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With funds from donors, CM Kejriwal keeps promise to pay yoga instructors in capital

Free yoga classes were being conducted through the year as part of a government programme till it became a flashpoint between the L-G and government.

Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia with instructors of Dilli ki Yogashala programme (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

CM Arvind Kejriwal Friday distributed cheques to yoga instructors of classes set up by the Delhi government, stating that money was contributed by donors after the extension of the programme was not approved by the L-G.

Free yoga classes were being conducted through the year as part of a government programme till it became a flashpoint between the L-G and government. While Kejriwal alleged the file to continue the programme and pay yoga instructors has been stuck with the L-G, sources in the L-G office said the file was not sent to them in time. Classes stopped for a few days at the beginning of last month before resuming.

On Friday, a day before Delhi votes in the MCD polls, Kejriwal said, “I was very sad when the L-G banned free yoga classes, but we were determined to not let classes stop, whether or not money comes from the government. Today, the people of Delhi handed over salaries to all yoga trainers, I will not let any project in Delhi stop. We are not doing this for votes, but for the people, vote for whomever you want, your health is my responsibility. We run the government, it makes me the CM of every Delhiite. Right now, we are teaching yoga to 17,000 people. My target is to get 20-25 lakh people to do yoga. We want yoga teachers to start taking more classes; don’t worry about money, we have many donors….”

According to officials, there are around 240 yoga instructors and around 50 donors have contributed to paying. Each instructor is paid Rs 15,000. “It was a sin to stop free yoga classes… But the power structure in Delhi is such that the L-G has the power to shut whatever he wants,” said Kejriwal.

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Officials in the L-G Secretariat said the decision to discontinue the programme was taken by board of governors of Delhi Pharmaceutical Science & Research Uni-versity (DPSRU), under which it was conducted. “Knowing fully well that the Yog-ashala program by DPSRU in its present form was illegal, untenable as per mandate of DPSRU, Dy CM had expected the university to take the unlawful decision of continuing the programme… However, once the university decided to discontinue the programme, the Dy CM first tried to steamroll it via a note and then moved a 1-page note endorsed by CM Kejriwal, asking the L-G to blatantly and illegally overrule the decision of DPSRU… L-G did not discontinue the programme…,” said L-G House officials.

Kejriwal also met traders later in the day and said that the government will simplify norms for traders and digitise licence fee. “We will simplify all norms, make life easier for traders. Will end corruption in MCD in 3-4 months and rid traders from Inspector Raj. We will either end or digitise licence fee system, we will try our best to de-seal shops, simplify building by-laws, introduce a single-window system. We will transform markets like Paris, Tokyo, New York, Washington and will ensure Delhi’s markets standout as the pride of India,” Kejriwal said.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, meanwhile, held a roadshow in his constituency — Patparganj — on the last day of campaigning.

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“The people of Delhi will elect a government that works for them, not those who stop their work in MCD… Today, whenever a person enters Delhi from another state, they are greeted by the BJP’s mountains of garbage first. BJP has made these garbage mountains the identity of Delhi. The life of the people living in the vicinity of these garbage mountains has become hell. People are getting sick due to its stench. The quality of the surrounding land has deteriorated. These garbage mountains have made the groundwater poisonous,” he said.

First published on: 03-12-2022 at 05:30 IST
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