AAP agenda unfolding
By Faraz Ahmad
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s repudiation of Prashan Bhushan’s views seeking a referendum on retaining the primacy of the Indian Army in Kashmir has come at the most crucial time for the people to judge Kejriwal’s party Aam Aadmi Party (AAP),when it has started slowly but surely opening up and showing its real face.
It has decided to supply 700 litres of free water every day to those getting water from regular metered pipelines, barely about a couple of lakhs out of over one crore Delhi citizens. Almost the same is the case with electricity and before we will actually be able to see our power bills, power shutdown for a couple of hours each day is progressively becoming a routine, reminding us of the pre-Sheila Dikshit days, the Sahib Singh Verma era and this is at the peak of winter when the power requirements of the people are at the lowest, with no airconditioners operating. Imagine the plight in the summer months. But by then the next general elections will be over and Kejriwal would have served his purpose and most likely gone.
The real agenda of the AAP has started unfolding, albeit rather slowly and carefully. After free water and power for those who already have it, it is the university admissions—90 per cent seats in Delhi colleges (engineering, medicine, et al) for Delhi wallahs, announced Manish Sisodia. As for OBC and SC/ST reservation there is clearly a visible ambiguity or rather a double speak. Please recall that this in effect is meeting the demands of the ‘Youth for Equality’ which spearheaded the agitation against reservation in higher education for OBCs introduced by Arjun Singh in UPA-I. The same YE was visible all over in the Ramlila Grounds and Jantar Mantar during the Anna Hazare agitation and the same set forms the support base for AAP. This reminds me of the good old late 1960s and early 70s when many of my friends managed to secure admission in MaulanaAzadMedicalCollege each year through dharnas and sit ins. The plea was that if first class students (those getting upto 60 per cent marks) from Delhi could not find a seat in Delhi, who else should. Each year the MAMC had to expand and accommodate more and more students, till it had to finally raise its hands and say “Ab Bas.” But many of my friends of those days found a seat in MAMC through these annual dharnas outside MAMC gate led by the ABVP then.
Thus through such devious means we intend to ensure Delhi for Dilliwallahs only. How is this AAP different from Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)? It’s worse. Raj never put a ban on outsiders seeking admission in Bombay colleges. AAP seeks to banish non-Delhi wallahs from colleges in Delhi.
AAP is so stridently against corruption that it wants to summon judges and direct them what judgments to deliver. A noble idea indeed! But simultaneously it has to find employment for its volunteers, who are now enrolling in hundreds and thousands in Delhi. So it has come up with a novel method which will yield instantaneous results and give hope to others as well. Every Delhi hospital has a Rogi Kalyan Samiti (Patients’ Welfare Committee) which has had members of the public as well as officials of the secretariat and some doctors of that hospital to review from time to time the functioning of the hospital and make necessary suggestions for improvements. The non official members get a small honorarium to facilitate their smooth functioning and frequent travel to the hospital. The AAP government has dissolved all the Samitis and has now replaced them by AAP volunteers. It has also sent query to the hospitals seeking suggestions for a suitable remuneration for such volunteers. This is not corruption. This is fighting corruption! Then we have Kejriwal announcing AAP volunteers ready to run the Vigilance department of the Delhi government. That’s a smart way to find employment for AAP. Additionally we will have a vigilante army of AAP volunteers running the show allover Delhi. That’s some change from the past! With eminent corporate honchos like Captain Gopinath the erstwhile owner of the first low cost airline of India Air Deccan, Meera Sanyal, the RBS, India CEO and Infosys Board member V Balakrishnan and such others joining the AAP bandwagon, we will see many more such innovative ways of keeping the Aam Aadmi in good humour. Wish AAP voters well.