An appeal to the PM to speak up against communalism and corruption in his party.
– by Arvind Kejriwal
Dear Prime Minister,
Your government has completed nearly four months in office now and its performance is being widely discussed. People have mixed feelings.
They believe that you are an excellent orator. But your own partymen and ministers are doing exactly the opposite of what you speak, and when they do that, you remain silent. This has perplexed many people.
For instance, your speech on Independence Day impressed many. You said that we should shun communalism for the next decade, since communalism does not help anyone. People were happy to hear these words. But just a few days later an MP of your own party, Yogi Adityanath, delivered hate speeches.
Your partymen tried to spread hatred in the name of ‘love jihad’. People were surprised. How was it that your own partymen were not listening to you? People expected that you would admonish Yogi Adityanath and others in your party who indulged in spreading communal hatred. But you chose to remain silent, which disappointed Indians.
You spoke against UPA’s corruption during Lok Sabha elections. It was one of your main campaign planks. You had promised a corruption-free India. Recently, you went to the extent of saying — “Na khaunga, na khaane dunga.” (neither will i take bribe, nor will i allow anyone to take bribe). People were happy to hear that.
There was a feeling that from now on, the corrupt would be punished and honest people would be rewarded. But when your health minister Harsh Vardhan removed a very honest officer, Sanjiv Chaturvedi, from the post of chief vigilance officer at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, for no reason, it was a major disappointment.
The entire country knows how Chaturvedi has been fighting against corruption. His work has been appreciated by none less than the president of India and a parliamentary standing committee. People expected your government to reward such people.
Both media and public have severely criticised Chaturvedi’s removal. Everyone expected that you would intervene and get Chaturvedi reinstated as CVO of AIIMS. But when you remained silent on this issue also, people were further disappointed.
A few days back, the Union home ministry issued a notification severely curtailing the powers of Delhi’s anti-corruption branch (ACB), stripping it of the power to probe central government employees for bribery. This has turned it into a completely ineffective body. How can you remove corruption by curtailing the powers of ACB? To remove corruption, you need to provide ACB with adequate resources, effective powers and honest manpower.
People had hoped that since you have always been speaking so strongly against corruption, you would certainly reprimand your home minister and ask him to withdraw this notification. But you remained silent on such a critical matter also.
There were strong rumours that the son of one of your ministers accepted bribes for transfers and postings. When you came to know about it, you apparently called the father and son and scolded them. People felt so good when they heard this, though your office issued a statement on August 27 calling such reports as malicious and denied any such incident. My humble request is that next time, if any minister’s son accepts a bribe, kindly hand him over to the police in addition to scolding him.
A vice-president of Delhi BJP was caught on camera offering Rs 4 crore to an Aam Aadmi Party MLA to defect. BJP’s Delhi unit has been trying its best to form a government dishonestly. People are desperately hoping that you will stop your Delhi unit from doing this. But you have again preferred to remain silent.
The Supreme Court recently observed that those leaders facing serious criminal charges should not be made ministers. But at least 13 of your ministers face such charges, including murder and bribery. People hoped that you will immediately remove them, yet again you remained silent.
You had repeatedly accused PM Manmohan Singh of inaction when our soldiers on the Pakistan border were being beheaded and when the Chinese were violating our borders. People liked your speeches which matched with their patriotic feelings whenever you raised this issue.
But Pakistan and China are violating Indian borders with greater frequency since you took over. China’s attitude is even stranger. At a time when you are according such a warm welcome to their visiting president, they entered deep into our territory. So, people are wondering whether there are any compulsions that first Manmohan Singh and now you can’t take those effective steps which you had been demanding all along?
During elections you had promised ‘achche din’. The country has been waiting since 65 years for ‘achche din’. However, it is becoming extremely difficult for the middle class and poor people, who voted for you, to make two ends meet due to sharp price rise. You have all the power now. You have full majority in Parliament. People can live without ‘achche din’ for some more time. But we sincerely urge you to do something to contain prices and provide relief to people from inflation.
Mr Prime Minister, you have been given a historic chance. There are huge expectations from you. However, bypoll results show that people are slowly losing hope. We hope you will not let this historic opportunity slip.
The writer is former Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener.