AAP's promise: Armed vigilantes, 700 litre free water, half-price power
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Unveiling its first manifesto on Tuesday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made some promises which ranged from populist to bizarre. From saying it would not allow FDI in retail, to promising free water supply up to 700 litres per day, "mohalla sabhas", a quasi-governmental armed force for women's security, and 50 per cent reduction in power tariffs.
The AAP also promised to pass a Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill within 15 days of coming to power. It said all public officials including the Chief Minister, cabinet ministers and MLAs would fall under its ambit. However, the Congress, BJP and even Anna Hazare have maintained that such a Bill would require ratification from the Centre, given Delhi's status as a National Capital Territory.
"We don't just want to change the Chief Minister of Delhi, we also want to change the corrupt system here," said AAP leader Yogendra Yadav at a briefing after the formal launch of the manifesto.
The mohalla sabhas, akin to gram sabhas, form the centrepiece of the AAP's proposed governance system. Simply put, the mohalla sabhas, at the colony level, will control all government development work and institutions, including monitoring and finances. According to the manifesto, this comprises the public distribution system (PDS), birth and death certificates, schools and primary health centres, government scheme beneficiaries, parks, streetlights, roads and even liquor stores.
"A radical experiment is being proposed by AAP in Delhi — decisions will not be taken by MLAs or officers but by mohalla sabhas. Every year, the mohalla sabha will be given a sum of money. The people of that mohalla will give approval to work undertaken by the sabhas in that locality. We have seen the drama surrounding Bhagidari, now you'll see how the aam aadmi can take decisions for themselves," said Yadav.
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