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Govt is not populist anarchy, says Pranab, Kejriwal says dharna not unconstitutional

Without taking the name of the AAP leader, who earlier this week staged a two-day dharna outside Rail Bhawan against the central government, he was critical of Kejriwal’s style when he said ‘elections do not give any person the license to flirt with illusions’.

Addressing the nation on the eve of 65th Republic Day, Pranab, who was a senior Congress leader and union minister before,  said corruption was a cancer that eroded the democracy and weakened the foundation of the state.

If Indians were enraged, he said, it was because they were witnessing corruption and waste of national resources. If governments do not remove these flaws, voters will remove governments.

‘Equally dangerous is the rise of hypocrisy in public life. Elections do not give any person the license to flirt with illusions. Those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is possible.

‘Government is not a charity shop. Populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance. False promises lead to disillusionment, which gives birth to rage, and that rage has one legitimate target: those in power,’ he said.

Meanwhile, defending his two-day dharna in the heart of the capital, Arvind Kejriwal asserted he did nothing against the Constitution and charged police with clamping prohibitory orders after knowing about his protest plan.

In an address on the eve of the Republic Day, he strongly rebutted criticism against him for staging the dharna and said the Constitution does not prevent the chief minister from participating in any protest for people’s cause.

‘I read the Constitution but couldn’t find anywhere that a chief minister cannot hold a dharna. I staged a sit-in to raise the issue of women’s security. The authorities clamped section 144 of CrPC after knowing my plan. It made me think how come chief minister of Delhi became a security threat.’

Kejriwal’s role in leading the protest while holding constitutional office has come under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court which has slammed law enforcing agencies for allowing unlawful assembly of supporters of the chief minister in the heart of national capital.

‘What was the need for imposing section 144 of CrPC? Many people told me that we did an unconstitutional thing. I did not go against the Constitution,’ he said.

He also charged that ‘the media was aligned with one party or the other and was doing negative stories on AAP’.

Kejriwal and his six ministers had sat in the dharna demanding action against five police officials in three separate cases. He ended his dharna after Lt Governor Najeeb Jung sent two policemen on leave pending inquiry.

‘I think if I had taken a bungalow, a big car and huge security paraphernalia and then called a senior police officer and asked him to get me Rs 10 lakh from each police station per month, then everything would have been alright. Everyone would have said what a good CM I am,’ he said.

Resolving to keep fighting to ensure security of women in the city, he said his government would not ‘sit silently’ on the important issue.

‘Security of women is highly compromised. It is of utmost importance to us. The government has formed a committee under the Chief Secretary to set up a ‘Women Security Force’ in the city,’ he said.

‘Last year 1600 women were raped. Did they get their right to life? Ask any woman, any parent. They are afraid and worried whether they would reach home properly or not. Today every woman feels insecure,’ he said.

Kejriwal said the force will provide security to women and will have retired army personnel, police and home guards as its members.
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