NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal rode high on the wave of expectations, promising the moon to the people, to become Delhi’s eighth Chief Minister. As the AAP chief begins to doll out the freebies, everyone will be wondering how he would fund his populist promises.
The party promised an immediate 50 per cent slash in power tariff, free Wi-fi across Delhi, installation of 10-15 lakh CCTV cameras for women’s security, making water a legal right, 20,000 litres of free water to every household per month and abolishment of mandatory annual 10 per cent hike in water tariff.
The AAP has also vowed to build 500 schools and 20 colleges and raise a 10,000-member-strong women security force. Interestingly, in 2014 there was also a huge shortfall in revenue collection by several departments. The Sales Tax Department had set a target of Rs 21,000 crore for the financial year ending March 2015, but the department is far behind in reaching the target. Till November-end , the shortfall was to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore.
The AAP claimed that the state would henceforth produce its own power given the fact that currently Delhi imports a whopping 80 per cent of its power from other states. The national capital currently has four power plants -- Rajghat power station, Gas turbine power station, Pragati power station and Badarpur power station -- that supply around 1,440 MW of electricity. The capital relies on other states as it consumes more electricity than many states including Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Delhi consumes three times more electricity than the entire NorthEastregion comprising seven states. The per capita power consumption in Delhi is estimated to be 1,600 units, which is more than double the national average.
Based on the current consumption levels in Delhi, a 50 per cent subsidy would cost Rs 503 crore to those consuming between 0-200 units per month and another Rs 970 crore for those consuming between 200-400 units. It will be the biggest challenge for the new government to produce electricity as the 1,500 MW Bawana power plant only generates 320 MW due to lack of gas supply.
Similarly, for free Wi-Fi at public spaces, the AAP Government would have to shell out Rs 300 crore for the first year. Interestingly, the facility will be available for a limited period and up to a speed of 154 kbps. To give 20,000 litres of free water to every household per month, the government has to give around Rs 500 crore subsidy to the Delhi Jal Board.
For installing 10-15 lakh CCTV cameras for women’s security, the AAP has planned to seek help from the Centre and going to send a proposal seeking money from Nirbhaya Fund. Similarly, for constructing 500 schools, it will also seek money from the Central Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme.
The biggest challenge for the government will be to build two lakh public toilets. Getting land or space to construct toilet from different land-owning agencies would be a tough call.
Sisodia, the 2nd-in-command
Arvind Kejriwal’s deputy, Manish Sisodia will handle the Education, Urban Development and Public Work Departments – the second most important departments, as they need an interface with the Centre. Sisodia started his career as a journalist. He later formed the NGO Kabir and then Parivartan, along with Kejriwal. Like Kejriwal, he too pitched in drafting the nuances of the RTI Act and was a prominent figure in the India Against Corruption movement.
Fiery Orator Who Built party Base
Known as a fiery orator, Gopal Rai will be the new ansport and Labour Minister. The former student leader came into the limelight during Anna Hazare’s anti-graft movement when he became associated with Kejriwal, and later played a key role in building the AAP at the grassroot level after its launch in November 2012. Rai, 39, who finished at third place in the 2013 polls from Babarpur, this time defeated the BJP’s Naresh Gaur by a margin of 35,000.
Jain, Kejriwal’s Loyal Aide
An architect by qualification, Satyendar Jain has been given the charge of key Health and Power departments in the new AAP government. At 50, Jain is the oldest member of Kejriwal’s government. Apart from Health, he has also been given important portfolios like industries and PWD. Besides Sisodia, Jain is the only minister from the earlier AAP government who has found place in the new cabinet. This time, he defeated the BJP’s S C Vats by a narrow margin of 3,133 votes.
Home is where Tomar’s heart is
Jitendra Singh Tomar, a lawyer with the Congress background, is Delhi’s new Home Minister and also has the charge of Law and Justice Ministry, which saw a controversial stint of Somnath Bharti during the previous AAP Government. He has also been given the charge of Tourism, Art and culture. Tomar, 48, joined the AAP in 2013. He contested from Tri Nagar in the 2013 Assembly polls, but lost by a narrow margin. However, he trounced BJP’s Nand Kishore Garg by 22,311 votes this time.
Asim Ahmed Khan, the Giant killer
From being a member of the AAP’s minority wing to securing a cabinet berth, Asim Ahmed Khan of is another ‘giant-killer’ defeating five-time MLA Shoaib Iqbal in Matia Mahal. Khan defeated Iqbal by a margin of over 26,000 votes. Khan has been appointed Minister for Food and Civil Supply, Environment and Forest and Election departments in the newly-formed AAP government. Khan, 38, is a graduate from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut and is a businessman.
AAP gift for his Huge Victory
A lawyer by profession, Sandeep Kumar won by one of the biggest margins in the elections and has been rewarded with a ministerial berth for working to help the party expand its base at the grass-root level. 34-year-old Kumar had defeated four-time MLA from Sultanpur Majra, Jai Kishan, by 64,439 . He had the highest margin of victory in terms of percentage. He is known to contest cases of the poor and socially backward persons free of cost.
Speed Breakers on the way of AK-67
There are hurdles aplenty for arvind kejriwal and his team to fulfil the promises made to the people of the capital. Here are the reasons