AAP to showcase ‘Delhi model’ in poll-bound Goa, Punjab

Over the last several months, strategists and top ministers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have painstakingly put together what they claim is a more inclusive alternative to Narendra Modi’s Gujarat model of governance.
Beginning this week, the party’s top leaders will showcase the “Delhi model” of governance to people in the poll-bound states of Goa and Punjab and later, Gujarat.
On Tuesday afternoon, Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and health minister Satyendra Jain will travel to Goa on a three-day tour and apprise party workers and volunteers there of what they claim are the successes in Delhi.
From Thursday, AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will begin his four-day tour of Punjab. Kejriwal will launch the party’s manifesto for farmers and talk about the successes of the AAP government in Delhi, party leaders say.
The Gujarat model of development – widely showcased as ‘development oriented governance’ in all sectors, from industries to agriculture – during Narendra Modi’s reign as chief minister from 2001 to 2014 propelled him to the position of Prime Minister in 2014 after it became a major part of the BJP’s Lok Sabha campaign.
Gujarat’s GDP exceeded India’s nearly touching 10% from 2001 to 2012, but it was also criticised as lopsided with gaps in health, nutrition and poverty reduction. In March 2014, the AAP launched a counter campaign debunking the BJP’s claims. “The Gujarat model looks beautiful from the outside. We plan to share with people our successes and ask them what is more important for you, lopsided islands of development or governance that benefits all? We are focusing on the basics – education and health,” Jain told HT.
The health minister, under whom the AAP government has launched a three-tier system of public-funded health infrastructure, will speak about the scheme. The government has set up neighbourhood-level clinics and polyclinics with free medicines and diagnostic tests to take the primary healthcare burden off tertiary care government hospitals.
“Nearly 90% of the patients reaching hospitals wanted just primary care. Now, those doctors are free to treat patients who need critical care,” he adds.
Under Sisodia, the education department is focused on fixing the government schools. The minister says past governments “spent money but did not utilise it well”. In June, the AAP announced the Chunauti 2018 programme, under which it aspires to bring all government school students studying in
Class 9 on par with private school students.
A month later, government schools in Delhi held a meeting between parents and teachers – an exercise earlier confined to select private schools. Two days before leaving for Goa, Sisodia announced the 100% Read Ability programme. The programme will ensure all Class 6 students can read their Hindi textbooks by November 14, after a government survey found out three-fourths of them couldn’t.
Next year will be crucial for the AAP as it makes a bid for power outside the national capital. The party has already plunged itself into election mode in Punjab, Goa and Gujarat, which will see elections in 2017.
“We are focusing on states where we can directly fight the BJP and the Congress,” an AAP strategist revealed. Party leaders feel it can make a serious national pitch in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls if the AAP wins at least one more state.
“All regional parties are confined to one state. Winning one or two more states will put us in a different league and place us as an alternative to the BJP,” he explained.
Kejriwal has positioned himself and the AAP as avowedly anti-corruption and against crony capitalism. The party has frequently targeted Modi for trying to stall its efforts to govern Delhi.

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