NEW DELHI — Central Park, in the heart of the city’s business district, is a popular hangout for the people of Delhi and normally bustles with activity on most evenings. On Monday, Delhi's cabinet ministers led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, ventured out in the blistering heat to the patch of green in Connaught Place to hold a townhall to mark 100 days of the Aam Aadmi Party government.
The ‘open Cabinet meeting’, an initiative by the AAP government to interact with the people who unanimously brought it to power in the state, is being promoted on various social media channels of the party as ‘Jan Samvad'.
"This is a new beginning where the government will go amidst the common man and give a record of the work we have done," AAP spokesperson Sanjay Singh told ANI.
Ye 100 din kiski wajah se pure hue hain? Aapki wajah se: Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia pic.twitter.com/2UOYK60Mng— ANI (@ANI_news) May 25, 2015
The Delhi police issued a traffic advisory to people instructing commuters to avoid Connought Place between 5 and 7 pm.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi listed the central government's achievements at a rally in Mathura, Kejriwal did the same in Delhi.
Delhi: Chief Secy KK Sharma and Principal Secy Shakuntala Gamlin on stage at Delhi Govt's 'jan samwad'. pic.twitter.com/it5HJ7lQxi— ANI (@ANI_news) May 25, 2015
His government, he said, has written to the Lt Governor asking permission for withdrawal of 4000 home guards from Delhi police for deployment in buses.
"CCTV cameras will be set up in all DTC and cluster buses and marshalls will be deployed in buses soon," Kejriwal said, highlighting the immediate need to ensure safety of women in public transport.
"We have taken many steps towards security of women, 47 fast track courts will be set up, 20 fast track courts permitted," Kejriwal said.
Meanwhile, ANI reported that a clash broke out between AAP and Congress supporters outside the venue.
A popular saying goes like, when god is with you, you don’t have to worry who is against you: CM Arvind Kejriwal pic.twitter.com/guFCEvgn1Y— ANI (@ANI_news) May 25, 2015
The public meeting comes at a time when the government is locked in a bitter battle with the Centre over the postings and transfers of bureaucrats.
The central government has issued a notification giving Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung the powers of transfers and postings, reported IANS -- a move that has not gone down well with the state government which is now contemplating challenging the order in court.
At a meeting of its legislators on Sunday, the Aam Aadmi Party described the home ministry notification as "unconstitutional", and the government has decided to call a special assembly session May 26-27 to discuss the central order, according to reports. The state ministers have accused the Centre of running Delhi through Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.
Meanwhile, in a major victory for Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court on Monday said the Lt Governor must act on the "aid and advice of the council of ministers" and that the "mandate of the people must be respected by the Lt Governor in respect of matters which fall within the domain of the Legislative assembly," according to this report in The Indian Express.
(With inputs from agencies)