New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday re-launched the anti corruption helpline -- started during his previous 49-day stint in government -- and pledged to make Delhi among the world's top five corruption-free cities in five years.
Inaugurating the 1031 helpline with "strengthened backhand", Kejriwal said that by bringing the helpline to curb bribery in offices with public dealings, the AAP government had delivered its third poll promise after cheap power and water. "If someone asks you for bribe, don't say no. Get it (act) recorded on your mobile phone. We will track the corrupt and send him to jail," said Kejriwal, who is known for his anti-corruption stance.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal speaks during the launch of the anti-corruption helpline number in New Delhi on Sunday. Pic/ PTI
Speaking at the jam-packed Talkatora Stadium auditorium, Kejriwal took on the Narendra Modi-led central government, accusing it of diluting the powers of the Delhi government's Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) because it had lodged FIRs against some industrialists. "I am thankful to Delhi assembly for passing a resolution against the Centre's notification which says that Anti Corruption Bureau can only investigate state government employees. We reject this notification," Kejriwal said amidst cheers from the crowds.
"As we took action against the corrupt, BJP at the Centre passed an order and curtailed the jurisdiction of the ACB. For 21 years, ACB had power to investigate cases of corruption against central government employees." Launching the helpline by making a mock call to the Centre, Kejriwal announced the number '1031' would be operational Sunday onwards to help curb corruption in the city. "We will use technology on a large-scale to make Delhi among the top five corruption-free cities in the world in five years," he said.
Kejriwal also said that the AAP had the courage to take action against its own party members if they were wrong. "If tomorrow (Deputy Chief Minister Manish) Sisodia is found corrupt, he will go to jail. I will also go to jail if found corrupt," he added. Kejriwal said that he would "support the honest officers but chase the corrupt up to hell". "There would be several mistakes while working, do not bother about them. I will be with you but I will not spare dishonest people," he said.
He also alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched against him ever since he led the Aam Aadmi Party to a landslide victory in February. "Ever since our party came to power, a conspiracy is on against me," he said. "Blackmailers and corrupt people have come together to tarnish my image." Without naming anyone, the AAP chief said that anyone could "get fame within 24 hours by abusing" him. It was not immediately clear whether his comments were directed at political parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress or dissidents within the AAP.