SC’s verdict on AAP-LG row, An inevitable, silent but deadly storm is approaching Delhi
For a long time, the Delhi Government has been claiming that the Lieutenant Governor is not letting them work and creating problems. With the Supreme Court’s order, things seem to be pacified between the two. The Delhi Government also came up with an Outcome Report of the Office of Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor. The report roughly has 35 different files or proposals across 15 different departments. The First question that comes up in my mind is: ‘Is it all of the work proposed by the Delhi Government for which they have been shouting all this time?’ After going through the report, I could see that the government has tried to pin their failures on somebody, who in this case was the LG. For every proposal, they mentioned the delay from the LG’s side and the impact of the delay. However, their delay calculation is incorrect. For instance:
Higher education loan guarantee scheme: They declared a delay of 402 days because of LG. The file was first sent to the L-G on 30.08.2016. However, according to the very same report the file was returned to the government on 13.2.2017 and remained with the party till 06.09.2017 (200 days give or take). The party counted 402 days delay from the day they sent the proposal to the LG for the first time and did not exclude the delay of 200 days from their end. They were thinking of the LG as just a rubber stamp who would just sign and not look. The file was approved by the LG.
Similarly, Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics/AAMC(Schools): The proposals were said to be delayed by the LG for 101 and 146 days respectively. However, they did not exclude the delay of approx 60 days when the file was with the party.
Mid-day meals by Akshay Patra Foundation: The LG had asked them to check if there are other similar functioning entities in the state. I think this was a fair question; the government should not pay more if alternatives are available. Technically speaking the party had sent an incomplete file to the LG. They sent the file with incomplete information on 21.08.2017 and the L-G replied on 20.11.2017 and since then the party has not submitted the complete file. It is being delayed because of them and not because of the L-G
If a file is being sent to a signing authority, one should at least complete the different necessary formalities. If they don’t accept the powers of the signing authority then why sending the files to the office of LG in the first place? This does not make any sense. Does it? Let’s assume that the LG approved and signed all the proposals and something goes wrong in the near future. Who would be held accountable? The Delhi Government would not have taken a second in pinning it on him, they would have said upfront,” the L-G didn’t carry out his job properly, we sent the files to him”. It would have definitely made more sense then. Further, apparently, Mr Kejriwal has some boon from whatever god he believes in that whatever he touches become pure and corruption free. He can raise queries but others cannot, he can make comments on others work but vice-versa is not allowed, his proposals are the best and there is no scope of improvement in them.
Maybe he believes in a pseudo-secular-democratic facade with an authoritarian anarchist at the helm.
The report other than the misleading information also reveals Kejriwal’s approach towards retaining political power. It is absolutely fine to think about the next elections, every politician/government keeps next elections in mind. They have to do things that would create their legacy or highlight their presence. But how they achieve this distinguishes the different leaders or say differentiates between a leader and a politician. Let’s take examples.
How are Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics different from Delhi Government Dispensaries and Primary Healthcare Centers? Scaling up the already existing structures and facilities would have been easier and would have cost less but would not have established an “Aam Aadmi” legacy. Would it? They allow the “AAP” to explicitly connect to the voters but the same would not have been possible with the already existing structures. Same with AAMC(Schools), could have used Government Doctors to do routine visits to the schools but again that would not have created the legacy. Building toilets and providing LPG connections to households are also a way to connect with the voters; even though they are vital for the society but would they make a legacy? Certainly not, after a few years “who” did those things would be forgotten. The party who does things like this would have to keep on working to win. The people who build the legacy can use the legacy to win again and again. That is why the love for statues, street names and so on. The brand “Nehru-Gandhi” is an epitome of legacy building and beneficiary propping. Please have a look at why congress should loose 2019 for its own good.
“Building Legacy helps the politicians who work once and want to reap the benefits forever”
Establishing a legacy is not an exclusive way to stay alive in the political arena. Poor and lower castes have proven to be of critical importance in Indian Politics. Congress had always been allocating thousands and thousands of crores in for them by providing different services in the form of subsidies, etc. and there is absolutely no doubt about that. And yet they made sure that the poor remained poor and lower castes remain lower caste. How and Why? Mr Rajiv Gandhi had quoted once ” only 15 paise out of a Rupee reach the needy” Where did all the money go? They designed the system this way, it was not by accident. They added layers and layers of so-called essential
middlemen officials. They fathomed exactly what they were doing and appreciated it.
