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AAP Fiasco: AAP struggled to even Outrun NOTA in Gujarat

The NOTA option went for 5.5. Lakh votes in Gujarat – five times more than the votes AAP was able to collect.

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The surge of 20 per cent price in water tariff will ,levied after the free quota of 20,000 litres
The surge of 20 per cent price in water tariff will ,levied after the free quota of 20,000 litres

In the recently held Gujarat’s state assembly election, Bharatiya Janata Party won 99 seats, and the Congress pocketed 77 seats. Cleary BJP is the pack of the leader from all of the contested parties. Even after taking the crown of party president, Rahul Gandhi wasn’t able to muster enough votes for the debacle of the saffron party.

But the biggest party pooper was the Arvind Kejriwal led party, which wasn’t even able to open their account and thus lead to lose all deposits of their party candidates. The AAP party failed in all the constituencies from wherever they fought.

AAP party
NOTA got more votes than the AAP party

The total votes of AAP counted 29,517, whereas voters opted for NOTA 75,880 times in the 29 seats, from where the AAP party contested. The NOTA figures almost double the vote count from what the AAP received.

The NOTA option went for 5.5. Lakh votes in Gujarat – five times more than the votes AAP was able to collect. The NOTA or None of the above is an option in every EVM machine, by which the voter can reject all of the candidates electing from their respective constituency.

The Gujarat voters placed NOTA above then the AAP party and thus NOTA got the third largest votes in the state, following the BJP and Congress party.

No List No Donation Campaign against AAP. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was initiated by AAP's ex-NRI Cell Co-Convener Dr Munish Raizada
Even AAP volunteers have been demanding transparency within the party. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was initiated by AAP’s ex-NRI Cell Co-Convener Dr Munish Raizada. The Satyagraha appeals to people NOT to donate to AAP unless the party makes its donations public. It may be remembered that AAP came into politics with a plank to bring financial transparency.

The AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj tried to put the blame on BJP by questioning about the counting of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails slips.

Even the party’s Gujrat spokesperson Harshil Nayak attempted to curtain their poor show by making an excuse for late stand on elections by the core party.

AAP party
AAP party lost miserably in Gujarat election

The steepest fall of votes for the AAP party was recorded in Ankleshwar constituency. Here, people picked NOTA and outnumbered AAP by more than 10 times of it.

The social media was abuzz with mocking ‘idealist’ AAP going bust in Gujarat. However, serious commentators saw AAP’s strategy to contest elections as a way to make money through ticket selling and wheeling dealing (such charges were aplenty in Punjab assembly elections too and even AAP volunteers had labelled such charges on AAP leaders).

 

Kapil Mishra was direct in leveling charges:

 

 

 

This tweet by Ravi Bhadoria questioned the integrity of AAP:

While Buland Awaaz said that: NOTA was a better option than “KHOTA”.

Jai Nath Misra- a London based AAP supporter and now turned rebel and chief patron of Chanda Bandh Satyagraha stated: अरे, चँदाचोर AK तो नोट(रुपया) गिन रहा है वोट नहीं. (ChandaChor Kejriwal is counting notes (money), not votes!

A couple of days before Gujarat faisco, AAP got a beating in Punjab’s local elections too. Here is a snapshot of AAP’s disastrous performance:

 

Next Story

Is NYAY Going To Be A Game Changer for Congress?

The concerns about funds being used for harmful purposes cannot be ruled out. It is due to these challenges many policymakers suggest that instead of making welfare payments to poor households in the form of unrestricted cash transfers the government should focus on in-kind transfers.

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Congress on Friday promised to create one crore jobs across the southern state
Congress state units given more power for 2019 battle- wikimedia commons

By Amit Kapoor & Manisha Kapoor 

The idea of launching Nyuntam Aay Yojana, a cash transfer scheme that intends to provide Rs 72,000 per year to the poorest 20 per cent Indian families, by the Congress Party if it comes to power, has stirred a debate among the policymakers about whether the move is economically viable or is just a tactic by the Congress Party to garner votes in the upcoming general elections.

The discussions are foreseeable, provided that this intervention to ensure basic income to the poor households will cost the country somewhere between 1.5 per cent to 3.4 per cent of GDP, a number higher than the government’s expenditure on healthcare and education. The implementation of NYAY means an additional cost between Rs 3.6 lakh crore to Rs 7.2 lakh crore per year.

To put things in perspective, the expenditure of the proposed scheme is 2.2 times the budget of all centrally sponsored schemes. The party claims that they have worked out all the fiscal calculations before launching the scheme. However, this will be a major dent in India’s budget expenditure and will explode the fiscal deficit from the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

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An impact evaluation study by UNICEF in Sub-Saharan Africa showed that with the exception of temporary price rise during payment period, cash transfers has no impact on the prices. Pixabay

Apart from fiscal prudence, the other immediate concern surrounding the scheme is the identification of beneficiaries and the database that will be used for this. There is no official income database available with the government at the individual level and since most of the poor work in unorganised rural areas, there is no direct way of verifying their incomes such as through a payroll or income tax.

The proponents of the approach state that a good starting point could be Socio Economic Caste Census of 2011 if one goes by multi-dimensional aspect of poverty. However, one can’t ignore the fact that even if the scheme defines poverty by assets and not income for quick exclusion rules, the data is outdated. A scheme targeted at reducing poverty can’t use data that is seven-eight years old. Even if one ignores that, it should be noted that there are major methodological issues with how data was collected. This is reflected in the discrepancies that exist in the data collected through SECC and other governmental data. A fresh survey for the identification process will lead to possibilities of corruption as in other targeted schemes. For instance, various studies have shown that many people who are not below poverty line have BPL cards.

One should also keep in mind that there exist significant disparities across Indian states and districts in terms of income levels and affordability of basic needs such as education, healthcare etc. Therefore, the same amount that means a lot to a person living in a low-income state or a state that has good access to public facilities such as public hospitals, schools etc would not be enough for a person trying to make a living in a high-income region. As a result, a prerequisite for such a scheme is a detailed regional level survey on income characteristics of Indian states and districts.

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To put things in perspective, the expenditure of the proposed scheme is 2.2 times the budget of all centrally sponsored schemes. The party claims that they have worked out all the fiscal calculations before launching the scheme. Pixabay

Another major concern surrounding the scheme is its inflationary implications. It is argued that the act of transferring cash to the target population will boost their purchasing power, which would lead to an increase in demand for goods and services and, thus, push prices upwards. Advocates of the approach have tried to argue that studies around the world present a lot of evidence to the contrary.

An impact evaluation study by UNICEF in Sub-Saharan Africa showed that with the exception of temporary price rise during payment period, cash transfers has no impact on the prices. However, these evidences should be considered with a pinch of salt. They rest on the assumption that the money will be spent on useful goods, that will help the local economy in becoming more productive. Though this will not be the case always.

Also Read: Food Unites People Across The Globe

The concerns about funds being used for harmful purposes cannot be ruled out. It is due to these challenges many policymakers suggest that instead of making welfare payments to poor households in the form of unrestricted cash transfers the government should focus on in-kind transfers. This idea is supported by claim that in-kind transfers will help by encouraging the consumption of right things, such as healthy food.

Given India’s concerns about rising unemployment rates, jobless growth and the fact that we need to have effective utilization of our young population to gain a competitive edge over other economies, the promoters are trying to project that NYAY can prove to be a game changer. However, for the Indian economy, a better alternative would be to strengthen the existing public services landscape by removing social, political and personal barriers, along with carrying out structural reforms that leads to creation of more productive jobs. (IANS)