The people of Delhi must be a little disappointed that the change that they voted so ferociously for seems to be in a limbo. After a bitterly fought election, there are no takers it seems for the glittering prize of the Capital city.
BJP leader Harsh Vardhan has turned down the offer to form a government on account of not having enough numbers. The new kid on the block, the AAP, whose win knocked the socks off everyone, has decided that it too does not want to form a government. This leaves Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung with little option but to declare President’s Rule.
While it is laudable that both parties have decided to stick by principles, another election so soon is perhaps not what the vote was all about. The mandate was for a change in direction of politics. There were several permutations and combinations that could have been worked out. The BJP could have formed a government with the support of the AAP or it could have formed a minority government taking issue-based support from others. The AAP could have done the same.
A fresh election is time-consuming and expensive and there is no guarantee that a decisive verdict will be returned. President’s Rule is not the answer to the many problems facing Delhi. It needs popular political governance. The Capital has grown by leaps and bounds and a new government could have begun setting right many problems that it faces.
The first thing any government would have to do is to attempt to get have the police force moved within its jurisdiction. There has been another horrific gang rape recently in Connaught Place, the bustling heart of Delhi. The former chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s image took a real beating after the gang-rape of December last year. She tried to explain that she had no control over the police, but somehow the blame was laid at her doorstep.
It is not just a reduction of electricity bills as the AAP has promised that the people need, it is an uninterrupted supply of electricity. Basic amenities like garbage collection and safe drinking water are major problems in many of the cities colonies, especially in its slums. Unauthorised constructions have sprung up all over the place, throwing the masterplan into complete disarray.
Though the metro rail has come up, it still lacks feeder buses and in places where the metro does not go, public transport, certainly safe public transport, is still a headache for many people. These are just a few of the issues that need to be dealt with. Either the BJP or the AAP should have blinked and got things moving. This way, the people’s victory has turned out to be something of a damp squib.