New Delhi: In the midst of his bitter fight with the Centre on a range of issues, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today accused the Modi dispensation of turning its ties with Delhi government into an “India-Pakistan” type situation and said absence of obstacles would have helped him achieve four times of what has been done so far in the city.
In the first edition of his ‘Talk to AK’ show, seen as an attempt to increase Aam Aadmi Party’s national connect, Kejriwal touched upon a number of contentious issue including appointment of 21 Parliamentary Secretaries, arrest of a top bureaucrat by CBI and transfer of officers even as he taunted the Prime Minister saying, he was the “only corrupt Chief Minister in the country in the eyes of” Narendra Modi.
The Delhi Chief Minister, in the nearly two-hour-long programme that began with a monologue followed by a question and answer session, alleged that the Centre was trying to “break” the AAP government and that BJP President Amit Shah was micromanaging CBI, adding, “but every dog has his day and all these will soon come to an end.”
Kejriwal, the AAP national convenor, indicated that the party may contest the next assembly polls in Gujarat, alleging that an “atmosphere of suppression” was prevailing there and people wanted to overthrow the BJP regime.
Justifying his government’s spendings on advertisement, he insisted that it spent only Rs 75 crore not 526 crore in the last fiscal and accused the RSS of spreading rumours on the issue, saying it has no parallel in the world in spreading rumours.
“If they would not have made this India-Pakistan situation, then work done by us would have been four times.
“I had told him (PM), forgive me if I have committed any mistake, but please end this irritants. A lot of work has been done. But if not for obstacles, the amount of work would have been four times.
“Our Assembly passed 14 bills, including on time-bound services delivery, which had the clause of automatic compensation. It’s been eight months since this passage of this bill.
“Remember the Ramlila version of Jan Lokpal Bill? It’s been eight months that we passed it and since then the Centre’s approval is awaited,” Kejriwal said.
Flanked by his deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and music composer Vishal Dadlani – the moderator for the programme which is seen as Kejriwal’s answer to PM’s ‘Maan Ki Baat’ radio address, Kejriwal alleged that Delhi has become the “victim” of Centre’s confrontational attitude as AAP MLAs are being arrested on “false charges”.
“In PM’s eyes there is only one corrupt CM in the country. They want to break us. They enter into settings with other parties.
“Have FIRs been filed against Robert Vadra or Sonia Gandhi or Shivraj Singh Chouhan? They are not scared of me, they are scared of my honesty. The full police force is after us,” he said.
“The Centre is working like the British used to treat the freedom fighters. I have told MLAs this is the second freedom struggle,” Kejriwal said.
“They are not probing the CWG scam. I have told my MLAs to be ready to go to jail. If Rajendra Kumar was not in my office then I can challenge that he would not have been arrested.
“The message to officers is do not work for us. Amit Shah is micromanaging CBI. But every dog has his day. All these will soon come to an end,” he said.
Warning the Centre not to “mess” with the student community, he said if the current “trend” continues then there may be a “danger” for the country in the future.
“The Centre led by BJP reduced the education budget by 25 per cent. From 82,000 crore to 68,000 crore. The country will be ruined if youth don’t study,” he said.
Referring to a letter to him by former Gujarat BJP MLA Yatin Oza in which the latter alleged that Amit Shah had struck a deal with AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi ahead of the 2015 Bihar elections, the Delhi Chief Minister said if the claims are true, then it was very dangerous.
“Oza is a senior lawyer who was very close to Amit Shah. If what the letter says is true then it’s very dangerous. In Gujarat there is an atmosphere of suppression. There are cases of treason against teachers.
“People have decided to teach them a lesson. We will contest elections in Gujarat if people want. The response we received was tremendous. We will replicate our good work in Punjab,” he said.
“In Punjab, there will be a crackdown on illegal agencies taking people abroad. We will form a board to manage the issues of people who want to go abroad,” he said.
On the issue of transfer of 11 top officials of Delhi Government out of the city, he said the city dispensation must be discussed on such crucial matters and added that his government will bring officers from outside.
“Officers from my office has been transferred. Probably for the first time in India’s history officers have been transferred from CMO without permission. Your intention is to stall governance in Delhi.
“We will bring officers from outside by giving adverts. Delhi government has 39 posts at the secretary level. 20 posts are empty. This is the level of shortage and despite that they transfer.
“They want to paralyse us but we will go strong. Will bring out ads in few days inviting experts from across the country,” he said.
Severely critical of functioning of the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB), Kejriwal said “Last year, on June 8, the Centre had sent paramilitary forces in taking over the ACB.
“Today if I spot anyone taking bribe in front me, I won’t be able to do anything. We have sent 32 cases in the last one year to it, and people have forwarded 150 complaints but no action has been taken. It has only worked to catch Manish Sisodia, Kapil Mishra and to file FIR against me.”
On the issue of appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries, he said he has “full faith” on the Election Commission which was examining the issue and claimed that MLAs holding the post in Punjab and Gujarat were earning in crores.
“Actually rival parties have no habit of working. One of our parliamentary secretaries makes rounds of schools daily – he is not given any money, cars anything – and he reports to Sisodia. Other goes to hospitals,” Kejriwal said.
“We have given responsibilities to other MLAs. We had to name them parliamentary secretaries then to give authenticity to their work.
“Otherwise even schools would question their legitimacy outside their respective constituencies. We have spoken to top lawyers and all of them said that this is not an office of profit,” said Kejriwal.
Responding to criticism against his government over spending on advertisement, Kejriwal said ads are being given in newspapers outside the capital also as people want to know what is happening in Delhi.
“We spent Rs 75 crore not Rs 526 crore. RSS is an expert in spreading rumours. They have no parallel in the world in spreading rumours. We have centralised ads. And why are we giving ads outside Delhi? Because Delhi is the capital of the country and people from all the states stay here.
“Everyone would want to know what’s happening here. It’s important that people know that good work is happening in Delhi for attracting investments.
“For example in the event management industry, NOCs from 27 departments were required. We cancelled many NOCs and made the rest online.
“This people should know if they want to organise event here. If things are improving, then people from India and across the world should know,” he said.
On the the Talk to AK programme, he said it was to make him available for public scrutiny.
“When you are in public life you have to be ready for public scrutiny. At times we feel that media’s questions and people’s questions are different.
“There was a need for a platform to take questions directly.
“And you can face the public only when you are ethical and honest,” said the Delhi Chief Minister.