Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have introduced the Indian voter to two things – people centric politics and clean politics. This has forced the major political parties to stop and take note of the message to them in the massive win that was handed to the Aam Aadmi Party.
Whatever else Kejriwal does or does not do, the nation ought to be eternally grateful to him for the shakeout that he has given to Indian politics, one that it was so badly in need of. Kejriwal has worked to come back in a big way in this election. He has served as a magnet who attracted committed people to work for a common cause. These volunteers had no material expectation, merely one to clean up Indian politics. After winning the Delhi Assembly polls, and being sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Delhi, Kejriwal has to get down to the hard task of governing Delhi and keeping his campaign promises to the people of Delhi.
One thing that Kejriwal must not do is to think of a pan India presence. While the party can continue to attract volunteers and members from all over India, they must not contest elections from any other part of the country. Governing Delhi will in itself be a mammoth task for the fledgling party and they must prove themselves up to it before they spread their wings. The way ahead for the party has already been scripted by it along with the people of Delhi in the Delhi dialogues. They must work assiduously in ensuring that the promises made by them are met one by one.
Not being a full-fledged state, Kejriwal will be much thwarted in his functioning. He has no control over land and not much power in revenue collection. He has no control over the police. He has promised twenty new colleges and five hundred new schools in Delhi. He needs to control price rise and has to bring down the price of power, which many claim is going to be a tall order, given that Delhi does not produce any power. He has promised the construction of over two lakh toilets. He also has to create eight lakh jobs, reduce pollution, provide free water and regularise contractual posts. He has a band of committed workers, volunteers and elected representatives who must take care to ensure that the squeaky clean image of the party is not tarnished.
Most people claim that corruption and harassment had come down drastically during Kejriwal’s forty nine day stint as the Chief Minister. This shows up one fact starkly – that if the man at the top is serious about rooting out corruption, it will percolate to ground level. If it has not happened so long, it is only because the top leaders have only paid lip service to rooting out corruption. If Kejriwal succeeds in rooting out corruption from the system in Delhi and can cure Delhites of the name dropping culture, he would have accomplished more in his five years than other established political parties would have in their entire lifetime.