Aam Aadmi Party has emerged as a novel moral force showcasing highest standards of righteousness and honesty in the crippled Indian political system and the Delhi Vidhan Sabha victory has made it big, both in terms of a political entity and a social influence. While the junta of Delhi took that one courageous step to kick out the embodiment of old politics, their impatience for change can be understood. Also AAP which stands for new politics cannot be measured on the standards on old politics. And thus to keep it in close scrutiny we made an attempt to review day-to-day working of Aam Aadmi government and present it to the people in a compressed manner. Today it’s been a week both to our initiative and AAP Sarkar, our initiative would be judged by our visitors, however we have made an attempt to identify the course on which Delhi Government is headed.
Aam Aadmi Party presented a 70-point manifesto before Delhi and made fascinating promises covering the concerns of every class of persons. Here it should be noted that the manifesto was made after due deliberations with the people and the experts about different areas of concern, this programme was called “Delhi Dialogue”. It is important because it marked the beginning of issue-based politics and further democratization of it. So here we would reproduce texts from the manifesto and compare it with the action taken because otherwise all you read is what media says. Also there is a little clarification that we would make that we are not in hurry and do not expect the system to change overnight, all we are concerned about is the intent of the new government. The change might not happen instantly but it can certainly begin today, this is the only gesture to show that electoral promises were not a bunch of idioms.
The first thing CM did after assuming office was to launch the anti-corruption helpline, this was considered one of the most effective steps taken by the yester AAP government. It resulted in several officials being caught. More importantly, there was credible deterrence amongst the officials, which brought about a substantive decrease in the acts of corruption in the city. On the same day, Anti Corruption Branch of Delhi Govt. arrested 9 persons including excise officials involved in smuggling of alcohol without paying excise worth Rs 2500 crore. In this regard, Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prakash Javdekar seeking services of whistleblower Sanjeev Chaturvedi in the Delhi government. The buzz is that he would be made head of the anti corruption bureau. This step has a lot of symbolic significance. Now the government is all set to launch an anti-corruption app which will turn your smartphone into a handy spy cam to conduct sting operations on officials demanding bribes (Point 35).
Then living up to the promise made by the party in point four of the manifesto, finance and tariff departments were directed send Proposals for reduction of electricity tariffs by half. The government has also started exploring ways to produce low cost electric power. The Kejriwal government has asked the Centre for a coal block that will help a private company set up a giant plant to supply adequate and affordable electricity to the city. Meanwhile CM also reviewed the summer plan of DJB and electricity board to ensure smooth supply.
Point 33 of the action plan provides for 5,000 bus marshals to prevent and deter crime on public transport. Working upon it, Delhi government writes to DG home guard asking him to prepare road map to deploy Home Guards in DTC buses as Marshalls for the security of passengers.
Delhi government has issued orders prohibiting any demolitions in the city and reasserted that nobody should be deprived of shelter until proper arrangements are done. This was precisely what was promised in point 58 of the AAP action plan concerning in situ development of slums. Similarly Delhi government ordered no contractual workers of any department will be removed till further guidelines formed. This was done in pursuit of accomplishment of point 47 of the manifesto. Such relief has also been given to street shoppers (Point 48).
The government, on the second day, issued 4500 permits to auto drivers for NCR region ensuring last mile connectivity as ensured in point 29 of the plan. On the same date, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia asked for reasons why petitions haven’t been filed in chargesheet for 1984 riots case from concerned officers and gave directions to expedite them. Thus the path to justice for the Sikh community, as promised in point 63, has been drawn.
With a view to simplify procedures for setting up a small/medium Scale industries(non-polluting) in Delhi, need for no objection Certificate required from Pollution Control Board was made non-obligatory. However this step invited some criticism as environmental experts wrote to CM warning that doing away with green nod will further worsen Delhi pollution.
Another crisis which recently broke out and needs due governmental attention is that of swine flu. As proclaimed in point 25, the health ministry has been dealing with the problem on a priority basis. Thus to tackle this problem, helpline number was issued (22307145) by the health minister for any information on swine flu. The government issued order to all testing labs in Delhi freezing test charges of swine flu at maximum Rs. 4500. A day after the order two private labs were issued show cause notice for charging more than decided charge of Rs.4500. Also the stock of medicines to address swine flu situation was doubled and roped in 25 hospitals including private ones. Further on Thursday 40 new drug stores were granted licence to to sell Tamiflu tablets for treatment of swine flu. Also, the government added two more designated laboratories to test for the disease and said the stock of medicines has been doubled.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Friday asked Delhi Jal Board to submit a report on the city’s sewer system and contamination of water within 10 days as was said in point 56. The government has also started the process for fixing boundaries of unauthorized colonies to give shape to the promise of regularization.
Point 52 of the AAP manifesto talks about just and fair policy for e-rickshaws. Now to materialize this commitment, Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai announced that the government will soon form a task force to understand the problems faced by e-rickshaw drivers in the Capital. Also with an aim to help e-rickshaw drivers and owners apply for learners’ licences and badges, the government has announced the setting up of 13 special camps across the city.
Apart from the ultimatum to Uber, Chief Minister Mr Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the alleged gang-rape of an African national in a moving car in the early hours of Friday in East Delhi. This highlights their zero tolerance towards cases of harassment against women.
Delhi government is planning to give major role to wrestler Sushil Kumar to promote sports in Delhi, including special degree programs as promised in point 68 of the action plan. Also as clearly mentioned in point 17 of the manifesto and in accordance with Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, government announced building of two lakh new toilets. On the other end, Manish Sisodia gave a 3-week ultimatum to three Municipal corporations of Delhi to come up with an action plan. And the news for which social media is going crazy- Yes, the wi-fi thing. Get your data packs recharged as wi-fi is still a year away, as declared by Arvind Kejriwal.
Amongst all the action, a janta darbar was held by Arvind Kejriwal at his Ghaziabad office, systematized and successful contrary to the last year. Second janta darbar would be held on Feb 25th where government has issued strict directions not to allow VIP entries.
Here we have tried our best to present a synopsis of one week of Delhi governments success or failure is for you to judge. Also please don’t forget to read the AAP action plan (http://www.aamaadmiparty.org/Manifesto-for-Delhi) to keep the government checked. We would welcome your suggestions and comments.
i. AAP Action Plan.
ii. Electricity Bills to be reduced by half: An Aam Aadmi Party government will keep its promise of reducing electricity bills by half.
iii. Until such rehabilitation is completed, the slums will not be demolished under any circumstances.