Goliath in the Narendra Modi-led NDA at the centre.

Despite not seeing much action on the ground, people do register the immediate power and water subsidy given by CM Kejriwal on taking office and continue to remain patient that he will deliver on most of his promises over time. Team Kejriwal also nurtures this sentiment and responds with good governance that the citizens of Delhi deserve and look forward to.

Last Updated on 24 September, 2023.