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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s style of governance will damage “whatever good is still left” in the administrative system, said BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Commenting on the chaos at the Aam Aadmi Party’s first Janata Darbar (people’s court), the Gujarat chief minister told his party colleagues here that such commotion could have been avoided by the “use of technology.”
Unprecedented crowds turned up at the Delhi secretariat on Saturday morning to participate in the AAP’s Janata Darbar, meant to redress the people’s complaints.
Kejriwal was forced to leave the scene midway fearing a stampede.
“I do not know what they (the ministers) were planning to do,” Modi was quoted by BJP sources as saying.
“Kejriwal and his team are coming to terms with the huge expectations of people amid a media-driven leadership exercise. But how does one process thousands of complaints at one source?”
Be it Kerjiwal’s waiver on power tariff or cut in water rates, the Gujarat chief minister said confusion due to hasty decisions and announcements could leave the system even more damaged, without delivering any relief to the public.
Modi told his BJP colleagues in Delhi about the SWAGAT (State Wide Attention on Grievances by Application of Technology) system of grievance redressal, which has been functional in Gujarat since 2003.
He said it was an innovative concept that enabled direct communication between the citizens and the CM, without people having to throng the corridors of the secretariat.
In Gandhinagar, the fourth Thursday of every month is a SWAGAT day, when the highest office in administration attends to the grievances of the common people, he said.
“There is a three-tier grievance redressal system in Gujarat – taluka, district and state level. All grievances are reviewed by me. The review is done based on the problems solved and not on the petitions disposed,” Modi was quoted by BJP sources as saying.
“Ultimately, the real test of good governance is its grievance redressal system. This should be at the root of any democratic system. People should not only be able to voice their problems freely but also get their problems solved quickly.”
Modi said he was not offering “unsolicited advice” to anyone, but said the online grievance redressal system in Gujarat provided resolved their pending problems once a month. He said Delhi could easily adapt to such a technology-driven approach.
“Grievances are logged in, transmitted and made available online to the officers concerned who have to reply within three to four hours. The departments concerned then have to be ready with the replies before 3pm, when I hold video conferences with all districts concerned. Applicants are called one by one and I examine each complaint in detail,” Modi said.
He said the information sent by the department was also reviewed online in the presence of the complainant and the collector/district development officer/superintendent of police and other officials concerned.
“Attempts are made to offer a fair and acceptable solution on the same day and no applicant has ever left without a firm response to his complaint,” he said.
The Gujarat chief minister suggested that Delhi study SWAGAT, which relies on information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, particularly the Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN).
He said it connected the state secretariat with all central ministries and departments, the 25 district headquarters, the hundreds of district-level offices and all 225 taluka headquarters.