As his government completed one month in power, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said controversies surrounding the AAP dispensation never affected its functioning and asserted that his team did a good job in addressing various challenges facing the city.
In a press conference which was disrupted by a Congress MLA, the Chief Minister claimed his government has done far more work for the people in the first month than its predecessors and said rooting out corruption, ensuring security to women and enhancing water distribution network were among his top priorities.
“Your surveys have shown... it is clear people are happy with the performance,” he said, adding a number of key decisions have been taken to help the common man like providing 20 kilo litres of free water per month to each household besides providing power subsidy to a large section of consumers.
On his government’s decision for an investigation by a Special Investigation Team into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, he said a thorough probe was required as demanded by the Sikh community.
Mr. Kejriwal’s press conference was disrupted by Congress MLA from Okhla Asif Khan after Mr. Kejriwal, in reply to a question, said he was not considering appointing an SIT to investigate the Batla House encounter in 2008.
He said as a court has already given its verdict in the case, there was no need for a probe again.
On corruption, Mr. Kejriwal said his government will come down hard on corrupt officials but at the same time will protect the honest officers. “We are considering ways to protect the honest officers,” he said without elaborating.
Mr. Kejriwal said the Delhi Janlokpal bill will most probably come before his Cabinet on Friday and the Assembly is likely to meet in a fortnight for its passage.
“Our aim is to provide a corruption-free government.
(Fighting) Corruption is very important for us. I have visited various offices and people said now their work is getting done without bribing,” he said and referred to the anti-graft helpline launched earlier this month.
The Chief Minister noted that AAP government had taken the initiative to end the VIP culture in city.
The Kejriwal government’s one month saw several controversies, including over the CM’s choice of house, the chaos at his public hearing or Janata Darbar and the conduct of his Ministers especially Law Minister Somnath Bharti who raised hackles with his plan to call a meeting of High Court judges and later by leading a midnight raid against African nationals.
The Chief Minister said the ‘nursery helpline’ launched by the education department has also been “very helpful” to parents.
He said government has mapped all its schools across the city to check their infrastructure requirement and follow up action was being taken.
The Chief Minister asked agitating contractual employees including DTC workers and guest teachers who have been sitting on dharna demanding regularisation of their services to end their strike immediately.
He said government was in the process of regularising their services and if they do not end their protest, government would recruit new employees.
The government has already appointed a high-level committee to recommend policy guidelines to regularise services of contractual employees.
“If the striking employees don’t come back to work, we will not consider them for regularisation. We can’t afford to have 600 DTC buses off the roads,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
On women’s security, he said a committee has been formed to suggest measures to enhance women security. He said government was working on setting up a women security force but clarified that it would not be a parallel police force.
He said enhancing water distribution network in the city was one of his major priority.
Mr. Kejriwal said third party power meter testing will be carried out across the city.
He said 58 night shelters were being set up to provide shelters to homeless people.