In a test of Delhi’s unique ties with the Centre, the new AAP government will, within weeks of assuming power on February 14, introduce the Lokpal Bill in the assembly — the last AAP government fell on this issue when ally Congress refused to pass the Bill. The anti-corruption hotline will also be revived within days.
Deputy Chief Minister-designate Manish Sisodia, AAP MLA from Patparganj, on Thursday said that the Lokpal Bill is likely to be brought to the assembly in its second sitting.
“The first assembly session is going to be the swearing-in ceremony. In the second session, we will try to bring the Delhi Lokpal Bill. The Bill will be introduced in the assembly,” Sisodia said.
With only three BJP MLAs in the Opposition in the new 70-member House, the Bill will sail through. But it will require ratification from the Central government.
Asked if the party expects similar obstacles regarding the Bill, Sisodia said, “We will look at the kind of objections that emerge. It is likely to be introduced in the second assembly session. Let us see what objections are raised. There is a new (central) government in power now.”
Listed at the top of the AAP’s 70-point action plan for Delhi, the Delhi Janlokpal Bill is aimed at a time-bound investigation on corruption cases. As per the provisions of the bill, all Delhi government officials, including the Chief Minister, Ministers and MLAs will be investigated upon by the Lokpal.
A new section in 2014 Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill in the AAP’s manifesto reads, “Public officials of Delhi will be required to furnish an annual declaration of assets. Any undeclared assets will be liable for confiscation.”
The AAP government will also revive the anti-corruption hotline in Delhi that was implemented in January last year and pulled off after Kejriwal resigned as Chief Minister. According to sources, over 3,000 complaints are pending despite the AAP office having forwarded them to government agencies and departments.
An initiative of the AAP government, the helpline had a call centre comprising 15 graduates which was set up at an undisclosed location with two administrators — one a former CEO of a software company and the second a social activist — who were in-charge of the helpline operating out of the CM office.
Sources said the call center will be revived and a new set of volunteers will take over the helpline, guiding complainants to give in their grievances relating to corruption.
On Wednesday, Chief Secretary DM Spolia had met with AAP party leaders who had handed him their manifesto. The helpline too was discussed at the meeting. On February 19, secretaries of the Delhi government will submit individual presentations of their departments to Kejriwal.