Delhi CM presents his version of a recent conversation with PM
GN Bureau | March 11, 2016
It may sound odd but the Yamuna, the venue of the three-day long World Cultural Festival being organised by Art of Living Foundation of Sri Sri Ravishankar, is flowing dirty because prime minister Narendra Modi hates Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal!
Kejriwal, who claimed this during an hour-long interaction with women journalists from the Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC), said that a comprehensive plan involving central and state governments to clean the Yamuna had taken off well but was stalled after the heightened tension between him and Modi government over a CBI raid on his key aide, Rajendra Kumar.
“Yamuna can never be cleansed by one government or department since at least four government departments control it,” he said. The river and its banks are looked after by Delhi Development Authority [DDA], water resources ministry, Delhi Tourism and Highway and waterways ministry. “I had proposed that a special purpose vehicle [SPV] on the lines of Delhi Metro be set up to do away with the multiple controls on the river. This agency should be entrusted with the exclusive job of reviving the river.”
Kejriwal claimed the proposal had found favour with the Modi government and several rounds of consultations were held. However, after the CBI raid, the process got derailed.
“They don’t even talk to me now,” he said.
Kejriwal also gave excerpts from his August 25 meeting with Modi. He claimed that after he was given an audience by Modi, the meeting went like this:
Kejriwal: You are angry with me. Tell me what I should do [to take our talks forward].
Modi: …. Hummm
Kejriwal: Mein ek chauthai state ka aadha chief minister hoon. [I am a one-half chief minister of a one-fourth state]. You are the prime minister of a country. Please tell the LG [Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung] and home minister [Rajnath Singh] to cooperate with my government.
Kejriwal: I am ready to cooperate in all the schemes you have launched. I will give 100 percent results in two years and even give credit to you. But tell them [LG and HM] to stop squabbling with my government.
Kejriwal: Please tell me if I said anything wrong.
Modi: Have you come here to tell me this? Don’t you keep saying these things on TV?