Ending his 15-day-long indefinite fast on Saturday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal promised 24-hour power at half the existing rate and up to 20 kilolitres free water for all “when AAP comes to power in November”.
Sounding the election bugle for his political outfit, Kejriwal spoke like a true blue politician, promising the electorate the moon. In fact, Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel had also promised to halve the power tariff after taking over the top post.
“There would be ‘jal swaraj’ (water self governance) in Delhi where people collect water bill and manage their own water,” said Kejriwal at Sundar Nagari, a slum redevelopment cluster in northeast Delhi and site of his protest.
Explaining the rationale behind the free 20 kilolitres water for all, he claimed: “As per our calculation, it would cost about Rs. 460 crore. Cancelling the fraudulent R519-crore contract allotted to a private company in Malviya Nagar can compensate this amount. We have also exposed a Rs. 3,500-crore scam at the Nangloi project.”
He also promised to waive off arrears due to inflated bills till November, except for very rich people.
Criticising (chief minister) Sheila Dikshit and discoms for claiming they brought in 24X7 power, the activist-turned-politician said: “Power availability in Delhi increased as production went up across the country. When AAP comes to power, rates would be halved.”
CAG audit of discoms would be compulsory, he said and warned them “not to harass the common man”.
AAP national executive member Prashant Bhushan formed a team of lawyers “who would help people fight their court cases free of cost”, Kejriwal said.
He listed the achievements of his fast: “power and water are election issues; Sundar Nagari — symbol of a common man’s abode — will become the centre of country’s politics and would not be dictated by crony capitalists; people have understood that Congress and BJP are two sides of the same coin and “AAP has launched the politics of morality.”
During the day, AAP volunteers restored power connections at more than 150 households, severed due to non-payment of bills.