India's AAP party starts on populist note

Anti-corruption crusader turned politician Kejriwal announces free water for all after becoming Delhi Chief Minister.

    India's AAP party starts on populist note
    The debutant AAP came to power in spectacular fashion in the recent Delhi state assembly elections [Reuters]

    Delhi's new Aam Aadmi (Common People’s) Party-led government headed by anti-corruption crusader turned politician Arvind Kejriwal has stunned rival parties and voters across the country with a slew of decisions, previously thought impossible.

    According to media reports on Tuesday, Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore ($161,634) to a police constable who was beaten to death allegedly by suspected liquor mafia last week.

    The compensation is the highest of its kind in India for an individual victim of violence by any state or the federal government, reports said, quoting officials.

    A Kejriwal representative went to the house of the dead constable Vinod Kumar and handed a cheque of Rs 1 crore to his wife Sabitha Kumar, reports said.

    The chief minister, who is gaining a reputation for walking the talk in a country where politicians rarely keep their promises, reportedly expressed regret at not being able to hand over the cheque personally as he is keeping unwell.

    Free water

    Earlier, the AAP government implemented its poll promise and announced that 666 litres of water would be provided free to every household in Delhi.

    Among the other significant promises pending is one to implement a more stringent version of the anti-corruption Lokpal (independent ombudsman) bill passed recently by parliament.

    Kejriwal and his band of AAP ministers showed that they meant business when they turned up for the government’s swearing-in riding the metro train service last week. Once done, they used their own personal vehicles to reach their offices forsaking the government cars that were waiting to drive them to work.

    The AAP government has also instructed its ministers and officials not to use the red beacon on their cars and to travel like any common man in the city.

    The other decision that has raised eyebrows is the chief minister rejecting security of any kind.

    The debutant Aam Aadmi Party came to power in spectacular fashion in the recent Delhi state assembly elections, on an anti-corruption platform, stunning the long-established Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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