The Aam Admi Party (AAP), which has always been in the spotlight for its promises to the people and the questions raised about their fulfillment, AAP has always launched varying policies and schemes that suited the common man’s needs. But with all these schemes and policies, the party has always been questioned regarding the failures in implementing the same and the corruption that occurred. So, the question that arises is, why did people still choose AAP despite the failures and corruption that happened?
In past years, AAP has promised various schemes during election campaigns and in its election manifesto, which included the installation of 15 lakh CCTVs in Delhi, building new schools and colleges, providing free electricity and 24-hour water supply, etc. At the same time, the party is frequently questioned about scheme implementation and corruption.
To understand why people chose the AAP despite all of this, let’s first look at some of the many allegations raised against the party. The allegations included school and classroom scams, liquor scams, power scams, Yamuna cleaning scam, etc.
- In 2015, AAP promised to build 500 schools and colleges, which were to be completed until March 2019. But as per the RTI (Right to Information) issued, only one school was built until 2018. Alongside, 16 active government schools were closed, and 54 government schools were given to Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Cooperation for renovation. When this 250-crore project was inspected, it was discovered that the majority of the schools began to wear off within three years of their renovation.
The Delhi government receives a notice from the Child Rights Commission in 2022 for operating 824 schools without headmasters.
- In 2015, AAP promised to clean up the Yamuna River and reduce air pollution, but in November 2022, the BJP showcased some facts that reflected the ground reality of those promises. According to BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia, despite being in power for 8 years, the AAP government has failed to clean the Yamuna.
- A permissible limit of faecal coliform bacteria is set for the Yamuna River, which rises over its limit when the river enters and leaves Delhi. This rising value is a concern for the health of people and, at the same time, proves the inaction of the AAP government in Delhi. With this and other plans and funding, 126 drains were dumped into the river, with only 32 interceptor sewers installed.
- The Delhi Liquor Policy promised remarkable changes in the liquor market. This policy, which was implemented on November 17, 2021, came into sight when the Delhi Chief Secretary gave reports regarding the losses and deliberate procedural lapses in the policies.
- The policy allowed the liquor vendors to buy licences for a one-time amount that approximated around Rs. 6 crore while also reducing the VAT taken from the vendors on every sale. The government also permitted the vendors to sell the liquor below the MRP, which led to an increase in competition among the vendors. This eventually led to small vendors failing to survive the competition compared to large vendors.
- Due to these actions, a bias toward powerful vendors was observed. Also, the reports claimed that Deputy CM Manish Sisodia waived off Rs. 144 crore on the licenses, which were to be paid by private liquor vendors. These actions caused losses to the Excise Department. Based on the reports and findings, LG V. K. Saxena proposed a CBI investigation into the government. On August 19, 2022, the CBI raided Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and three other members of the party. This event was also popularly known as the “liquor policy scam.”
- Power companies in Delhi, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd. and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd., owed Rs. 21,250 crore to the Delhi government, which was then settled by allowing the companies to offset the outstanding dues against future payments, which resulted in the companies receiving an undue benefit of Rs. 11,500 crore. Alongside all these activities, the company charged a late payment surcharge of 18% on people and paid only 12% to the government-owned power generation companies, which led to a loss of Rs. 8,500 crore.
Keeping in mind that the government owns 49% of these companies, a few government officials were nominated to ensure the government’s interests were protected. These nominated members involved two other AAP-appointed members as well. The government even blocked the audit of these companies and prevented direct subsidy transfers to the people’s bank accounts, violating its own orders from 2015-16 and 2018. In the current scenario, this issue is tagged as a “power scam“.
- The AAP government in the state of Punjab has also seen major failures when it comes to agriculture. In November 2022, Union Environment Minister Bhupendar Yadav showcased the reality of the AAP government in Punjab to the people. During this, he said that in the last 5 years, the Central Government gave Rs 1,347 crore for crop residue management machines to Punjab. The state bought 1,20,000 machines. 11,275 of those machines have gone missing. Money utilisation shows clear incompetence.
Along with these claims, he also said that even after the government came into power, Punjab still faced failures in the agriculture sector. The state has seen a 19% rise in farm fires over 2021. Haryana has seen a 30.6% drop. Even farm fire rates have increased throughout the period. In the year 2021, there were 3,403 active fire events in the state. Bathinda and Moga recorded the most farm fires, with 358 and 336 cases, respectively. These are some concerning factors for Punjabi farmers and the environmental issues they face.
