AAP’s new year gift to the citizens of Delhi was halving the power tariff of the state. This was one of the most prominent themes to its election campaign and true to its agenda AAP have delivered. However, recent reports show that AAP’s bold decision may have been more bluster and less thought.
Power distribution companies have told the Arvind Kejriwal government that they are running out of money to pay generation and transmission companies because electricity rates in the city state are too low; while banks do not want to lend to power cos as they feel the AAP government will not reimburse the companies of the subsidised amounts, thereby casting a large shadow of doubt on their ability to repay the loans. If reports are to be believed, Delhi could be in store for blackouts if this continues.
Much like the Delhi voters, I too believed that the AAP had done all its ground work on analysing the impact of the agenda on its manifesto both from the perspective of the voter and the Delhi Government. Maybe they had invested in Power Infra to reduce transmission losses significantly. Maybe they had discussed with reputed Engineers on experimenting new power generation and distribution techniques that also helps cut costs. However, this seems to have been grossly misjudged. Going forward we can expect the Delhi tariff rates to be hiked again or the government to suffer from financial displeasure. So what happens when the prices are hiked? Surely the voters of Delhi will feel cheated and would like to vent their emotions to the members of the AAP.
This mistake follows another glaring error that AAP might have committed after coming to power. AAP’s key marketing strategy was portraying itself as an Aam Aadhmi(any ordinary person). This included living in normal houses, having normal security, driving normal cars(or using public transport) and behaving exactly the way they did before assuming their respective position of power. These, to me, are nothing but flimsy gimmicks that the political party resorted to which make little or no difference in administering the duties of your job. You see, having protection and privileged access for politicians is not an item of luxury but more an item of necessity(surely they’d rather travel by BMWs or Mercedes rather than an Ambassador). When you are in a position of power you need access to a level of protection, safety, information and secrecy that will aid in fulfilling the rather large boots of responsibility. Having a car saves the person in power time and risk of injury or death that he might have to face while travelling on trains or buses; much like how access to threats should be kept to the decision making authority and not the public at large as it might cause panic.
Visualise this. AAP announce power tariff revision and has doubled the tariff rate. Do you think it would be safe for a member from the party to travel by bus with the citizens of Delhi? Do you expect citizens of Delhi to understand the financial economics of the Delhi Government and of Power Companies; OR do you think they’d be annoyed that they’re having to shell out more for power when being promised they’d have to pay less – by that same member of the AAP in the bus? Do you think they’d meet him in the bus and say “Hey. Nice one bro”. Or do you think they’d flatten him at the first opportunity they got?
AAP need to be more sensible in the decisions they make. They need to invest into resolving ground issues rather than playing to gallery. Ironically the political party has done all the ground work but so far has shown they’ve forgotten the same. They need to focus on being a good Regional Party before laying into siege at a National Stage. Right now it only serves a distraction to the job they have agreed to undertake at Delhi.
The Indian Voting Public are maturing and are rewarding hard work and genuine intent. If AAP can deliver success through performance in Delhi, there is no reason not to believe the model will not be successful in certain other states in the Country. But till then, focus on Delhi. Leave the rest of India atleast for the next 5 years.