India’s Aam Aadmi Party (Common people’s party), which created a stir with its dream debut in the recent assembly elections, is all set to take over power in Delhi state.
Led by the mercurial Chief Minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP is scheduled to be sworn in to office on Saturday in the vast Ramlila grounds in Delhi.
The AAP, which came to power mainly on the agenda of anti-corruption, has already shown that it is a party with a difference.
Kejriwal, in an unprecedented move, has declined any security for himself or his ministerial colleagues. He has also turned down ministerial bungalows in the heart of Delhi.
Security paraphernalia with AK-47-toting guards and red beacon lights on cars besides heavily-endowed bungalows have, for long, been considered by politicians as perks to die for.
The Chief Minister-designate has also refused official cars and insists he will travel on his private WagonR to work and back.
The media and the major political parties, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, started to exult when a close associate of Kejriwal Vinor Kumar Binny indicated he would revolt after not being given a ministerial position.
But then, the legislator turned around and said all was well, before any permanent damage could be caused to AAP’s image even before it had started to govern Delhi.
Kejriwal has also stunned rival politicians and bureaucrats by announcing that within a day after taking over power his government will make water free up to 700 litres for each family in Delhi. He has also said he will slash the cost of electricity by 50 percent.
The raison d’etre for AAP’s ascendance to power, the anti-corruption Janlokpal (People’s ombudsman) bill will be passed in two weeks after taking over power, he has said.
The AAP appears to have taken the scepticism of the media, politicians and bureaucrats in its stride and until now has shown no sign of flagging in its spirit to show what real governance can do to people, especially the poor.