Next on agenda is to pass Jan Lokpal Bill in 15-20 days
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in his debut speech in the Assembly, presented the 17-point agenda of the Aam Aadmi Party government. It largely incorporated the major focus areas already put forth in the party’s election manifesto and reiterated after the party took over the reins of the government.
However, Mr. Kejriwal largely chose not to respond to specific questions raised by the Opposition BJP as well as Congress legislators during the debate on the trust vote.
With corruption being the talking point in the House, Mr. Kejriwal began his speech assuring the legislators that he would probe all cases of corruption, be it in the previous Delhi government’s tenure, the municipal corporations or his own government in the future. He also defined the meaning of “aam aadmi” to highlight the genesis of his party and its decision to contest elections. “Anybody who wants a genuine, honest government despite where he lives, whether in a posh colony or a jhuggi, is an aam aadmi. The demands of the aam aadmi are very simple, but the polity of this country has failed to provide even those basic amenities over the last 65 years despite spending crores,” he said.
Having fulfilled the promises to provide free water and halving the electricity tariffs, the Chief Minister said passing a strong Jan Lokpal Bill would be the next major priority of the government.
The Congress went ahead with its support to the AAP government. However, Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh minced no words while criticising the new government for “taking decisions in haste” over the first week in office with respect to providing free water and power subsidy. “I just want to remind you [Kejriwal] that your officials are misguiding you. The same set of officials advised our government not to provide subsidy on power tariffs saying that it was not possible before the revised estimates of the budget is tabled in the House,” he said, adding any reallocation of funds had to be ratified by the House.
Leader of the Opposition Harsh Vardhan expressed his disappointment with Mr. Kejriwal for not addressing any of the concerns put forth by the Opposition. “We placed some important questions that concerned the aam aadmi in front of the AAP government, but I am disappointed to note that he did not address any of our concerns,” he told reporters after the trust vote.