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New government opens corridors of power to people, Jai Hind replaces sir

Darpan Singh/Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 29, 2013
First Published: 00:53 IST(29/12/2013) | Last Updated: 13:51 IST(30/12/2013)

The Delhi secretariat underwent a complete transformation, opening itself to all.

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Anyone could walk in. Ministers wore Aam Aadmi Party caps sitting inside their offices, their assistants shunned saying ‘sir’; they instead chose ‘jai-hind.’

Women and child development minister Rakhi Birla was heard asking his secretary not to use his official vehicle and take public transport instead.

Visitors did not need to get special passes made to meet ministers and secretaries. The three-four women who have had been assigned the job of making these passes, had their printers switched off, were seen reading magazines and talking about the new government.

True to its name, the AAP government made sure visitors only had to show any identity cards of theirs and they could easily move around the corridors of power, so far open only to a select few.  All floors of the seat of power remained packed with journalists, party workers and even curious visitors.   

Asked why he needs to wear the party cap which says “Mujhe chahiye swaraj (I need self rule) as he is now in government, education minister Sisodia said, “You want to ask who I am asking swaraj from? It is to remind me of the commitment we made to the people. It is to make sure we don’t forget what we need to deliver.” 

The chief minister remained busy throughout the day, meeting officials. But this did not deter hundreds of AAP volunteers and supporters in trying to seek an appointment with him. In a departure from the practice so far, the chief minister’s staff politely gave locations and timings to such people where they can meet Kejriwal as soon as possible.

The casual approach was those in power was on display when transport minister Saurabh Bhardwaj came out of cabinet meeting room, asking mediapersons to help him find his cell phone. “I lost it somewhere. It was a blue smartphone, if any one of you find it let me know.” 

Red beacons were removed from vehicles parked in the secretariat. It was also decided that no personal security officer and escort vehicle will be provided to any official.

“As soon as Arvind Kejriwal left Delhi secretariat, we offered him security cover. But, he again refused our proposal,” Special Commissioner of Police (Security) JK Sharma said.

“Kejriwal told our cops to go back as he has no need for security,” said Sharma, adding: “What should we do if he is not ready to accept the security proposal?”

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