“67 out of 70 is a miracle. 1.5 Crore citizens will run this government. We will work 24 hours” said Arvind Kejriwal on February 14, 2015 in his speech after taking oath as Delhi’s Chief Minister. 

A year later, as the party is busy preparing a report card to highlight all of it’s achievements this Sunday, ScoopWhoop spoke to former AAP leader Yogendra Yadav, who was expelled from the party on April 21, 2015 for indiscipline and anti-party activities, as reported by NDTV, to get his view on whether the party has lived up to it’s promises.

Here are some excerpts from the interview: 

How would you rate the AAP’s performance in the last one year?

Depends what you’re comparing it with.

If you are comparing it with the previous Congress regime, my sense is that this government’s first year has been better than Congress.

If you’re comparing it with what it promised in it’s manifesto, then you wouldn’t feel very happy about it.

If you compare it to the expectations and hopes people had of transforming the way politics is run in this country, then I would say it’s terrible.

b’File Photo | Source: PTI’

What are the things that this government has positively achieved?

I thought their promise on electricity has been largely implemented, electricity bills have come down. In some parts of the city, water supply has improved. In terms of nursery admissions, it’s more transparent now than before. Education budget has gone up. I personally think odd-even was a good idea.

What are the aspects on which this government has completely failed?

First is the regularisation of unauthorised colonies. Their manifesto clearly said within the first year, it’ll be done. It hasn’t been done.

Second is the Swaraj Bill. Now, what is Swaraj Bill? Basically, it is a radical idea that says ministers and MLAs will not take big decisions. Instead, we’ll allow Mohalla Sabhas to take those decisions. The bill was ready in 2014 at the end of the 49-day government. It’s not been introduced yet. Why? Now we hear that this government is junking the very idea of this bill.

Third and I must confess the most disappointing thing for me, what this government has done with the Lokpal. Now, Lokpal is why this party came into existence, why we all came into politics. Lokpal is the reason why Arvind Kejriwal had left the government, had to resign. The least you would expect when he came back to power, is that he would pick up that bill and say, now that I have a majority, I am presenting it. Instead, what does he do? He junks that bill completely and brings something that even the Congress and BJP would be embarrassed about. And what is worse, he actually wants to pass it on as the old bill.

b’File Photo | Source: PTI’

Kejriwal has had frequent run-ins with centre, the LG and the Police. It has also gotten ugly several times with abuses hurled at each other. Do you think that Kejriwal could’ve handled it differently or was his approach justified?

First of all, let’s say could the centre have done it differently? I personally think that the Lt. Governor has allowed his office to be used as an instrument of the ruling party at the centre. So, the BJP is clearly interfering with the functioning of Delhi government in ways which is undesirable.

The question is, how should AAP react to this? Is AAP also inviting a bit of this trouble? The answer unfortunately is yes. BJP is fishing into troubled waters and AAP loves it.

The whole name of the game is to draw media attention, to be in the news all the time. Now, that’s just not sensible politics.

Do you think it’s possible for AAP to be the party that it was a year ago vis-a-vis it’s ideals and principles?

I really and sincerely hope it does because it’s not just about one party or Delhi. AAP was an experiment on which millions of people had pinned their hope. Lakhs of people had come out with candles in their hands for the first time in their lives. Thousands of people, mostly youth had given up their careers to do something very big, to change this country and nothing less.

I really hope it goes back to what it was, because if this experiment of alternative politics fails, then people will not trust one more experiment.

b’File Photo | Source: PTI’

If there was one thing that you would want Kejriwal to do, what would it be?

I think Arvind Kejriwal should read a book. It’s called ‘Swaraj’. It was written by Arvind Kejriwal. 

The book simply says how this country should be governed and it says these people sitting in positions of power have amassed to themselves too much decision making and the only way of governing this country is radically decentralising by taking power away from such people and giving power back to mohalla sabha, panchayat and so on. That I thought was a wonderful idea which I think he may have forgotten it.

He needs to read that book again. 

For the full transcript, Click Here. 

(Feature Image Source: PTI)