A friend of mine recommended that I watch the interview of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal with Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN. He had come away impressed. I watched. I was not.
There is not much to be proud of an announcement of power tariff reduction when an audit of the power utility companies has just been announced. The tariff reduction is to pre-judge (and pressurise) the audit. One should also remember the situation that prevailed before private electricity companies came on the scene.
His action has had a contagion effect. Haryana had announced a tariff rebate. Maharashtra has announced one. The Maharashtra power tariff reduction will cost 70 billion Indian rupees per year according to estimates presented in the media. Is this setting an example of good governance?
Only in the last one and half years, had the State governments gingerly begun the task of hiking power tariffs regularly so that the finances of State utilities could improve to a point that they can make good their promises to lift power produced by private producers. Without tariff hikes, both power producers and distributors would remain sick. AAP has now brought that process to a halt. The consequences are immense and under-appreciated now.
Also, as my friend informed me yesterday via his email, it is one thing to demand that Delhi Police be brought under the State government but it is another thing to share the whole truth with the people of Delhi. Currently, the people of Delhi are being subsidised by the rest of India as they pay for the Delhi Police through the Central government budget. If the Delhi Police were to be brought under the control of the Delhi government, it will become an explicit tax burden on the people of Delhi.
Brandishing a non-existent letter from the Ugandan High Commission to the Delhi government was an act of dishonesty.
One must applaud the new AAP member Gopinath for making the same demand that this blog had made yesterday: If the policemen had to ‘proceed on leave’, the same treatment should have been extended to the Delhi Law Minister too. It is interesting that women’s organisations have come to the defence of the SHO who has been asked to go on leave.
All in all, a sorry state of affairs.