Of AAP and Hum!

So the Aam Aadmi Party is at it again. The only difference being, now, they are in power! Aam Aadmi Party was born out of Anna’s anti corruption movement with the promise that they were taking the plunge to cleanse the system from within. It seems, however, that their singular agenda is to turn governance and administration into agitation and gimmicks. When they should be looking at ways to reform the delivery of public services to the people of Delhi, they are using the media glare on them to launch a shadow campaign for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Soon after assuming power, they took steps to fulfill their electoral promises and garnered well deserved praise for not forgetting their promises to the people of Delhi after the elections. This came as a breath of fresh air for the electorate who are accustomed to politicians forgetting their electoral promises after the elections. It was hoped that the AAP government would forge ahead and come up with creative ways to improve the efficiency of the electricity and water delivery systems so that the rate cuts are sustainable in the long term. AAP claimed to be a party of intellectuals from the civil society who believed that they could run the system far better than the incumbents.

That claim seems to be wearing thin now. One look at Kejriwal’s cabinet ( you will notice that the law minister has the distinction of being featured in a list of 200 worst spammers of the world!)leaves no doubt that his ministers though brimming with enthusiasm simple do not have the required administrative experience to run a government. Social activism and governing a city state are two entirely different ball games. People like Saurabh Bhardwaj and Rakhi Birla in all probability simply do not have any experience in running a team of any size. Making them responsible for multiple departments is a huge risk. Had Saurabh Bhardwaj been  someone like Sundar Pichai , Vic Gundotra or Vinod Khosla, one would have attested to his intellectual acumen and administrative skills. Effervescence and enthusiasm cannot be a substitute for substance and experience. In many respects, AAP is like a start up and Mr. Kejriwal should have ensured that members of his cabinet are nothing but best of the breed.

Mr. Kejriwal needs to understand that just not being corrupt is not enough to bring about a change. Compromising on the ability and capabilities of his team will frequently land him in situations where he will have to resort to dharnas to save his skin. By putting inexperienced and maybe even mediocre people at such important positions, he is underestimating the expectations of the electorate and that could turn suicidal in an urban setup like Delhi where the exposure of the common people to media, especially social media, is substantial.

At about the same time in 2013, there was an air of despondence about how our politicians are ruining our country and Kejriwal and ilk were being projected as the saviours who could salvage the situation. Fast forward to 2014 and people’s patience with the agitating ways of AAP is wearing thin. The air of sanctimony in AAP’s tone only aggravates the situation. How the AAP goes from here will prove instrumental in shaping their political fortunes and the electorate are watching their every move.


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