Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Convenor Arvind Kejriwal organised a live Q&A session with the 'aam aadmi' on Sunday, July 17, from 11 a.m on topics like the arrests of his MLAs, developments in the education and health departments of the city, plans for the development of sports facilities, the arrest of Kejriwal's Personal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, among others.
Kejriwal also said that the AAP government would contest the elections in Gujarat if the people of the state wanted them to. He also talked about the disqualification of 21 Parliament Secretaries of his government for holding office of profit.
Citizens asked him questions via phone calls, text messages or social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag "#TalkToAK".
— Talk To AK (@TalkToAK_) July 17, 2016
— Talk To AK (@TalkToAK_) July 17, 2016
Users were also given the option to submit their questions, along with their details like name, mobile number and the city they belong to on the website talktoak.com.
2:15 p.m. IST — "We have constructed new sports tracks in schools and elsewhere. About 77 school grounds have been turned to open grounds. Players who wish to go abroad for tournaments will be provided with more money for their expenses. We are also working towards setting up a sports university which means that if a person passes out from that university, he/she will get a degree which will be equivalent to any academic degree. We have come with something called Mission 100 - an initiative to spot talent for national and international tournaments. All expenses will be borne by the Delhi government."
2:10 p.m. IST — "When I wanted to appoint a personal secretary, everyone suggested that I hire Rajendra Kumar. The investigation is underway. If he is guilty, punish him. Double his sentence."
2:05 p.m. IST — "I have told my MLAs that this is the second freedom struggle. If you can't handle it, resign."
1:55 p.m. IST — "Since the Bhartiya Janata Party came to power, only one Chief Minister's office has been raided out of 31 Chief Ministers in the country. For the PM, there is only one corrupt CM and that is Kejriwal. They are afraid of my honesty. They've put their entire police force behind us to trouble us."
1:45 p.m. IST — "When I went to Gujarat and met the people, I realised there is an environment of oppression in the state. And people have decided that they need to be taught a lesson in the upcoming elections."
1:30 p.m. IST — "What was the need to increase the salary of the MLAs ?" a citizen asked Kejriwal.
Kejriwal responded saying that people in the Delhi Municipal Corporation work without a salary but still live in bungalows and own cars. "Where are they getting all the money from? Today, an MLA is paid Rs. 12,000 per month. It is not possible to run a house in this amount. So we have increased the salary to Rs. 50,000 which, I feel, is not much. They need this amount of money to meet the daily expenses of their family. If you dont' pay them, you create a way for corruption."
1:25 p.m. IST — Twenty-one MLAs are Parliament Secretaries in AAP government working without salary and benefits. Why do they need to be given a post if they are not given any perks ? "MLAs work because they wish to work for the people. We've given them different responsibilities."
"When we sent them to schools as MLAs and not Parliament Secretaries, they would be told to go to the area under their control because they were MLAs. That's the reason we had to appoint them as Parliament Secretaries. When they are not getting any salary or perks, how is it an office of profit?"
1:20 p.m. IST — "We spent Rs 75 crore on advertisements in on year and not Rs 526 crore as propagated by the RSS."
MTNL line has been opened again.
1:13 p.m. IST — I requested the PM to give me two years and I would make Delhi look like London. He didn't listen to me. Had the Centre not created a situation similar to India-Pakistan in Delhi, we could have done four times the work we have done till now."
1:09 p.m. IST — "We built 8000 new schools for which we need 20,000 new teachers. We have 15,000 guest teachers whom we wanted to hire on a permanent basis. The Lieutenent Governor rejected our proposal. They are not giving us land to build hospitals. They dismissed the Commission of Inquiry I set up for safety of women."
MTNL line is closed. Users can call on the SMS number.
1:05 p.m. IST — "We had sent 14 bills to the Centre for approval. It's pending since eight months. Bills include the Jan Lokpal Bill and the No Detention Policy bill."
12:58 p.m. IST — Kejriwal was asked: On one hand you say that PM Modi doesn't allow you to work, on the other hand you put up huge advertisements put up to boast about the achievements of AAP?
Kejriwal says that they have done all the work he just talked about. It's not imaginary. "I invite you come and check for yourself," he said.
12:53 p.m. IST — "Can't we waive the loans taken by farmers if we can do so for the biggest businessmen of the country ? I requested the PM to look into the matter. I also told him to implement the Swaminathan Report and also provide medical treatment for free."
12:49 p.m. IST — "We worked for farmers as well. When their lands are acquired by the government, they were given 54 lakh per acre for a Rs. 3 crore plot. We passed an order and increased the rate to Rs. 4 crore."
12:45 p.m. IST — "Access to water is a fundamental right. One family has free access to 20,000 litres of water. We were criticised. But our revenues increased to Rs. 173 crores. We saved 3 million gallons of water every day. Every household in Delhi will have water through pipelines by Dec 2017."
