By Gaurav Sharma
New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Two former top government officials, including a bureaucrat, are to help the AAP government in Delhi realise its promise of ‘swaraj’ and monitor the anti-corruption helpline for the people – at a token salary of Rs.1 a month.
Former Madhya Pradesh chief secretary S.C. Behar, the man behind the successful concept of ‘gram swaraj’, that helped bring decision-making powers to the village level in the state, is to work at the token salary to help the AAP government draft its much-talked about swaraj (self-rule) legislation in Delhi.
Former Delhi Police joint commissioner N. Dilip Kumar, who is to monitor the AAP government’s anti- corruption helpline to nab bribe takers, will also draw Re.1 per month as ‘symbolic amount’.
“Both (Behar and Kumar) have been appointed as advisors to the Delhi government and will draw a salary of Re 1,” a top government official told IANS.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had decided to choose Behar for the “complicated” job of drafting swaraj to ensure participation of people in decision making through establishing “mohalla sabhas (community meetings).
Behar’s concept of ‘gram swaraj’ in Madhya Pradesh was hailed by many, including foreign university scholars, for empowering village panchayats in decision making.
“Implementing swaraj in Delhi is a challenging job, as it is entirely different than gram swaraj in MP which is a rural state. Delhi is an urban state,” Behar told IANS.
Asked about the salary, he said: “When he (Kejriwal) asked me to work on swaraj and asked me what salary I would take, I said no salary please… just a token money of Re. 1 would do.”
Kumar, who earned the sobriquet of “sting man” for carrying out 50 sting operations, says he and Kejriwal share the “same wave length” and this led him to work for the AAP government.
“We both (Kejriwal and he) are of the same mind,” Kumar told IANS.
Kumar will monitor the Delhi government’s just-launched anti-corruption helpline that helps people nab bribe takers.
The helpline – 1031 – was swamped with 23,000 calls in just two days and has already led to the arrest of three people so far and created fear among wrongdoers.
Interestingly, Behar is said to be close to Digvijay Singh of the Congress – the party which was hurt most by rookie AAP in the Delhi assembly elections.
Asked about his closeness to Singh, Behar told IANS: “My contribution is not to a political party but to the government of Delhi, which happens to be led by AAP,” Behar told IANS.
The former bureaucrat said he has already started preliminary work for drafting the legislation, which a Delhi minister admitted, will not be a cake walk.
(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org )