By Mayank Jain:Â
The story: Aam Aadmi Party has given yet another reward to the people of Delhi who supported the party’s protest against non-payment of allegedly high electricity bills.
The party has announced 50% off in bills to those who stood by Arvind Kejriwal’s protests against sky rocketing electricity bills and didn’t pay them. The measure will benefit people who didn’t pay their electricity bills between October 2012 and April 2013. Now, they will only have to pay half the amount of their bills and that too without any penalty.
Manish Sisodia made the announcement on Wednesday after a meeting of the Delhi Cabinet: “Delhi government today decided to give a 50 per cent subsidy to those who did not pay their bills from October 2012 to April 2013, (duration of the agitation) and continued not paying till December. Moreover, any penalty on bills would also be waived off.”
Around 10 lakh people had signed AAP’s petition against ‘inflated’ electricity bills but only 24,000 didn’t actually pay their bills. The cost of this sop will be around 6 crore rupees as per the reports.Â Arvind Kejriwal has already announced a fifty percent subsidy on electricity for consumption less than 400 units.
Why are regular payers being penalized?
AAP has been doing controversial stuff since the day they stepped into the government and while their moves greatly appeal to one section of the society, they tend to undermine all others. The party made out of core democratic principles is turning out to be blatantly populist to its own harm and there is hardly any doubt over the lack of a long term vision about improving things. The focus is on just gifting as much as possible until there is nothing left.
Fifty percent subsidy on usage under 400 units would have been justified and acceptable if the consumers wouldn’t have to pay the whole amount on consuming even one extra unit but this system seems to be more of an eyewash rather than an actual measure to benefit public at large.Â So is the decision to reward people who tore up their bills and went against the government. AAP has forgotten that the sides have changed now and if it keeps rewarding people for their anarchist values then it might find itself in the middle of trouble very soon too. The over accessibility of the party might become a problem for itself as anyone who is dissatisfied might launch a protest against the party and it will have to give in because of the sheer support anything that saves our money, gathers in India.
The ones who paid their bills regularly on time along with penalties (if any) are now the ones who feel like they wasted their money by paying their bills while the ones who didn’t have received motivation to not pay them if they find it too much, even the next time.
The step is going to increase people’s expectations even further and they would soon shirk their responsibilities and dues, hoping for the common man’s government to give them alms. If democracy empowers people, it places some duties on them too, but AAP is going too far just to gather some extra votes in the Lok Sabha Elections.
But if votes based on swaying public sentiment and shallow promises could help build and sustain governments, then BJP would have been in power in Delhi.