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Monday, December 23, 2013

AAP ki sarkaar : Will it succeed?

Those who follow cricket could relate to the scenario, “An underdog, not even having an outside chance, goes on the offensive and starts giving the opposition more than just a scare. Suddenly the underdog realizes that s/he can even win the contest. But that’s when the tide starts to turn i.e. the thought of success invites failure.” Some may attribute this to AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) as well when they were presented with the idea of forming the government in Delhi aided by Congress party’s “unconditional” support. This set “the cat among the pigeons” and rest as they say is history. 


While the jury is still out whether “referendum” was needed or is Congress’s support worth relying upon, in this post, I would rather focus on what lies ahead if AAP’s government is indeed formed? I must say I am really excited about this development even though my opinion would have been a NO to Mr. Kejriwal’s question during the referendum. 
First of all, let’s see what would define whether this experiment was a success or a failure? Here are two options:

1. AAP manages to fulfill all its promises in a time bound manner, much to Congress and BJP’s shock, and all Delhites are as happy as ever

2. It disrupts the democratic set up resulting in most if not all political parties, having a serious rethink on their actions between two polling dates that are usually 5 years apart

Which one would you choose? My choice would be option two, not just because it sounds more appealing rather it would be more sustainable. On a lighter note, Option one can be easily delivered by consultants and marketers. 

So the next question is how can this AAP-Cong experiment succeed? My answer – it has to be a pilot i.e. short-lived with a focus on limited or key things. I want it to be short-lived as any long-term alliance would mean, both AAP and Congress are hand in gloves. Let’s be honest to ourselves, Congress wants this government to fail as much, if not more, as BJP does. The second aspect follows the first i.e. in a limited time-frame you should focus only on what whets voter’s appetite as they can’t be served a main course. 

A look at their manifesto, shows following as key agenda items:

Jan lokpal bill, Swaraj, Electricity, Water, Sanitation and Waste Management, Women’s security, Education, Health, Delhi’s Villages, Unauthorized colonies, Slums, Inflation and Unemployment, Transport, Environment, Social Justice and so on. 

With everything listed above, there isn't much help in prioritization. Let’s instead focus on the "18 points" raised by AAP wherein they sought Congress and BJP’s reply on “unconditional” or “constructive” support. Here is the link

Based on these points, following would be my prioritization list: 

Sl. No.
Point
Timeline
Reason
1.        
The VIP culture should be stopped in Delhi
Immediate
Symbolic but very impactful
2.       
Passing of the Janlokpal Bill
Medium to long-term
Legislative and impact hard to measure
3.       
People will take decision directly in 'mohalla sabhas
Medium
Impactful but legislative
4.       
Complete statehood status, DDA and Police
Long-term
Legislative
5.       
Special audit of all electricity companies
Immediate
High on voters’ agenda
6.       
Electricity meters should be checked
Immediate
High on voters’ agenda
7.        
Water availability
Immediate
High on voters’ agenda
8.       
Unauthorized colonies should be regularised
Long-term
Important but needs and deserves time
9.       
Affordable 'pakka houses' (built up houses) to those living in slums
Long-term
Important but needs and deserves time
10.    
Regularize those working on contractual basis
Long-term
Utopian in the given labour set up
11.     
Infrastructural facilities like roads, electricity, water and basic facilities to the ordinary trader
Long-term
Will take time
12.    
AAP said it is against FDI in retail
N/A
N/A
13.    
Facilities and subsidies to farmers in the villages in the national capital
Long-term
Will take time
14.    
Opening 500 govt. schools, stopping donations in private schools and making fee transparent
Long-term
Please do but will take time
15.    
Open new government hospitals with better facilities
Long-term
Please do but will take time
16.    
Special security units for women and all harassment cases to be tackled within 3 months
Immediate
High on voters’ agenda
17.     
Enough courts and appoint judges
Long-term
Please do but will take time
18.    
Whether the MCD will support them?
N/A
N/A

Thus “prioritizing” what the voters’ want as well as what’s doable in the immediate to short-term (within six months) would raise the “sanctity of manifestos” which to me would be the biggest achievement for this “pilot”. For everything else, Delhi would need a stable and able government.

8 comments:

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