Auto fares to be hiked without asking consumers as the auto guys supported Kejriwal with his picture on their autos
Prahlad Rao | May 18, 2015
If vehicle owners in Delhi display a picture of Arvind Kejriwal, then some demands of theirs could be accepted. Well, this is what we deduce from his address to the auto drivers and giving in to their demand for fare hike, without considering views of the commuters.
Auto rickshaw drivers in Delhi are not the friendliest of the lot. They rarely go by the fare meter and a commuter’s destination is fixed by the whims of the auto guys. They refuse often and the fare is always rounded off on the higher side.
And to this lot the Delhi’s chief minister was giving moral lessons and asking them to be model citizens.
Speaking at a meeting, he gave credit for the AAP mandate to auto drivers and expressed his gratitude for carrying his picture behind their vehicles in the run-up to the elections.
Glossing over the reality, he said “several of you reportedly harassed passengers during the last week’s DTC bus strike. I hope you won’t let it happen ever again. Just serve the people of Delhi with folded hands for a year and I am certain they will gladly pay you more fare.”
People will pay for better services and not because the chief minister says so. This way, in fact, Kejriwal seems to be encouraging the people of national capital region to opt for personal vehicles and thus contributing to the traffic and pollution.
The government has set up a five-member committee. It will look into the rate of minimum wages, fluctuations in CNG prices, and the price index to formulate revised auto fares at the beginning of every financial year from April, 2016.
Bureaucracy under attack
Kejriwal, who himself has been a bureaucrat few years back, has made an issue out of acting chief secretary’s appointment.
Shakuntala Gamlin’s appointment is only for 10 days and she will be acting CS. There was no reason for him to have objected to her appointment in such strong terms. She is here for just 10 days and also as acting CS. Gamlin has rejected the charges levelled against her by the AAP government.
BJP’s local unit chief Satish Upadhyay said that Kejriwal is a ‘self-obsessed anarchist’, who has ‘no respect for any kind of institution’.
“One fails to understand the mindset of Mr. Kejriwal as no Chief Minister can be expected to stoop so low as to raise constitutional issues at a party rally and condemned constitutional authorities and decisions there,” he said.
Kejriwal has now taken his ugly spat with lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung to the President but may have to wait a few more days for a meeting as Pranab Mukherjee is away on an official visit to Uttarakhand.
Though Gamlin will be the acting chief secretary only till May 24, Kejriwal alleged on Sunday that she was appointed as the BJP-led government at the Centre wants to make “Delhi's government fail". AAP has also accused Jung of acting at the behest of the ruling BJP.
In a letter sent to Jung, Kejriwal said he was “aghast by your questionable instructions” to post Gamlin as acting chief secretary. “In doing so, you have bypassed the democratically elected government. I would strongly request and urge you to remain within the confines of the Constitution and the laws relating to government of the NCT of Delhi,” he wrote.
Jung’s office responded sharply with a statement: “Not a single action taken by the L-G’s secretariat is in non-conformity with the...Constitution. In this case, the CM was duly consulted on file and the relevant notesheet is in public domain.”
At the meeting with auto-rickshaw drivers on Sunday, Kejriwal alleged Gamlin wanted to trick his government into signing documents that will give Rs 11,000 crore to power firms.
Meanwhile, minister for state for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who like Gamlin belongs to the state of Arunachal Pradesh, has accused the AAP government of "character assassination" of a lady IAS officer from the northeast and "disobeying" the Constitution.
The Minister said the officer's appointment was made by the LG as per the rules and the Delhi government was making allegations against her without any proof. "What are charges against her. If you have proof, show it," he said.
Rijiju charged that the AAP government was trying to violate rules and disobeying the Constitution by questioning the authority of the LG. "Merely because you are an elected government does not mean that you have overriding powers and work against rules and the Constitution," Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, said.
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