Arvind Kejriwal completes one year in office as Delhi CM

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi turns one on Sunday.

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2016, 07:19 AM IST
Arvind Kejriwal completes one year in office as Delhi CM
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi turns one on Sunday.

A year back on February 14, Arvind Kejriwal had taken oath as the Chief Minister of Delhi for the second time – his earlier stint as the Delhi CM had lasted only 49 days.

Amid a raging debate over whether the year gone by was a success or a failure, the Kejriwal government will be marking the occasion in a unique way – instead of throwing parties to be attended by political leaders, the common man's party will be interacting with its support base – the Aam Aadmi.

Present at the public interaction will be Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers – all of them will take phone calls from people and answer their questions, apart from taking their feedback and presenting a report card of the work done in the past year.

The day will begin with a rally to be followed by the public interaction which will begin at 11 am – the ministers will sit at the NDMC Convention Centre in Connaught Place and take phone calls from the people. The session will extend for two hours.

 

Also, to celebrate the anniversary, the government will throw open 20 Aam Aadmi polyclinics various parts of the city.

Kejriwal said on Saturday that his government started implementing its poll promises from Day One. This, he said, was “something unheard of in modern Indian politics”.

People of Delhi don't disagree with him as subsidised power and free water (upto defined limits) became a reality soon after the government took over.

Along with the successful Odd-Even scheme (whose second phase has also been announced), Kejriwal has managed to win more hearts in the capital than critics.

"On substantive issues it has been a government with good governance," Pradeep Kumar Dutta, a professor of political science in Delhi University, was quoted as saying by IANS. "The odd-even scheme was a much needed step, in the right direction."

Rajesh Jha, also a political science professor at Delhi University, felt the Kejriwal government had "under-performed" but he also called the "odd-even scheme a good and bold decision".

"Our government deserves accolades for fulfilling its promises despite the central government's constant efforts to derail our good governance agenda," AAP leader Dilip Pandey says.

 

"We fulfilled our key promise to provide cheap electricity and free water. For the first time in 22 years, electricity rates were not hiked."

Saying corruption had fallen in Delhi, he said: "We removed our own minister (Asim Ahmed Khan) when we found he was involved in corruption."

However, Pandey admitted that not every election promise had been fulfilled, including the provision of free WiFi in the entire city. "We are committed to meet all our promises. We still have four years."

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told IANS that the AAP government's focus on revamping the educational and health sectors in the capital which he claimed had derailed over the years were solid achievements.

The journey over the past year has, however, not been completely smooth.

Thanks to the complex power structure in Delhi, the Kejriwal government remained locked in unceasing conflicts with the Centre and its representative, the Lieutenant Governor, mainly over control of Delhi Police and bureaucracy.

Also, six AAP legislators were arrested on various charges and let off on bail.

Analysts believe the Delhi government's frequent fights with the Narendra Modi government were affecting development.

Kejriwal's friend-turned-foe Yogendra Yadav told IANS that the AAP government was "a shade better" than the earlier Congress regime but its performance was "modest" keeping in mind the promises it made.