Arvind Kejriwal has asked Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to hold 'Janata Darbar' for an hour every day.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to hold 'Janata Darbar' (public hearing) for an hour every day on the lines of the Aam Aadmi Party government in the national capital, pointing that he too held independent charge of some departments such as the police and the Delhi Development Authority.
Mr Kejriwal's suggestion sent across to Raj Niwas in a letter comes days after the AAP leader made it mandatory for ministers and senior officials alike to allow citizens to walk into their offices to air their grievances for an hour every day; from 10 am to 11 am.
The revival of a practice that he had scrapped earlier was part of Arvind Kejriwal's energetic stress on good governance after his party's humiliating defeat in the Delhi civic elections and the debacle in Punjab and Goa elections.
But there are indications that his brainchild has met with less than enthusiastic response from bureaucrats. In Delhi's complicated division of powers between the elected government and the Lieutenant Governor, Mr Baijal's office can veto any decision of the elected government.
In his letter to Lt Governor Baijal, news agency Press Trust of India reported, Mr Kejriwal said if he were to meet the public to hear the grievances, it would not only be appreciated by everyone but also "set an example for all officers that if LG and chief minister themselves are meeting public, then they should also meet."
The Chief Minister also asked Mr Baijal to avoid calling meetings of officials between 10 am and 11 am, pointing that "sometimes" these meetings prevented officials from being available in their office to hear the public.
There has been no word from Raj Niwas if Mr Baijal would accept the request. There have been Lieutenant Governors such as Tejendra Khanna in the late nineties who opened a grievance cell in his office for the public to lodge complaints on the phone. But neither was it something that went down well with then Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma nor was it very effective in redressing the complaints.
(With inputs from PTI)