It was the historic Anna Hazare movement to pressurise the Union Government to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill that convinced independent MCD councillor Vinod Kumar Binny that this was the right platform to fight corruption and make public servants accountable.
Mr. Binny, who on Aam Admi Party’s ticket trounced heavyweight Congress leader A.K. Walia by about 8,000 votes from the Laxmi Nagar constituency in the just-concluded Assembly elections, said he joined the AAM because of its seriousness to bring in transparency and not encourage dynastic politics.
“When Prashant Bhushan joined the AAP, his father Shanti Bhushan steered away. This kind of principled stand is never taken by the two main parties, which are run like private limited companies. At AAP, we have maintained accounts of all contributors and the record is on our website. In every district, we will identify 35 to 40 mohallas and convene meetings to redress grievances of residents. We would ask them to come out with solutions,” said Mr. Binny, while speaking to The Hindu.
Noting that spiralling electricity bills have thrown budget of most middle class families haywire, Mr. Binny said his party proposes conducting audits of private power distribution companies and checking metres of consumers. “These two actions would bring down the power bills.”
Another movement in which the MLA was an active participant was the last year’s mass protest in the Capital following the shocking gang-rape of the physiotherapy intern in a moving bus.
“The Delhi Government treated the entire public movement with apathy. It was disgusting to see our politicians remaining nonchalant to this important movement. The government’s last act to save its skin was sending the girl to a hospital in Singapore. The public could read between the lines and conclude that the government had only taken a face saving formula as her condition had badly deteriorated.”
Apart from the popularity of Arvind Kejriwal, the MLA said another factor was his efficacious door-to-door campaigning. This helped him to connect with virtually every family and trounce the Delhi Health Minister.
“For the past few days, I have been travelling across the Laxmi Nagar constituency to thank all those who voted for me. I am seeking blessings from the elders and getting love and affection from the youth. It is now my turn to fulfil my promise.” Son of a paneer supplier in the trans-Yamuna area, Mr. Binny did a B.A. (Pass) course from Motilal Nehru College of Delhi University. But it was his role of a social worker that “gave him the ultimate satisfaction.”
A senior journalist, who lives in East Delhi, said Mr. Binny is always willing to raise funds for noble social initiatives and listen patiently to grievances of residents like sky-rocketing power bills and water problem. “He gives support to those who need him the most. This is the reason why he has forged a connection with the people in his constituency.”
His nickname Binny during his growing-up years at Dallupura in Vasundhara Enclave was given by his neighbours and friends has now become his surname. But he does not mind as he likes mingling with his old friends as well as new acquaintances.