Delhi Underground: A sewak for Delhi

The AAP leadership is being increasingly bothered with questions of party leaders parting ways.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: September 22, 2014 12:45:22 am
A poster put up on a roadsign during campaigning for the Delhi University Students’ Union elections. (Source: Praveen Khanna) A poster put up on a roadsign during campaigning for the Delhi University Students’ Union elections. (Source: Praveen Khanna)

In keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wish, the Delhi BJP did not celebrate his birthday and concentrated their efforts to generate relief funds for victims of the J&K floods. National secretary of BJP and MLA from Rajinder Nagar R P Singh decided to go a step further and put up a note congratulating the ‘pradhan sewak’ on his birthday — a nomenclature adopted by the PM during his maiden Independence Day speech. Now, the MLA has also anointed himself as “sewak” of Rajinder Nagar, while calling for relief funds to be collected for the flood-affected. And for all the tasks done on behalf of the government, credit has to be given to the people, Singh stipulated. “This work has been possible because of your tax money,” a government board read.

Deciphering reality

An anonymous “condolence” message on the “death of the image of doctors”, signed off by “an honest doctor”, was addressed to actor Amir Khan after an episode of Satyamev Jayate, his reality show, spoke about doctors. The message has created waves in the medical community, and has been posted and reposted across social media platforms. The message criticises “sweeping generalisations” of doctors on the show, such as “maut ke saudagar”, “hamare desh ke doctor itne bimar kyun hain”. It also points out factual inaccuracies in the show, which claimed that the need for kidney transplants are downplayed. It also points out that the show incorrectly claimed that the survival rate of dialysis was 15-20 years, as opposed to the actual survival rate of up to five years. The message ends with a wish that “you had spent half a day in the emergency of a govt hospital” to see the work conditions of doctors, among other things.

High on speculation

The AAP leadership is being increasingly bothered with questions of party leaders parting ways. While some of these queries, either by supporters or journalists, have some basis, others border on the ridiculous. “During a visit to the Lieutenant-Governor, people asked why a certain MLA was not present, speculating that he was joining another party. He had high fever and was resting at home. Journalists landed up at his house and refused to leave despite his wife telling them that he was unwell. He emerged, visibly ailing from a lung infection and had to ask them to leave. Only then was the ticker ‘AAP mein daraar’ removed from local television channels,” a senior leader said.

Research and relief

It wasn’t until the consultation of what a senior Delhi government official described as “an enormous pile of files” that Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung agreed to the AAP’s proposal of releasing relief funds for the Kashmir floods. This frantic referring of files went on till late Friday, till the relevant provision was found. The provision stipulates that “funds up to the limit of Rs 35 lakh per MLA per year shall be released on the request of the concerned MLAs for providing relief to victims of national disaster/calamity declared by the government and shall be credited into the lieutenant-governor/chief minister’s relief fund”.

Equal treatment

After the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) cut water and power supplies to the houses of former MPs who refused to vacate their government accommodation last week, officials at NDMC justified their action, stating that they were acting on the directions of the Union Ministry of Urban Development. “If it is a clerk or any other official, they are evicted. Why should the treatment be different for ministers?” an NDMC official said.

Prosecution paralysis

Recently, special courts that are hearing high-profile corruption cases have pulled up the prosecution agency many a times. But this time, a special court got irritated over filing of applications by the defence counsel without “requisite details”. Disposing of separate petitions filed by two accused seeking permission to travel abroad, the special court said, “Without going into the details of the submission, I find it appropriate to point out that I myself have pointed out to the advocates on numerous occasions to file applications containing requisite details and also supported by relevant documents. But perhaps that has not been heeded to.”

Legal & illegal

After the Delhi High Court directed all unauthorised construction at Sainik Farms to be demolished, a group of ex-servicemen approached the court with a plea to get facilities from the government. The petitioners had been allotted land at Sainik Farms as part of a defence officers’ resettlement plan in the 1960s. “There are 45 of the original servicemen who are still alive, but over 18,000 plots have come up at the perimeter of the original colony. We are not getting proper water or electricity supply,” the ex-servicemen have told the court. The court has asked the government to check Defence Ministry records for the details of the original allottees.

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