Arvind Kejriwal’s government is not doing anything.
Both perspectives have their proponents and opponents. And that is ironical about it.
We did not hear the ‘rush to reform’ the system by the Aam Aadmi Party government like it was the last time. Apart from some populist measures of offering subsidies on electricity and water tariffs, the AAP government has, so far, done nothing significant. And that too sounds ineffective when we see the increasing number of protests against water and electricity shortage with the rising temperature in soaring summer heat of Delhi.
Kejriwal’s government is completing 100 days this time and there is nothing to talk about. Instead, he already has enough of negative pointers on his part.
He and his partymen accepted VVIP accommodations and made no fuss about it. They even needed a separate VVIP corridor during events. Corruption is as usual in Delhi. Kejriwal’s full-time government has not brought any change to that. He has given electricity and water subsidies but even people are not talking about it anymore. He made larger than life promises to win Delhi but then felt it would be enough if he could deliver even 40%/50% of that.
After taking the reins for the second time, with a full-time government, he is making news, but mostly due to negative reasons. His anti-establishment attitude, something that was behind his ‘anarchist’ proclamation, is now looking rubbish, stale, so routine and selfish.
He promised Delhiites full statehood and many projects for which lands were needed. Now, everyone knows Centre cannot give full statehood to Delhi, cannot give Delhi Police under Delhi government and cannot leave land to the state government in a state that is also the National Capital of India. Even Sheila Dikshit, Kejriwal’s predecessor, could not achieve full statehood or could not get Delhi Police under her control even if she had three full terms in office and even if Congress led the Union Government from 2004 to 2014.
Yes, Delhi is a half state and is also the most important Indian city where people of national and international importance reside. The pragmatic approach to run this city-state lies is in reconciliation within the democratic norms.
And Delhi has to be governed like that, with an approach to take everyone on board, even if it means ceding some political ground to the Lieutenant-Governor as is the case of the appointment of the acting chief secretary of Delhi – even if it means handling the main political opposition, the BJP, whose government is at the Union level.
The confrontationist approach will not work in a democracy. Kejriwal needs a practical approach. He needs to work with the Union Government for the development of Delhi to consolidate his gains first.
Instead, he has chosen confrontation – closing the doors. He is indulging in a fight that he cannot win. He is indulging in a fight that is ethically not right.
Ironically, an ever increasing number of people who had shown faith in the political experiment called ‘the AAP’ are regretting their decision to vote the party in.
Let’s see what comes next. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.