With the Aam Aadmi Party sweeping Delhi assembly elections, Arvind Kejriwal and his team would have to really hit the ground running. Expectations from the 'new-kid-on-the-block' party would be immense.
With the sweep that is unprecedented, where the nation's largest party, BJP, has been decimated and the grand old party, Congress, has been obliterated, there would be elation of unimaginable proportion among the AAP cadre, and rightly so.
But given the speed at which the very voters — who had given ALL Lok Sabha seats to the BJP in Delhi less than a year back –have now dumped it, AAP would do well to know that it has virtually no time to sit on its laurels. The very voters who put you on a pedestal can bring you down with a thud too. None better than the BJP to tell you that, right now!
There are several promises that AAP and its charismatic leader Kejriwal have made in the run up to the elections. Most of them have centred around the genuine ills that the people of Delhi face. Many had expected these to vanish magically soon after BJP came to power at the centre. Some of the expectations were unfair, perhaps, but voters have become so sick of being pushed around like nobodies, that their patience is almost ZERO. Can't blame them for that.
Other than the fear of dharnas that had paralysed the city during his brief 49 day tenure last year, there are several other expectations that people have — Arvind Kejriwal spelt out how he would address these in a live hangout with us on January 23 (watch the hangout here http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Arvind-Kejriwal%27s-Hangout-with-TOI/liveblog/45987117.cms) — some of the critical issues concern adopting adversarial position with the centre, education, healthcare, transport, regularising colonies, water supply and most important of all, for which Delhi has acquired notoriety the world over, women's safety.
We had raised them with all political parties in the run-up to the elections and APP's response to each was thus:
Education: Education loan for all Delhi students, 500 new schools and 20 new colleges. To enforce an education loan guarantee scheme.
Healthcare: Increase in budget for healthcare from Rs 2,700 crore to Rs 4,000 crore | Health cards for all residents | Create 900 new Primary Health Centres (PHCs) | 30,000 more beds in Delhi's hospitals.
Transport: Increase in number of buses, last mile connectivity, scrapping of existing BRT, establish a unified transport authority.
Regularisation of colonies: Regularization of all colonies left out, in addition to all unauthorized colonies regularized by Congress. Relax norms of registration of properties; focus on rehabilitation of slums; 25,000 flats would be allotted under the EWS category to the poor.
Water and electricity: Lifeline water of 700 litres per day to each family. CAG audit of discoms and reduction in power bills. Free water up to 20,000 litres for all per month.
Women's safety: CCTV coverage for the entire city, marshals in buses and 2 lakh toilets, 15 lakh CCTV cameras to cover the entire city.
As I said in my blog the other day — Will Delhi elections be a game-changer? — the elections have indeed proven to be one.
A 67:3 in a assembly of 70 seats sounds unreal. This, as Kejriwal himself said in his post victory statement, puts a huge onus on them.
Am glad he realises that. Hopefully, the game changing elections would also see a distinct change in the style of functioning. Governance over all else. Imagine, if the center and state both deliver on their promise of governance, there cannot be but a change in the city's fortunes.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.