For Delhiites, the government under Aam Admi Party, a new-born conglomeration of well-meaning people but totally devoid of administrative experience, and a huge presence of youngsters, will be a unique experience. The coming days are full of uncertainties and apprehensions, as the AAP has no option but to depend on a reluctant supporter in the Congress.
With a hugely ambitious agenda, they are armed with limited powers in the Delhi government, depended mainly on the Centre. For the promised 500 schools, they have to find the land that is securely in the hands of the DDA which is under the Union Ministry of Urban Development.
Besides the land for hospitals, they have promised moon to the jhuggi clusters promising regularisation and houses for them. Let us not forget that for 15 long years, Sheila Dikshit, despite being close to the power, could not get the DDA under her wings.
Same applies to the Delhi Police. The Union Home Ministry has never taken any initiative to bring the police force under the Delhi Government. The AAP can not ignore the fact that Delhi being the national capital, and a VVIP city, will always be under the thumb of the Central Government. How does one tackle the law and order problem in the city? Most of the law breakers are directly or indirectly connected with political bigwigs. The force works under great pressure.
The promise to reduce the electricity tariff by half is rather too ambitious. Those who have been in the Capital for some time know that any attempt to put pressure on these companies can only result in blackmail through frequent breakdowns and power cuts. We hope the AAP is geared to face such an eventuality.
Similarly, the AAP has to know the functioning of the Delhi Jal Board and its most erratic working.
In the absence of any accountability, the Board can hold the entire city to ransom.
And what with massive transmission loss and theft of electricity and water being as high as 40 percent in electricity.
Coming to their main plank, corruption, the AAP has to know that they are pitted against powerful lobbies of bureaucrats, technocrats and politicians. They have to depend on the bureaucracy for their day-to-day working and the experience is going to be exasperating. The role of criminals who have been calling the shots through their political patronage will also test the skill of the AAP leaders.
With their hands tied due to limited powers vested with the Delhi Government, the AAP will have to show their ingenuity to complete their programmes and fulfill their promises. Even if it was aam aadmi’s diktat that they should form the government, it has a tinge of compromise. And such situations will be aplenty in the days to come. It is a long arduous journey that they embarking on, with great expectations of the people who have put their faith in them. But if they succeed, it will be a stupendous achievement which could change the entire political profile of the city and the country as a whole. There is no doubt people were fed up with the corruption rampant in all spheres of public life and the AAP brought hope in the people who were fast turning cynics. Who knows, with one or two jolts like this, all political parties come to their senses and realize that they cannot be taken for granted any more? But it is not going to be a cakewalk for the AAP.
The writer is a senior journalist based in Delhi