India witnessed at the fag end of 2013 an innovative alternative to normal politics, when a group of social activists fighting against corruption came into active politics when challenges were thrown at them to fight election and deliver the desired result. These social activists under leadership of Arvind Kejriwal accepted the challenge and formed Aam Adami Party (AAP), meaning a party of common people; and fought the elections and secured second highest number of seats though it was less than the required for simple majority. Since single largest party BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) could not form government, AAP formed government with support of Congress Party and APP government led by Kejariwal was inaugurated on 28th December, 2013.
AAP manifesto for Delhi Assembly election for 2013 has made a lot of rosy promises. Out of these promises made, some of them are easy to fulfil, few are very difficult to achieve beside others. Fulfilling these promises requires a clear vision, appropriate policies, and strong institutions to implement the policies and programmes to address these problems. Some of issues which has been raised in Delhi election manifesto of 2013 has been analysed below.
There is nothing more in Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by AAP, once Lokpal Bill and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 has been passed. Only Lokayukta is to be constituted in state. Any severe penal provision against public servant will discourage them to take any initiative. It is not understood how AAP will pass Delhi Jan Lokpal bill within 15 days as there are many statutory time taking provisions that must be followed before introducing a bill before its passage. For example draft bills need to be published in print or electronic media comments of people and other stakeholders.
The concept of Swaraj as conceived by AAP is very good that envisage to involve the citizens in decision making relating to governance, but it may be applicable at local level i.e. at mohalla (colony) level and for few issues only such as schools, hospitals etc. Major macro level decision making encompassing larger geographical area and complex techno-commercial issues can be taken only after thorough analysis and appraisal by expert group.
Reduction of electricity bill to the tune 50 % through audit of discoms ( distribution companies), checking of meters for over reading, rectification of inflated bills has been envisaged. But, whether that much potential of reduction is there through above mentioned means. If AAP is not able to meet this target through above means, then would AAP go to make the reduction of electricity bill through state subsidy. And if the same happens so, it would be a disastrous financial health of state and setting a wrong trends for other states. As far as use of renewable energy is concerned, the policy to promote solar energy and other renewable are already in place by central government, but, its price is still very high compared to grid power and that is a big barrier for expansion of its use in a decade or so.
Water is one of the most essential requirements in residential sector for survival of human being, apart from its requirement for commercial and industrial use in case ofDelhi. As nearly 50 lakhs people inDelhido not have access to piped water, it would be a Herculean task for AAP government to provide 700 litres of water free to all house holds including unauthorised slums. The biggest task for AAP government in such a short time would be to ensure adequate amount of water and creation of infrastructure to distribute them especially in those areas and slums where no piped water supply infrastructure is available. Initially, as indicated by AAP government from free water supply of 700 litres, only those people will be benefited who are having piped water connection, and most of these people are well to do and have the paying capacities also to bear the water charges. Those who are really needy i.e. slum dwellers and other unauthorised will not get this benefit in short to medium terms. Proposal to improve availability to water supply through rain water harvesting, recycling and conservation of water, reviving of local water bodies are feasible in long run of three to five years or above, if these plans are implemented on war footing basis immediately.
Sanitation and waste management proposed by AAP may work in a medium to long term by providing decentralized sewage treatment plant with active participation of people.
On women’s security vision of AAP is not clear as to how it will ensure the safety and security of women.
There is no vision on providing universal access to quality education. Merely regulating high fees and donations in private schools may bring down the quality of education in even in private schools due to lack of resources as envisaged by AAP.
Vision of AAP for health may work in medium to long term, if immediately primary health centre in each locality especially in marginalised areas are opened and it is properly equipped and staffed.
Though there is no clear vision on development of villages of Delhi, unauthorised colonies and slums, but some improvements can be attempted and made in water supply, electricity, heath care facilities, schools and sewage facility in these area in long term only.
There is no vision on how inflation, unemployment and other economic issues relating toDelhi will be addressed.
Vision of APP on transport may work in medium to long term by expanding the metro, feeder buses and public road transport.
Vision of AAP on environment may work in medium to long term.
There is no clear vision on social justice. However, Punjabi and Urdu language can be can be easily promoted as envisaged by AAP.
AAP government has made very rosy promises to citizen of Delhi through its election manifesto. It is very easy to dream, but it will be very difficult to realise the dream as many impediments and barriers in the form of court cases for land acquisition and approval from other central government agencies will come in its way while implementing the developmental projects. However, there is silver lining also that Delhig overnment is financially sound and is having sufficient fund to implement the developmental projects. It is really to be seen that how AAP government in Delhi led by Kejriwal would be able to fulfil poll promises effectively in the shortest possible time.