Arvind Kejriwal is not inventing anything new, he is merely adding wheels to the already designed cart. Many of the proposals in the report re-constitute various committees; District Committees, Thana Committees, Town Vending Committees, other marketing committees or adding DANICs, etc. In the same report, there was a proposal to increase the pay for those DANICs. It is just a way to redistribute the allocated funds in the form of salary and other costs making it a win-win situation for the party. In the end, it is the money allocated for somebody but is being used for someone else. On one hand they are working for the poor, generating employment and on the other hand, they are keeping the poor “poor”, whom they can use in future for their political motives; be it as protests (how significant are protests in today’s India is another discussion), or using their deaths as a tool or at the best using their caste and creating agitation for reservation. Further, AAP has now included logistics to it by adding the door to door delivery services like ration delivery and other delivery services. Who would bear the transportation, manpower and other costs? And before you compare door to door ration delivery by AAP and the centre’s scheme, you should discern the difference between sending an ambulance for a person dying and sending it for a person who requires a routine checkup. And if I am mistaken and the centre is also delivering it to everyone, they should also stop this. One wrong does not make the other wrong ‘Right’.
Committees require suitable people. Putting the people of your liking on the places you want starts looking nasty right away. The Delhi Government’s proposal of Chief Minister’s Urban Leadership Fellows Program is a striking example of this; they wanted to award fellowships without conducting the exams. The LG asked for the exam and they did not take the proposal ahead saying “the LG killed the scheme”. I guess, one of the major issues with the Jan Lokpal Bill from AAP govt was also related to this.
Arvind Kejriwal is not just following Indian National Congress’ footsteps but is surpassing them without giving any kind of chance to his counterparts. Most of his counterparts cannot think beyond Family-Muslim-Dalit-Yadav-and-so-on (in that order) arithmetic.
Offering freebies and wooing the voters is an old tactic. Kejriwal has also been employing this tactic. But again, he takes it a step ahead. According to the LG Outcome report, the Delhi Government made a proposal of Health Insurance Scheme which was rejected by the LG. According to this scheme, the Delhi Government would be able to use vacant beds in the private hospitals for the general public for free. In short, cost born by the private hospitals and credit claimed by the AAP government. If Private hospitals feel like doing charity they can, but they have no obligations to do so. Arvind Kejriwal could have appealed to the people directly for this, as PM Modi did for waiving gas subsidies and other subsidies but then the credit would go to the people and not the government. Claiming the credit has a higher priority than the work. That is one reason why the pollution in Delhi hasn’t been fixed so far. Heavily criticizing Reliance Power and denigrating their reputation was also a strategy to put pressure on them to reduce the electricity prices and later claim the credit. He tries to do charity on someone else’s money. He does not even use his/his government’s money. And when he does not succeed, he starts hurling abuses as we have seen in the past.
Not only charity but he tries to use other’s money for his party as well. The report also mentions a few proposals which superficially look like they serve the people but in reality are only serving the party. One item was to get 600 LED screens so that the communication between the people and government increase. What good would displaying pollution index do? Instead of installing large commercial air purifies make more sense and so on. Usage of LED during the natural disasters was the second reason given in the report. Seriously? What natural disaster? Are Floods because of poor drainage system a natural disaster? Does putting money on LED screens instead of fixing drainage system make sense? Or the hidden agenda behind 600 screens is to advertise CM Kejriwal?
It could be clearly deciphered that all the proposals and other schemes(free water/electricity/wifi) not mentioned in the report add cost i.e. they demand a colossal amount of funds. If LG had endorsed the reports, he would have had a moral obligation to provide with a suitable funding source for numerous infeasible proposals. If after signing the files, he would not have made the funds available, Mr Kejriwal and the team would have said:“The centre is blocking the funds, if funds presented a problem why did LG approve the files in the first place”. This could be a reason why he did not approve the files. Thanks to the Supreme Court the LG is out of the loop now and does not have to think about that.
