Kejriwal is likely to have little over two months’ time to deliver on his immediate priorities as model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls are set to come into force in March…
Arvind Kejriwal will face immediate challenges of fulfilling three key promises he made during the poll campaign — passage of Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, cutting power tariff by 50 per cent and supplying 700 litres of free water to each household across the city.The 45-year-old Magsaysay award winner will be facing enormous public expectations as he led the Aam Aadmi Party to a stunning victory capitalising on people’s disillusionment with mainstream political parties. “This is not my victory but that of the aam aadmi (common man). The aam aadmi will be Chief Minister, not me,” he said after meeting Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.
Kejriwal is likely to have little over two months’ time to deliver on his immediate priorities as model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls are set to come into force in March. His running of the Government will be watched carefully as he led the AAP to the victory in the December 4 assembly polls, criticising the “corrupt” Congress Government on almost all aspects. Kejriwal has also vowed to end the VIP culture like having cars fitted with red beacons and it will be interesting to see how the activist-turned-politician delivers on his promises.
As the AAP decided to take outside support from the Congress to form the Government, it will be watched carefully whether he orders any probe into allegations of corruption against the Congress Government. Initially the AAP had refused to take support from either the Congress or Bharatiya Janata Party to form the Government following which both the parties had accused it of shying away from the responsibility fearing that it would not be able to deliver on its promises. In its manifesto, AAP had promised to slash power tariff by 50 per cent besides carrying out scrutiny of the accounts of the private power distribution companies. The power tariff in Delhi is decided by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and it will be interesting to see how Kejriwal brings it down by half.
The power tariff in the city was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 followed by a 5 per cent increase in February last year. The tariff was hiked by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July 2012. The tariff was hiked again by up to 3 per cent in February and further by 5 per cent in July. The Congress has been attacking the AAP accusing it of misleading the citizens on the issue, saying it was impossible to slash tariff by 50 per cent. The AAP had also promised to enact the Jan Lokpal Bill within 15 days of coming to power. The party said the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill would cover all the officials and employees of the Delhi Government, from the Chief Minister to MLAs. The AAP had further promised devolution of power to the people by setting up Mohalla Sabha which would decide about the development work to be carried out in respective areas.
In its 50-page manifesto, AAP also said it would construct two lakh community and public toilets in the city, with 50 per cent of them for women, if voted to power. The party had also promised to make the Yamuna clean by ensuring that no untreated sewage would be discharged. The party had said it would open 500 new schools but as land is not under Delhi Government, it would be interesting to see how Kejriwal realises the promise. The AAP had also assured residents of unauthorised colonies that it will regularise the settlements. Officials said it would not be easy to remove bottlenecks for regularising around 1,639 unauthorised colonies.
The party had also proposed to set up a ‘citizen’s security force’ with special focus on safety of aged, women and children. The AAP had promised to regularise autorickshaw fares twice a year.