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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Nothing unconstitutional in CM holding dharna: Kejriwal

Darpan Singh , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 25, 2014
First Published: 12:22 IST(25/1/2014) | Last Updated: 14:15 IST(25/1/2014)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has strongly defended his widely criticised two-day dharna at the Rail Bhavan saying there was nothing unconstitutional about it.

“I went through the constitution and found nothing to mark it unconstitutional”, he said while addressing a gathering at Chhatrasal Stadium here on Saturday. This was his first official public address after being sworn in as the chief minister. The occasion was a guard of honour from Delhi Police, Delhi Fire Service and NCC, as is customary in Delhi on the eve of the Republic Day.

The apex court had, on Friday, slammed police for allowing Kejriwal to hold the dharna , saying every constitutional authority was governed by the constitution and had to act in accordance with it. " Every institution is a product of constitution. Every individual who holds constitutional office is governed by the constitution," the court had said while seeking response from the union and Delhi governments on a PIL for criminal prosecution of the chief minister and law minister Somnath Bharti.

Speaking on the occasion, Kejriwal was also critical of the media and said the editors were now telling their reporters to do critical stories on the Aam Aadmi Party.
 
Talking about the priorities of his government, the chief minister listed top three  –ensuring safety and security of women, fighting corruption through Jan Lokpal and devolving power to the aam admi through ‘swaraj’.

According primacy to the safety and security of women in the Capital, Kejriwal said he had already set up a committee under the chief secretary to look into the modalities of forming a women’s security force. This was one of the poll promises of his Aam Aadmi Party.
 
About setting up a Jan Lokpal, he said fighting corruption was the biggest challenge for his government and promised to pass a bill in February at the Ramlila Grounds to set up an anti-corruption mechanism.
 
Kejriwal said the idea behind Jan Lokpal was to create fear among the corrupt. Promising to send every corrupt official to jail and dismissal from service, he said change had begun after his party assumed power with auto-drivers and chaiwalas telling him that the cops had stopped demanding bribes.
 
As for transferring power to the aam aadmi, the chief minister said a draft of the Swaraj Bill would be ready in 15 days, which would devolve decision-making power regarding local development works to the mohalla sabhas. He said his government was not here to rule but hand over powers to the people.


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