Opinion: “Why Kejriwal Deserves A Third Term As The Delhi CM”

This year’s elections for the post of Chief Minister of Delhi is an open battle between the AAP and BJP. On one side, the AAP is claiming that it has done so much work in Delhi, that it will win all 70 seats in the Capital. While on the other hand, the BJP claims that AAP has done no work and has only created rhetoric and false narratives.

Let’s briefly look at the work done by Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government:

Education

The education sector is often considered one of the most important sectors in the development of a nation. When Arvind Kejriwal became the Chief Minister briefly in December 2013, the budgetary allocation announced by the then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for the Education sector for 2014-15 was Rs 2,482 crores. Today, the same Education budget for Delhi has increased to Rs 15,133 crores. This is 26% of the total budget expenditure of the Delhi government. There has been a significant improvement in the schools run by the Delhi government.

Recently, three Delhi government schools were ranked among the top 10 government schools in India. Also, for the first time in the history of government schools in India, world-class swimming pools were built in two Delhi government schools, in Mayur Vihar and West Vinod Nagar.

Inaugurated by Arvind Kejriwal in April 2018, the swimming pools provide free coaching and classes. Image source: Twitter

Healthcare

The second most important sector for the development of a nation is affordable government healthcare facilities. In a three-tier healthcare system designed by the Kejriwal government, primary-level mohalla clinics, followed by polyclinics, and lastly, multi-specialty hospitals have been set up to make helthcare facilities more accessible to people. The 452 mohalla clinics that  have been set up by the Delhi government is a world record by any government. The clinics have already got praise from former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. All the services, tests and medicines in the 37 Delhi Government hospitals are free of cost. This is a major step forward towards universal healthcare in India.

Electricity

The Delhi government has provided free electricity for upto 200 units for each citizen of Delhi. The government’s  dream of providing 24*7 electricity by is a major step towards curbing pollution in Delhi, and making PM Narendra Modi’s Digital India dream a reality. In fact, across India, Delhi is known to have the cheapest electricity rate, with Mumbai paying the highest.

Water

Water is the most fundamental thing for sustenance of human life. We live in a nation where there is a huge water crisis. In Delhi, all the citizens are getting 20,000 litres of free water supply per month. The piped water facility in Delhi has increased from 58% in 2014-15 to 93% today. This is a major relief for people who live in unauthorised colonies.

Travel

Travelling in cities is one of the most important rituals in the lives of city dwellers. But, when it comes to women commuters, the number is always disproportional to that of men commuters. Delhi government’s announcement of free travel for women in DTC buses has been a big step to undo decades of disparity in this number. This is a major step towards women empowerment and women safety. Every bus also has a bus marshals for the safety of women and other passengers.

Kejriwal inaugurated the free bus ride for women scheme on 29th of October 2019, under which pink bus passes are issued to women commuters. Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Senior Citizen Schemes

The old age scheme of Mukhyamantri tirth yatra yojana, or the free pilgrimage scheme for senior citizens, has successfully allowed around 20,000 senior citizens to travel to major religious tourist destination of India, free of cost. There is also a pension scheme for senior citizens, under which Delhi citizens in the age bracket of 60-69 years will get Rs 2,000 per month.

Are There Any Cons To These Delhi Government Schemes?

Surely, a lot of work has been done by the Delhi government. However, there are some loopholes in the system that the government has still not tackled. If we look at the functioning of mohalla clinics, they are not running for 12 hours per day, leading to inconvenience by many.  It has also been reported that not all medicines prescribed by mohalla clinic doctors are available at all times, due to which some poor citizens are left at the mercy of rich corporate pharma shops.

Even in many Delhi government schools, 10th class results haven’t improved much in the five years of AAP-government. This must be tackled as quickly as possible. No one can ignore the issue of air pollution in Delhi. Although some work is being done to tackle air pollution, but clearly, it is not enough. Citizens deserve to live in a clean environment, which is a basic fundamental right.

The situation of Yamuna river hasn’t shown any improvement in Delhi. It is too polluted and a major health hazard for the public.

Nobody can also deny the problem of traffic in Delhi, especially during peak hours. This is one of the biggest roadblocks to the city’s development, as people lose out a lot of their precious time stuck in the traffic.

Final Judgment

There is indeed a lot of work that has not been completed by the Delhi government yet. But, what has been achieved by the Kejriwal-led AAP government is a phenomenal achievement, as they have successfully saved the government from going into a loss, despite a drop in grants by the Central government. They have also saved money by completing projects at a lower cost than the expected estimate.

After seeing all the progress in Delhi’s development, it would be interesting to see which way the citizens of Delhi have taken on 11th February. It is truly going to be a referendum on the popularity of Arvind Kejriwal and his work.

View expressed here are personal.

About the Author: Pradeep Yadav is a Political Science graduate from Kirorimal College, Delhi University. He is the founder of www.LawTycoon.com, where he provides free Legal consultation to Indian citizens. 

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