Arvind Kejriwal has made an unbelievable comeback. After the sudden resignation on February 14 last year and a disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha election where his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could manage just four seats, the activist-politician left a powerful BJP stunned to return to the same office which he had vacated a year ago. [Delhi poll result updates]
But now the more difficult battle starts.
The AAP has promised 20,000 litres of free water to each family per month and reduce the power tarriff by half in its poll manifesto this time. It has also vowed to end the culture of bribery in the national capital. Now the political, administrative and industrial quarters are eager to see how the man will transform the words into action.
They are also eager to see whether this decimation of the BJP in the national capital will rejuvenate the anti-Modi forces in the country and in that case, whether that could create serious obstacles on the much talked-about reforms vowed by the Modi government.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already termed the AAP's resounding victory as a turnaround in the country's politics.
Kejriwal himself was in a light mood after the election. He told his party workers to relax after putting in all the hard work. But is it really a time to relax? Political analysts are not convinced. [History repeats itself in Delhi after 1998]
The AAP has received over 54 per cent of the vote-share in the just-concluded election which means that the expectation from the mufflerman and the party will certainly face a major problem in that respect.
The ruling party can not go on extending the arm of the state to pat the citizens' back and endless populism of promising freebies. One also fears that if Kejriwal fails to meet the expectations at some point of time, he could turn the gun at the Centre to hide his government's failure.
Populism alone can not meet expectation of 54% votes. AAP must remember that
Take for example, the twin promises on power and water. Kejriwal has promised to reduce the power bills by half but to do so, it is the government which will have to pay for the subsidy and the final burden will come on the people. Besides, Kejriwal's warning to audit private power companies (something his government had done during its early stint) has left those firms worried.
The promise of 20,000 litres of free water is also another worry for Delhi is dependent on states like Haryana for water supply. From where can Kejriwal bring free water?
Aam Aadmi is a blessing till the election happens. After that, he is a threat.