The Kejriwal Model | Opinion |


February 23, 2020

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP): in 2011, a wave of demonstrations took place throughout India under the “India against corruption” movement. In 2012, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was formally launched by Arvind Kejriwal, and others, with the fight against corruption as the main agenda of the party.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI): Imran Khan, and others, founded the PTI on April 25, 1996 with the fight against corruption as the main agenda of the party.

The PTI and the AAP had similar agendas and beginnings. Over the years, both the PTI and the AAP went from political entities in protest to winning elections and becoming ruling parties. Imran Khan became the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan and Arvind Kejriwal the seventh chief minister of Delhi.

Arvind Kejriwal, after becoming the prime minister of Delhi, did six things. One, free electricity for all consumers who consume 200 units or less. Two, 25 percent of the education budget. Three, free medicines in government hospitals. Four, the development and infrastructure charges did not apply to new water and sewer connections. Five free bus trips for students. Six, a “guarantee card” that lists 10 promises that the AAP would deliver (including the planting of 20 million young trees).

This is what Prime Minister Imran Khan has done so far. One, electricity bills have gone from a minimum of Rs11 per unit to a maximum of Rs27 per unit. Two, gas bills have gone from a minimum of Rs2.5 per unit to a maximum of Rs6 per unit. Three, the education budget has actually been reduced. Four, there is no real change in the treatment of patients in government hospitals.

Arvind Kejriwal conducted a positive election campaign in which he promised the things he would deliver and refrained from attacking his political opponents. He sent messages of unity among all voters and his model sent shock waves to the opposition. For the record, Imran Khan conducted a negative election campaign, polarized voters and his policies have actually emboldened the opposition.

Arvind Kejriwal made his basic needs provision to all the Delhiites (also known as Dilliwalas) as his first priority. He created a “clean government” and a “capable team.” Prime Minister Imran Khan also established a “clean government” but a very weak team that has so far failed to increase the level of public services.

Arvind Kejriwal met with businessmen in Delhi to install a tax regime favorable to interested parties and put an end to the practice of tax raids. Here in Pakistan, businessmen run for fear of the tax authorities and the raids have begun once again.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is now looking for “ready-to-use solutions.” Our prime minister should now use a combination of neuroscience behind politics and cognitive psychology. Our prime minister should focus on measures that will have a high “impact with minimal government effort.” Add some gifts for Pakistanis who really deserve them more, for example, in electricity.

Our prime minister should limit his approach to just four things: flour, schools, hospitals and electricity (forget about corruption, the current account deficit, exchange rate stability). Flour matters a lot; Each Pakistani consumes 115 kg of flour per year. Subsidize the flour – greatly. Health and education are important: schools and hospitals are where the state and the common Pakistani cross each other.

The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad.

E-mail: [email protected] Twitter: @saleemfarrukh



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