Above are a few allegations of corruption and failure in the implementation of policies. Despite this, the reasons and counter-arguments to a few allegations for which people voted for AAP are listed below:
- The freebies offered by the government have benefited its citizens. The freebies include services such as free electricity up to certain units and then a 50% subsidy on additional units, free water up to 20000L, and piped drinking water in all small towns, which was not fully implemented but the government later promised 24/7 drinkable piped water supply. Moreover, free Wi-Fi was promised, for which the government created various Wi-Fi hotspots; also, free bus and metro facilities for students and women are provided.
- In terms of women’s security, the government appointed bus marshals and mohalla marshals, clamied to install CCTVs, and also claimed to install street lights to cover up the dark spots throughout the city. These measures acted as a catalyst in terms of women’s security.
- Doorstep delivery of public services is a technique that AAP has implemented. Due to this, people can now get their work, such as creating government documents or making corrections to pre-existing documents, done at their doorstep.
- When it comes to healthcare, AAP invented a three-tiered model that included mohalla clinics, where the basic needs of the patients could be fulfilled (these clinics have more than 100 essential medicines and 200 diagnostic tests), polyclinics, and hospitals, where more critical conditions could be tested. All these tiers of healthcare are either free or have a minimal base cost.
- If any patient is put on a 3-month or longer waiting list by the government hospital for critical surgery, then the patient can opt to get treated in any private hospital for which the Delhi government will pay the required fees.
- The Madhya Pradesh government during the Congress regime in the state, the former UN Secretary General, the former Director General of the WHO, and the former Prime Minister of Norway all praised this model.
- The Delhi government made education free, which led to an increase in literacy rates. The government began to provide facilities and education of comparable quality to private high schools. To increase the quality of education, teachers were even sent to Singapore, London, and Finland; also, the curriculum of education was improved. In 2017, nearly 900 students left private schools and joined government schools.
Few Delhi government schools have even been ranked among the top schools in the country in terms of facilities and quality of education. This education system was appreciated by the government of Maharashtra during the NCP, Shiv Sena Party, and Congress coalition government regime. But on the ground, through RTI, it was found that many Delhi Government schools were running without a principal, and the CBSE results exposed the reality of the Delhi Education Model. According to CBSE results, Delhi government schools have ranked as the lowest-performing schools.
- In 2016–17, the GDP increased by 7.5%; further, in 2018–19, the GDP increased by 8.6%. Also, in 2018-19, there was an increase in tax collection of 17.6%, which almost doubled the budget. According to CAG, despite the nation being in deficit, Delhi government revenue is in surplus.
- To deal with air pollution in Delhi, AAP has claimed to install air filters throughout the city and has also implemented rules like odd-even number plates for vehicles. Along with this, the government has also launched policies like the New Electric Vehicle Policy, which provides subsidies to people for buying new electric vehicles and for setting up new charging stations. This policy is implemented, targeting 25% of vehicles to be electric by 2024. All these initiatives would definitely help reduce air pollution and the AQI, but so far none of the implementations seem to be effective on the ground.
- Schemes like Farishte, which gives people a reward of Rs. 2000 for helping and informing the officials about the accident victim.
These were just a few of the many actions taken by the AAP during its time in power. Even after not having complete control of the state, the Delhi state government, unlike other state governments, is limited to a few departments.
If observed, the government, from its first term on, has always focused on the common man’s needs and basic facilities. The intention of AAP appears to be to meet the basic needs of citizens. After careful consideration, all of these reasons perfectly fill the void left by the failure and corruption in implementing the promises made in the manifesto.
- Chettri, S. (2018, August 26). Delhi: 3 years on, some ‘model’ schools lack proper infrastructure. The Indian Express. Retrieved December 30, 2022, from https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-3-years-on-some-model-schools-lack-proper-infrastructure-5325973/
- Bhardwaj, A. (2022, April 13). 824 schools without headmasters: Child rights commission issues notice to Delhi govt. India Today. https://www.indiatoday.in/cities/delhi/story/delhi-824-government-schools-receive-notice-for-functioning-without-a-head-1936981-2022-04-13
- Express News Service. (2022, November 17). Delhi CM Kejriwal failed to clean Yamuna and Delhi air: BJP. The Indian Express. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-cm-kejriwal-failed-to-clean-yamuna-and-delhi-air-bjp-8272682/
- The Hindu. (2020, November 30). Faecal coliform levels 660 times desirable limit in the Yamuna. The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/faecal-coliform-levels-660-times-desirable-limit-in-the-yamuna/article33216831.ece
- Goswami, S. (2022, August 20). CBI raids Manish Sisodia: Delhi’s liquor sector reform, and where it went wrong. Hindustan Times. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/delhis-liquor-sector-reform-and-where-it-went-wrong-101660934348367.html