On the other hand, Arvind Kejriwal, who portrays it as a win, will now have to directly get involved in this. How he arranges the funds is his problem now. Maybe in the not-too-distant future, we can catch sight of him complaining “the centre is not allocating enough funds for Delhi”. On top of that, there can be a possibility that the Delhi government starts borrowing irrationally and leaving the state in a difficult situation in future. He might actually do this as Delhi is just a rung of the ladder as were people like his former team members, Anna Hazare, etc. ushering him to his end goal. People, especially in Delhi, might not predict the storm that is approaching them but if I were any political party I would not even field a single candidate in Delhi Assembly election. Simply because any government who comes next and tries to fix the issues would be thought of as evil. How? Please see the political-economical turmoil in countries like Greece and Italy. People literally died there because of debt & bankruptcy leading to staggering taxes. Moreover, we could also refer to the state of economy UPA2 left for NDA in 2014.
Mr Kejriwal can claim the Supreme Court’s verdict as a win but in reality, it is a win for the LG as he would not be held accountable for Delhi’s ‘Greece-ification” in the coming years.
One of the files pending approval from LG was Establishing District Level Committees for withdrawal of Petty Offenses. Kejriwal and Party wanted to withdraw cases (petty offences) for minors, senior citizens and vulnerable section of the society as they clog up the judicial system and pose a great inconvenience to these petty offenders. What is a petty offence? Are offences like Chain snatching, eve teasing, fraud at ration shops, cheating etc petty offences? Who constitutes the vulnerable section of the society? I guess the different vote bank communities are part of this section. For minors, I agree the punishments can be lenient, but in no case, they should be let go without a punishment. Simply because in no time these tiny petty offenders would greatly scale up their offenses.
If you remember the most destructive culprit in Nirbhaya case was a minor. Instead of finding ways to improve/speedup Judicial system they came up with this. With AI tools penetrating judiciary and different law firms already using AI to reduce the paralegal work and so on, why can’t the government do the same? Either they can make fun of Startup India and Make In India or they can actually contribute towards these two. Their choice is clearly visible. Incidentally, they are the same party who claimed they could hack EVM in less than 90 minutes. Although they brought their own hardware, used their own processor/micro-controller, used their own Operating System(if they found running bare-metal application complex), and ran their own software application. I think they assumed that people would not know the difference between hacking with programming, what they did was simple embedded systems programming, any engineer who has ever executed the most basic ‘Hello World’ program in an embedded environment would agree with me.
Arvind Kejriwal, being an IIT alumnus has not proposed even one innovative idea during his tenure so far. The most fortunate or unfortunate part is that an ex-chaiwallah is rendering exactly what is expected of an ex-IIT/ex-IRS.
Everybody who has followed his politics knows that he is an over-ambitious person and wants to stop not at anything less than the designation of a PM. Being ambitious is not bad at all and everyone should be ambitious. But, a person should not ruin something to achieve his/her goals. Arvind Kejriwal is using Delhi solely as a step forward towards his ultimate goal. The very first time when Mr Arvind Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of Delhi although only for 49 days, I was thinking that this person would have a lot of novel ideas but would lack a much required political acumen to stay in power. I think most of the people in India would have thought so. The way he had reacted to unfamiliar situations also provided a hint that he might actually be lacking those skills. But today, it could comfortably be said that I was mistaken. His political skills are way better than anybody could have expected. None of the regional political parties and their leaders can parallel Mr Kejriwal’s political skill set. His political practices and beliefs will not only create devastating effects on the people of Delhi but also on the entire nation, which unfortunately is obscure at this moment.
“Terrorism was considered a regional problem and not a global issue until a highly qualified engineer blew up a tower” and “Delhi did not become a failed state until an eminently qualified engineer used it as a stage for his political ambitions”.
An FPGA/Embedded Systems Development Engineer working on ADAS / Autonomous Vehicles and interested in Indian Politics.