12:42 p.m. IST — "I raised the issue of farmer suicides at the Inter-State Council meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
12:39 p.m. IST — "Electricity infrastructure in Delhi is really weak. Transformers have to be set up. All MLAs are looking for land so that we can have world-class infrastructure."
12:37 p.m. IST — "We reduced the electricity rates by half after coming to power."
12:35 p.m. IST — "Access to quality health services is, I think, almost like a fundamental right."
12:33 p.m. IST — "On the third level are the big hospitals. Tests and medicines are provided for free in such hospitals."
12:29 p.m. IST — "On the second level is the poly clinic which is for a little serious diseases. There are seven to eight specialists and a few ultrasound and x-ray machines. Treatment is free. We have built 22 such clinic around Delhi."
12:25 p.m. IST — "America has also praised this effort. A report about such dispensaries was published in the Washington Post after a reported visited one such mohalla clinic."
12:22 p.m. IST — "Now there are 100 such dispensaries around Delhi. By Dec 31, 1000 more dispensaries will be built."
12:19 p.m. IST — "At the lowest stage were the mohalla clinics for minor diseases. We thought there should be a dispensary in every mohalla where people could get proper treatment. There are 212 types of tests conducted for free in such clinics. Doctors and medicines are also free."
12:15 p.m. IST — "I sat with experts and came up with a three-tier system to solve the problem in Delhi."
12:12 p.m. IST — "In the health sector, the condition of government hospitals was really bad. When I went to Punjab, people took me to a local dispensary. When I reached there, it was locked. There was no doctor or nurse."
12:09 p.m. IST —"You can do without a proper road. But if you don't educate a child, how will the country prosper ?"
12:05 p.m. IST — "The 'No Detention Policy' of the Centre must be scrapped. Children are not required to give exams till the 8th standard due to which they don't study. In the 9th standard, they fail. Students are now facing depression and trying to commit suicide. We have passed a policy in Vidhan Sabha regarding this and have sent it to the Centre."
12:01 p.m. IST — "All I want to say is 'Don't mess around with the youth of this country. Don't mess around with the education of this country.'"
11:56 a.m. IST — "If this can happen in Delhi, then it can happen anywhere in India. Only political will is needed."
11:52 a.m. IST — "We increased our eduction budget by 100 percent , but the Centre reduced its budget by 25 percent from 82000 crore to 68000 crore. They've increased it by 5 percent this year."
11:49 a.m. IST —"We made sure that the schools reduced their fees. Those schools which want to increase their fees have sent in applications. Their accounts are being checked. If required, we will permit them to increase their fees, otherwise not."
11:46 a.m. IST — "My son studies in a school in Noida. I could have easily called in any school and got him admitted. But I didn't put in a 'sifarish' for anyone."
11:43 a.m. IST — "There is goondaraj going on in some private schools. They are increasing their fees even when it is not required. No other government had the courage to stop them because their own children studied in those schools."
11:40 a.m. IST — "We are happy to say that we built 8000 new classrooms which will be handed over by the end of this month. We decided to build 200 new schools out of which 45 schools are completed and land has been finalised for another 100 schools."
11:36 a.m. IST - "We saw that there were 150 students in one class in most of the schools - way more than required. I believe that there should not be more than 50 students in one class. Manish went around Delhi to find out how many classrooms were needed."
11:33 a.m. IST - "To improve the conditions of government schools, Manish Sisodia went around 1100 schools in Delhi and took care of four things - clean drinking water, clean toilets, a security guard and cleanliness of schools."
11:30 a.m. IST - "We decided to increase the eduction budget from Rs 5,000 to 10,000 crore in our first Cabinet meeting. "
11:27 a.m. IST - I always believed that putting money into education is an investment."
11:23 a.m. IST - "We saw that the condition of government schools was terrible. There were no toilets for girls, no drinking water. There was a dearth of quality teachers and classrooms."
11:19 a.m. IST - "We focused on four things after we came to power – Education, health, electricity and water."
11:15 a.m. IST - "We have saved around Rs. 350 crores by reducing the cost of building flyovers."
11:13 a.m. IST - "Earlier, the cost of constructing a flyover would increase tremendously. But after our government came to power, a flyover that cost Rs. 325 crore was built in Rs. 200 crore."
11:10 a.m. IST - "We have always believed that there is a dearth of intent and not money in politics.. But now, work costing Rs. 100 is being completed in Rs. 60-70."
11:07 a.m. IST - "I went to Goa recently where I interacted with around 1000 students. I was impressed by the kind of questions they asked me which is why I came up with this idea to host a live session with the public."
11:05 a.m. IST - "I wanted to interact directly with the public. We keep talking to the media but this time, we decided to look for a way to directly talk to the 'janta'. A government can only face the public if it's honest."