Delhi CM seen dozing off during PM's I-day speech
NEW DELHI: When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was delivering his speech from Red Fort on the occasion of 70th Independence Day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seated in the VVIP enclosure next to senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung was found dozing off during the address.
Defending Kejriwal dozing off in between the speech, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia attacked Prime Minister stating that the speech was boring. “Looks like, the speech of PM Modi was boring,” Sisodia tweeted. Further Delhi Culture Minister Kapil Mishra said, “If at all Olympics had a medal for the most boring public speech then Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have received gold.”
Later in the day, addressing a gathering at a function to celebrate Independence Day, Kejriwal claimed the Centre was chipping away at the elected government's power through a system which was akin to the national capital being governed by the colonial “Government of India Act, 1935”.
In his Independence Day speech at Chhatrasal Stadium, Kejriwal said he cannot fathom why their democratic rights were being "taken away". He claimed the citizens of Delhi were being made to feel that the value of their votes were less as compared to other states where electors have the “right to choose governments with powers”.
“Under the Government of India Act 1935, people had right to choose their representatives, but Britishers had powers to run the government. At present, the Centre has established the system of the the Raj-era law in Delhi. In Delhi, people can select the Chief Minister, MLAs and form government but they don't have the power to govern with full rights. Are we half citizens? Despite Delhiites giving taxes, I can't understand as to why the democratic rights are being taken away from the people of Delhi," Kejriwal said.
He said people of Delhi have been choosing their governments, which had been given some rights, for the last 24 years, “but in the last one-and-a-half years powers are being taken away by one by one”.
He said that despite being left with less power, his government has delivered on several fronts which were being discussed across the globe. The AAP government had released a draft bill on statehood earlier this year.
“People are angry over this. Why the value of a Delhi citizen's vote is less than citizens of other states like Chhattishgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha? In other states, the value of an elector's votes is 100, but in Delhi, it is 20. Are the people of Delhi less patriotic?” he asked.
He also declared that minimum wages in Delhi will go up by about 50 percent and urged Prime Minister to implement this throughout the country.
“Those who have less in life should have more in law. So we have decided to increase minimum wages in Delhi by about 50 per cent,” Kejriwal announced. He also added that the decision would be notified after a Cabinet meeting next week.
“The gap between the rich and poor increased due to the way previous governments functioned. The rich got richer and the poor became poorer. Now it is our government's responsibility to improve the lot of the poor through policies like this,” he said.
Once the notification is done, the minimum wage in Delhi for unskilled worker will increase from Rs 9,568 to Rs 14,000, for semi-skilled worker from Rs 10,600 to Rs 15,600 and for skilled worker from Rs 11,600 to Rs 17,000.