Two former top government officials, including a bureaucrat, are to help the AAP government in Delhi realise its promise of ‘swaraj’ and monitor the anti-corruption helpline for the people -- at a token salary of Rs 1 a month.
Former Madhya Pradesh chief secretary SC Behar, the man behind the successful concept of ‘gram swaraj’, that helped bring decision-making powers to the village level in the state, is to work at the token salary to help the AAP government draft its much-talked about swaraj (self-rule) legislation in Delhi.
Former Delhi Police joint commissioner N Dilip Kumar, who is to monitor the AAP government’s anti-corruption helpline to nab bribe takers, will also draw Rs1 per month as ‘symbolic amount’.
“Both (Behar and Kumar) have been appointed as advisors to the Delhi government and will draw a salary of Re 1,” said a top government official.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had decided to choose Behar for the complicated job of drafting swaraj to ensure participation of people in decision making through establishing mohalla sabhas (community meetings).
Behar’s concept of ‘gram swaraj’ in Madhya Pradesh was hailed by many, including foreign university scholars, for empowering village panchayats in decision making.
“Implementing swaraj in Delhi is a challenging job, as it is entirely different than gram swaraj in MP which is a rural state. Delhi is an urban state,” Behar said.
Asked about the salary, he said: “When he (Kejriwal) asked me to work on swaraj and asked me what salary I would take, I said no salary please... just a token money of Re 1 would do.”
Kumar, who earned the sobriquet of ‘sting man’ for carrying out 50 sting operations, says he and Kejriwal share the ‘same wave length’ and this led him to work for the AAP government. “We both (Kejriwal and he) are of the same mind,” said Kumar.
Kumar will monitor the Delhi government’s just-launched anti-corruption helpline that helps people nab bribe takers. Interestingly, Behar is said to be close to Digvijay Singh of the Congress. Asked about his closeness to Singh, Behar said, “My contribution is not to a political party but to the government of Delhi, which happens to be led by AAP.”
The former bureaucrat said he has already started preliminary work for drafting the legislation, which a Delhi minister admitted, will not be a cake walk.
The first Janata Darbar of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet on Saturday ended in chaos after thousands thronged the venue, forcing the AAP leader to leave the scene to avoid a possible stampede. The 45-year-old Kejriwal later promised a better show and soon.
An estimated 5,000 people poured into the open space outsidethe Delhi Secretariat.
But the crowds were so overwhelming that Kejriwal, retreated to his room in about 45 minutes at the suggestion of Delhi Police.
“Next time, we will be more prepared and may hold the Janata Darbar at a stadium,” he said, and apologised to the people for not addressing all their problems.
The CM also apologised for the poor arrangements. According to him, such was the rush that some over-enthusiastic complainants climbed on his desk and the chairs around him.
The number of calls that the anti-corruption helpline had received in two days