Love them or hate them, but you just cannot ignore the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the brand of politics they practice. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came to power in the national capital with an overwhelming mandate which left many surprised. In 2015 elections, the Kejriwal-led party was successfully able to build a narrative of being an alternative to the Congress and the BJP which struck a chord with residents of Delhi.
Kejriwal promised to give 'honest' governance that would work for the common man. The fact that AAP was a by-product of Anna Hazare's India Against Corruption movement reinforced their 'honesty' narrative. AAP seemed fresh and the promises they made to people of Delhi were appealing. People of Delhi sent Kejriwal to CM's office by giving AAP 67 of the 70 seats in the assembly.
In little over three years since the AAP has been governing Delhi, Kejriwal has had a lot of disagreements with the Centre mainly because Delhi is not like other states. Delhi government does not have absolute control over the city as a lot of things are still controlled by the Centre. Kejriwal has been blaming that Centre is not allowing his government to function, but what eventually matters is how people of rate AAP's rule in the last years.
We spoke to some people from Delhi to know what they feel about AAP and the way they have ruled the NCT. The reactions were mixed. While some felt that Kejriwal had met the expectations of the people, others felt that him indulging in controversies were needless.
"I think he has met expectation. No one cares for Wi-Fi. Also, I know a lot of people who use government hospitals and mohallaha clinics and he has done some great work in health care. Similarly, I know few kids who go to government schools and sarvodaya vidayalays, and I can definitely say that education level in these schools have bettered," a resident of Delhi told OneIndia on the condition of anonymity.
Some who care about Delhi's pollution and the environment described AAP government's 'Odd Even Schemes' as progressive. A recent move by Kejriwal government to rein in private hospitals from charging exorbitantly for treatment was also welcomed by people.
IT professional Amit Paul said water supply had improved under Kejriwal and power outages had also come down.
"Kejriwal as Delhi CM rocks though he frequently gets indulged in controversies but keep them aside he has done a great job.. Water crisis in Delhi not sure about entire Delhi but in West Delhi it's completely gone... electricity outages are minimal.. subsidized electricity bill is a gift for everyone...and much more," he said.
Abhinav said that Delhi government's relationship with the Centre remained hostile but Kejriwal did a lot to improve education system in the city. He also gave thumbs up for AAP government's 'Mohalla Clinics' initiative.
"Mohalla clinic is a winner, there is a good likelihood that few more countries might adopt this experiment. His government has done a lot for the education, accountability and quality has improved in Delhi schools," he said.
Aakash, a media professional, said the AAP government has been trying its best for the welfare of the people.
"They have come out with various schemes which have which shows their intent to work for the people of Delhi. However, having said that, the politics and the tiff with the Centre has not made it easy for them. And many a times, because of the political difference between the Delhi government and Modi government, people had to bear the brunt," he added.
Lastly, a political observer, who did not wish to be named, told OneIndia that Kejriwal government has been able to make an impact on two key issues - health and education. He also said the concept of Mohalla Clinics and bringing a qualitative improvement in the schooling system have been runaway success.
"Honestly, I was not a supporter of Kejriwal when they formed the outfit aap. But the party was not only made a surprise impact on the electorate surpassing the established political parties-- Congress and a nationally revived BJP under NAMO even after his ascendancy to the prime ministership. Notwithstanding his inexperience in the manipulative politics in the power corridors, he has been able to make an impact on two issues that effect the lives of Delhiites -- health and education," he said.
He said there has been continued and sustained hurdles posed by ruling BJP who have been tacitly backing non-cooperation of the officialdom particularly the IAS cadre and the law and order. Both come under the purview of the Union Government leaving very little say in the affairs of people, he added.
"Though a small political outfit in the national scenario, AAP has a substantial presence in Punjab and Haryana states and is expected to play a crucial role in the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha polls post-poll scenario in the event of uncertain election results," he added.
Kejriwal' political handling has not been the best having alienated leaders like Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. But he has been able to keep the control of the party, he said.