A day ahead of the Delhi government’s ‘Talk to AK’ initiative, the organisers of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s interaction with the public have received more than 20,000 queries from across the country over a wide range of issues.
While most questions are from states where Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has decided to contest assembly elections, people from other parts, too, want to know more about the model of governance of the 2012-formed AAP.
“The response is overwhelming. People are asking questions on a range of issues from civic to health and corruption,” said a Delhi government official ahead of the July 17 interactive session that permits queries via, emails, phone calls, text messages and social media.
A wing of the organisers is busy segregating questions that have come in through Facebook, Twitter, SMS and email.
Top AAP brass noted that ‘Talk to Ak’ was not to be like Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat radio programme, which also permits ideas suggested by the public. “That is more of a monologue, while we are into a detailed interaction with the people,” pointed out a senior leader of the party.
The Opposition BJP in Delhi said ‘Talk to AK’ should ideally have restricted itself to issues related to Delhi. “If Kejriwal wants to answer questions related to Punjab and other states, then AAP should bear the cost of publicity and telecast of this programme ,” the party’s state president Satish Upadhyay said.
Kejriwal, an IIT graduate who has worked in Indian Revenue Service, will interact with people from across the country on Sunday, starting at 11 am. The interaction will be live-streamed on the website, www.talktoak.com . The portal shows a contact number for those wanting to ask live questions. The session will be moderated by internationally-reputed singer-composer Vishal Dadlani, a pioneer of Indian independent music.
According to officials, most of them are asking about the AAP’s plan for Punjab and the nascent party seeks to resolve the problem of drugs in that state. Expat Indians, too, have submitted queries.
The 2012-formed AAP, with broom as its symbol, is running a high-octane campaign in Punjab ahead of the assembly elections next year. The party founded by Kejriwal, 47, will also contest in Goa and Gujarat.
“People are showing interest in the work the Delhi government has done in the sectors of health and education,” the official said. “Many want to know about mohalla clinics and their possible implementation in their states.”
Sources said some sought to know about an ongoing tussle between AAP and the central government over a range of administrative issues. “Some are asking why union government is not letting the state administration work,” the official said. “Many have send in queries on corruption as well.”
According to senior leaders with the APP, the idea behind ‘Talk to AK’ is to to get a pulse of people’s impression about the party and its functioning at the political as well as administrative levels.