Arvind Kejriwal’s praise for Atishi on her UN address: 'Moment of pride'| Video
AAP's Atishi Marlena addressed the United Nations General Assembly over the Delhi governance model.
AAP leader Atishi Marlena’s address at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday drew praise from Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as she presented the AAP government’s governance model on a world stage. Challenges faced by local bodies in providing basic facilities to people - while navigating budget constraints - was one of the focal points of her address. The city’s total budget has increased from 300 billion in 2015 to 750 billion in 220 while the per capita income is three times higher than the rest of the country and the state GDP has increased 150 per cent in the last decade. “Delhi is the only state government in the country that does not have a fiscal deficit. The Arvind Kejriwal government has shown that it can provide high-quality public service, and yet be responsible,” the 40-year-old leader told the UNGA.
“Well done! Atishi…. It’s a matter of great pride for us. On such a huge platform, carrying the sentiments of the whole of Delhi, huge congratulations for making the world aware of India’s potential. The country wants a progressive thought process like this. India now wants to move ahead,” the Delhi chief minister wrote in a tweet in Hindi, retweeting a post by Atishi.
“An honour to present the transformation brought about in Delhi, by the @ArvindKejriwal govt, before the @UN General Assembly. I believe that the ‘Delhi Model’ can provide insights for solving problems faced by many countries across the world. (sic),” Atishi tweeted, sharing a video of the address.
In her address, the AAP leader, an Oxford graduate, underlined the struggle governments face in serving the public.
“All of us here come from different cities and countries but face common challenges - how to provide our citizens high-quality services while providing equity, ecological sustainability and fiscal prudence. From the early 90s, there has been a growing belief that the provision of water, healthcare, education to all the citizens is far too expensive and the governments - that provide these services to the citizens - end up going into debt,” she said.
Governments, especially in the developing world have started withdrawing from these services, she highlighted, adding that the provision of water and electricity has been privatised. “While this may have improved fiscal management, it has led to an increase in inequality. However, in the last seven years in Delhi, a city of 30 million residents, we have shown that we can do both - delivering high-quality public services while running a fiscally responsible government.”
When the AAP was voted to power seven years back, the 40-year-old leader said, the national capital “had one of the highest power tariffs in the country and the financial health of power distribution companies was poor”. Frequent power cuts, and government schools and hospitals failing were some other obstacles, she added. “But in the last seven years, the AAP government has turned all this around. We have power 24*7 and four million households get zero power bills.”
“Also, just last year, over 200,000 students shifted from private to government schools in Delhi,” she highlighted.
Her address comes just ahead of the civic body elections to be held in the national capital, which has triggered a war of words between the ruling AAP and the rival AAP over various issues.