As arson and violence rocked Northeast Delhi, the Congress Monday hit out at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying he cannot remain a mute spectator. Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken said the CM cannot absolve himself of the responsibility of restoring peace in the national capital.
Talking to The Indian Express, Maken, who was MoS (Home) in the UPA government, said Kejriwal, “by just appearing helpless… is further eroding the credibility of the institution of the office of the chief minister. We very much need the credibility of the institution of the office of the chief minister. Otherwise, why would people vote in these elections?”
He said both the Delhi Police and the Delhi government should work in tandem. “Delhi Police is with the central government while district officials like the SDM and the DC are with the state government… So the Chief Minister cannot straight away absolve himself of the responsibility. He should have set up a helpline… Similarly, the L-G and the Home Minister also cannot absolve themselves,” he said.
“As the Chief Minister, why shouldn’t and why didn’t he call an all-party meeting and discuss across party lines? Why shouldn’t he call the leader of the opposition, the likes of (Delhi BJP president) Manoj Tiwari, leaders from the Congress and sit with all of them together and discuss how to tide over the crisis? Who stops the Chief Minister from doing this?” he said.
“He should also form peace committees in such areas. Delhi Police would not be able to form peace committees. He should have established a hotline with the Lt-Governor and coordinated with him on an hourly basis… The only response which they are doing is tweeting and laying the blame on the central government. He should have risen to the occasion… They won the elections in all these places; at most of these places, MLAs are from the AAP. They should have formed peace committees.”
“In peace committees, they could have included mandir pradhans, masjid maulavis, important social activists, opinion makers, doctors in that areas, some influential shopkeepers… besides local MLAs and other elected representatives… he should have put a minister in charge of such committees and they should have hit the ground by now,” he said.
Maken said leaders like BJP’s Kapil Mishra and others who are openly instigating the mob are responsible for the violence.
“If the Chief Minister calls an all-party meeting, if all the leaders are there, he can talk to them. He can tell them please control your leaders. Imagine a scenario where all the top leaders… all of us together, we are going out and asking people to maintain peace and not indulge in violence, it will have an affect. Why can’t we all do this? If anyone who can take an initiative at the political level, it has to be the Chief Minister. It can’t be the L-G, it can’t be the Police Commissioner,” he said.
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