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Public hearing a part of good governance, but should not be organized on streets: Kiran Bedi

Saturday, 11 January 2014 - 3:34pm IST | Agency: ANI

Reacting to the chaos at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's inaugural "Janata Darbar", former IPS officer and social activist Kiran Bedi on Saturday said public hearing is a part of good governance but it should not be organized on the streets.

“All good governments organize public meetings. Many officials and police officers conduct public hearings. But there is a schedule, and there is a method, and there is a certain openness about it. But it does not take place on the streets,” she said.

“Public hearing is organized in offices or, in certain other places which are very well organized. Though, it is a part of good governance. But, there should be a method, and, a purpose for (hosting) it,” she added.

“So, that is what a matured government is. Besides maturity, it is also about experienced government. This is what is lacking in Delhi Government,” she said.

Earlier today, Kejriwal's inaugural "Janata Darbar" or public hearing had to be called off after it developed into a near stampede-like situation at the Delhi Secretariat, and forced security personnel to whisk Kejriwal and ministers, Rakhi Birla and Somnath Bharti, away from the site.

Later speaking to ANI, Kejriwal said:"There could have been stampede had I not left the 'janata darbar'. A lot of people had come just to shake hands with us, greet us.

"It was so overcrowded that I had to leave from there. The crowd was uncontrollable, and we lacked in management, but we have to make proper arrangements from next time. The maximum complaints were from government employees, and on water and electricity issues," he said.

The Delhi Chief Minister further stated that those who had come for the Janata Darbar, had come with a lot of hopes and expectations, and added that he had not expected such a huge attendance.

He said that he would consider holding a Janata Darbar again probably on Wednesday after proper arrangements are made.

Delhi's PWD Minister Manish Sisodia said: "The way we are receiving complaints, it seems as if employees at ground level aren't doing their work.

The opening of the VIP gates of the Secretariat for the aam aadmi or common man - a promise that the Aam Aadmi Party had made in its manifesto - resulted in the security forces being outnumbered by people with a grievance to report to their government.

All roads leading to the Secretariat were barricaded with only pedestrians being allowed.

Among the people waiting for their Chief Minister was the family of a four-year-old boy, who was crushed under a bus on December 31. The parents - father is a daily wager and mother a domestic help - allege the police refused to act against the driver

On Thursday, Kejriwal had announced that his entire cabinet will sit outside their offices at the Delhi Secretariat on Saturday every week and hear grievances from people and try to solve them. On weekdays, he said, one minister will hear grievances from the public.

"Public grievance is a major issue for any government. It is the duty of every government to resolve those grievances. Public grievance is just a symptom, the disease lies somewhere else," Kejriwal had said.

Grievances will be segregated into five categories depending upon their urgencies, he added. 

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