Failure not an option for now ‘khaas aadmi’ Arvind Kejirwal
There is no doubt that oath of Arvind Kejriwal as youngest chief minister of Delhi was historic. But, it also signalled the tough days ahead for Kejriwal and his team as they will have to deliver on their promises under vindictive eyes of the Congress and BJP.
Both BJP and the Congress, which has lost space to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi elections, fear that Kejriwal can have an imprint in around 200 Parliamentary constituencies in the forthcoming general elections and will not leave any stone unturned to trounce him.
The AAP has already announced to contest more than 100 Parliamentary constituencies and its leader Yogendra Yadav had impressive rallies in different parts of Haryana in the last two days. The party has already opened over 350 offices in different parts of the country including the left bastion of West Bengal.
Senior journalist Jayanto Ghoshal told me today that AAP success had created a buzz even in Kolkatta and has scared state chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. She has advised local journalists not to give much credence to Aam Aadmi party in the state knowing very well that the party would cut into Trinamool votes.
Elsewhere also the party has evoked warm response and party insiders say it would be putting up candidates in cities far south such as Bangalore and Hyderabad in addition to Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
The party’s success in other urban centers will squarely depend in Arvind Kejriwal’s performance in Delhi. He has promised almost sky and he will have to deliver at least basic minimum which the people demand. Daily dose of water, if not 700 litres of free water, reduction in power bills, if not by 50% as promised in AAP manifesto, and responsive administrative is what people would expect from Kejriwal.
If Kejriwal falters on punishing all corrupt in the previous regimes, as promised, the people will forgive him provided his team does not become elusive to them as politicians do after coming to power.
No chief minister who had served for long like Nitish Kumar in Bihar or Jyoti Babu in West Bengal met all the promises, Kejriwal should know. One thing they did was bringing in systematic changes in governance which resulted in overall improvement in lives of people. Their single point focus was governance and answerable government.
Scope for team Kejriwal to improve governance in Delhi is huge. Despite Delhi being the national capital, the government officials here are a scary lot. If by mistake you have to visit the Delhi Jal Board office, it appears that a babu there is doing you a favour by lending a ear. Transport department is den of corruption which is run fully and wholly by touts. The public health sector in Delhi is in complete tatters. Don’t talk about MCD or DDA, which are not under Delhi government, but are worst of the lot.
Kejirwal has a golden opportunity at hand as the established political parties have left a governance vacuum in the Capital. People in Delhi to a large extent were fed up with the Congress and the BJP but were not sure whether AAP can turn out to be a force. And as a result AAP ended up with 30% of the votes cast. Now this can prove to be blessing in guise for Kejirwal.
His first day in office may not be very impressive. But, it shows that Kejirwal had adopted cautious approach and wants his government to succeed. He did not blast his political opponents from Ramlila, which he has used earlier to call all politicians as corrupt, and has praise for Delhi’s lethargic bureaucracy.
The only announcement Kejriwal made was of no beacons for politicians and bureaucrats as directed by the Supreme Court. He also directed officials to maintain austerity and not to seek security.
People have put a lot of faith in Kejriwal and his young team. Failure is not an option for him as it will drown a dream of million common Indians. Kejriwal, now a khaas aadmi, has to deliver for an aam aadmi.