After chaos, Kejriwal promises better 'Janata Darbar'
Tens of thousands poured into the open space at the Delhi Secretariat. But the crowds were so overwhelming that Kejriwal retreated to his room in about 45 minutes at the suggestion of Delhi Police.
Later, addressing the crowds from the roof of a single-storey building, Kejriwal said: "We will have another 'Janata Darbar' in four or five days. It will be better organised and better managed."
Three of his ministers -- Somnath Bharti, Rakhi Birla and Saurabh Bhardwaj -- however remained unfazed at their desks, listening to people's grievances and accepting representations from citizens.
Representations meant for the chief minister and his other ministers were also accepted by officials.
Kejriwal, who heads a minority Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, had announced a regular "Janata Darbar" -- with his assured presence on Saturdays -- so that people feel closer to the administration.
Saturday's session was originally to last for roughly two hours. But it suffered premature convulsions.
Kejriwal attended the session for about 45 minutes after which a harried Delhi Police -- worried that he might get crushed by the surging crowds -- escorted him into the secretariat building.
"I wanted to meet Kejriwal but he was taken inside by police. There is no system in place. Such chaos can lead to a stampede any time," moaned 34-year-old Sonu Sharma.
A resident of Seelampur area, Sharma had come to register a complaint against a power distribution company which he told IANS had accused him of power theft and fined him Rs 2.96 lakh.
Pooja Singh, who too wanted to meet Kejriwal, suggested that the next "Janata Darbar" be held at the sprawling Ramlila Maidan where Kejriwal and his ministers took oath Dec 28.
Those gathered at the "Janata Darbar" included a large number of government employees -- including teachers -- who are on contract and were looking for assured employment.
Kejriwal told the gathering that he would get in touch with the concerned government departments and get a report from all of them.
"We will try to sort out this problem within a month," he said.
(Posted on 11-01-2014)