Kejriwal's 'expose' on BJP a damp squib

Alleging that the BJP leaders are in collusion with electricity service providers, Arvind Kejriwal addressed a Press Conference in a bid to prove the same.

In the Press Conference, Kejriwal alleged that there are service contracts between BSES and 6 companies, in which Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay is shareholder. He alleged that the companies install and replace electricity meters in Delhi. He further said that these are the same meters about which people of Delhi have been complaining.

He referred to indiamart website where it’s mentioned that NCNL Info Media Pvt. Ltd (one of the six companies) won a Best Vendor of The Year and Excellence Award from Reliance Energy.

He raised the issue of conflict of interest. While it is yet to be proved if Satish Upadhyay is actually a shareholder in those companies, how come member of a political party having shares in a private company becomes a conflict of interest ?

If we were to extend Kerjiwal’s logic of mere shareholding leading to a conflict of interest then the lakhs of 'aam admi' who own shares in Reliance would perhaps be labelled 'Ambani Agents' by Kejriwal . However, Kejriwal's allegations would have stood its ground, had Satish Upadhayay been Power Minister or any official in the Power Department who was currying favors which is hardly the case here.

Kejriwal's expose on the BJP has ended up becoming a damp squib making one wonder what is left for Kejriwal to 'expose' to stir public opinion barring a political striptease of sorts.

The Delhi election it appears will end up being about a race to the bottom of fiscal responsibility as Kejriwal ups the ante on competitive populism with tweets of this kind:

 'Why did the BJP increase power prices in Delhi despite promising 30% reduction in tariff during its poll campaign.'

Kejriwal's Competitive Populism only reinforces the impression that the AAP wants to be a B-team of the Congress who's runaway populism had stalled India’s development due to flawed subsidies.

While Kejriwal, staying true to his brand of populist politics had cut the power tariff by half through subsidy during his 49-days stint in Delhi the move was a continuation of the regressive politics that hurt the Power Sector across several states of India as explained by Sudheer Pal Singh in his column in Business Standard:

Low power tariffs, combined with free or heavily-subsidised power for the farm sector and rampant theft, had wreaked havoc with the distribution companies, or discoms, of most states. Their combined losses peaked at Rs 240,000 crore in March 2012.

Between Kejriwal's anarchist dharnas, populist promises and 'exposes with little to show', the campaign for the Delhi Assembly is turning out to be a one-sided comedy show even as the BJP and the Congress take their time to spell out their agenda for the City.

Courtesy Niti Central


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