May 18, 2015 1:40:12 am
Addressing autorickshaw drivers on Sunday morning, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said corruption had indeed ebbed in Delhi. He gave an example to support his claim. “My daughter had to get a learner’s licence. She stood in line and, when her turn came, she asked what documents were required,” he said. An official told her about the documents required. “She told him, ‘Uncle, kuch le-dekar kar lo. It’s very urgent and I am willing to pay whatever you ask for’,” Kejriwal said. The official first looked at her phone to see if she was recording the conversation and then asked her to leave. She returned with all her certificates and told the official that she had found them. “When he read her name on the certificate, he asked, ‘Are you the CM’s daughter?’” Kejriwal said.
Last week in Bawana, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal distributed compensation cheques to farmers who have lost their crops to rain. In all, 28 farmers received the cheques from Kejriwal, shaking hands and getting photographs clicked with him. As their names were announced, two octogenarian farmers, helped by their grandchildren, walked up on stage. But each tried to meet the CM first, saying it was his turn. “Toh tu hi chale jaana itni jaldi hai toh (Then, you go ahead if you are in a hurry),” each said to the other until the chief minister intervened and assured that both would get a chance to be in the spotlight.
IP&TAFS officer Ashish Joshi frequently hit newspaper headlines over the last one month after he was repatriated to his parent cadre by the Delhi government. However, Joshi’s mails to the deputy director of the Directorate of Information and Publicity, which also landed in the inbox of hundreds of journalists in Delhi, seemed not to have elicited any response from deputy director Mahesh Maurya. So on Friday, Joshi wrote yet another mail to Maurya, pointing out the alleged arbitrary action of the Delhi government in ousting him from DUSIB. The mail, again marked to journalists on DIP’s mailing list, read, “I have been conveyed about your disquiet. I won’t send you emails further.” Joshi then told Maurya that he will, in future, express his views on his blog ‘Private musings of a public servant’. In the blogspot that Joshi started on Friday, he wrote his first post ‘Need to restore a culture that respects civil service’.
The spate of road rage incidents in the capital has set police thinking on ways to deal with the problem. That said, police seem unhappy with the media attention such incidents are drawing. A police officer said, “Why is the media so Delhi-centric when it comes to coverage of crimes and other incidents? As if road rage incidents happen only in Delhi and nowhere in the world. Where is the balance in coverage as far as such incidents go?” “It perhaps explains why things aren’t federal but so central in our country, after all. Because the media’s focus at the end of the day is only Delhi. Do we ever hear about things in the remote parts of India?”
After he released a purported audio conversation with AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, alleging horsetrading by the party, Rajesh Garg, former AAP MLA from Rohini, recently told media persons that he was not a “blind critic of Kejriwal”. Garg seems to have had a change of heart after that. In a series of tweets, Garg, who was not given an AAP ticket to contest the Delhi Assembly polls, said, “Delhi CM is Promistitute.”
Hare and tortoise
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia appeared before a city court, which had pulled up the AAP leaders for not appearing in the Rail Bhawan agitation case. On Friday, the chief minister arrived in court 10 minutes before schedule. Sisodia, however, arrived 90 minutes late. Because of the delay, the court deferred the hearing until Sisodia arrived. “Let accused number two (Sisodia) appear before the court. I will then hear the matter,” the court said.
During a hearing on the air pollution PIL, when the court pulled up the government for not filing their reports in time, amicus curiae Kailash Vasdev suggested that instead of imposing costs on the government, the court should issue orders to plant 1,000 trees by next week as penalty. The court agreed that it was a “good idea”, but did not issue any such direction.
Spinning a myth
At a press conference at AIIMS, where a research paper on epilepsy was released, references were made to a “popular comedy serial”, where, in a recent episode, a person who had seizures similar to epilepsy was attended to by having him smell a shoe and socks. “Why will patients listen to doctors when stars reiterate myths? For a whole month or two, our OPD time at AIIMS was spent explaining to patients and their kin that smelling a shoe cannot stop fits associated with epilepsy,” a doctor said.
Seeking a discount
A 19-year-old boy was stopped by a traffic constable at a signal near Majnu-ka-Tilla for overspeeding. The constable asked for his driving licence and told him that he would have to pay a fine of Rs 400. The boy pleaded that he should let him go. The policeman was in no mood to be lenient. The boy finally tried to negotiate the fine amount and asked the constable if he could pay only Rs 300. The constable, visibly irritated, shouted, “Yeh koi pansari ki dukaan hai kya? (Is this a grocery shop?)”
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