New Delhi : Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is making minor concessions with regard to what perks he and his six Delhi ministers will be accepting and what they shall shun.
When Bhardwaj, the Minister for Transport, Food Supplies and Environment, was asked about his new mode of transport, he replied,
“My car did not have fuel and I had given my ATM card to my wife. So I had to used the government car.”
He also defended his cabinet colleague Birla accepting the car saying, “She is a woman and as a minister she has to commute even during night time.”
Asked whether Kejriwal will also accept a government car, the minister refused to answer. In the last few days, some of the ministers had been riding to work in Metro or using other public transport. Kejriwal himself drove to the Assembly on Thursday for the floor test in his WagonR.
After refusing a government bungalow, Kejriwal has also accepted 2 duplex flats — each with five rooms — on Bhagwan Das road in Central Delhi.
The chief minister, however, is insistent that his new official residence is modest and cannot be compared with the bungalow of his predecessor. “I have been given two separate houses, each having five bedrooms. You can take your camera and check the houses. I will be living in one with my family and use the other as my office where we can work till late hours,” Kejriwal told reporters.
He added, “My residence now is a five-bedroom house. Earlier, I was living in a four-bedroom apartment, that is the only difference,” he added.
Kejriwal has repeatedly asserted that his ministers and he continue to be aam aadmi or common people and will not subscribe to the VIP culture that prevails in Indian politics.
But Kejriwal had also initially refused a security cover. “Thank you for offering me the security. But I don’t need any escort or PSO. God is my biggest security,” he had said. But later, when he was mobbed at his residence in Ghaziabad, he had requested for security personnel for ‘crowd management.’
The allotment of the duplex flats saw BJP MLAs come down hard upon Kejriwal in the Delhi Assembly and debunk his claim that AAP will practice austerity.
“Allotment of two big flats to the Chief Minister has exposed the party. This is in total contradiction of their stated position. Their resolve to remain Aam Aadmi has fallen flat,” senior BJP leader Sahab Singh Chouhan said in the Assembly.