Delhi chief minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday appealed to “honest bureaucrats and employees” of the state government to contact him through SMS or email so they could “work together to solve Delhi’s problems”.
An Aam Aadmi Party delegation has also been meeting senior bureaucrats at the secretariat. “Somebody from the core committee approached me on Thursday and sought my involvement in the Chief Minister’s Office or any other department,” a senior official said.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a janata durbar at the AAP office in Kaushambi, Kejriwal said, “I would request them (bureaucrats and employees) to contact me through messages or email. We will depute good people at good places and want to move ahead with them. I don’t have a magic wand to solve all the problems, but if good, honest and efficient people join us, nothing is impossible.”
“For the first time, there is a Chief Minister who is looking for honest officials to work for him. Otherwise, whenever a new CM comes, they look for officials who can earn them commission through corruption. If honest officials join us, it can help us give a corruption-free government. We have a network and we will find out (who is honest). A team of officials, like present education secretary Rajendra Kumar, is looking for honest and dynamic officials,” Kejriwal said.
But bureaucrats were not amused by the AAP hunt for “honest officials”.
“Why should I have to prove my honesty? I have worked in an upright manner all these years, and nothing takes away from that. Why should I have to send a message to them to prove that I am honest? A bureaucrat does not work for a party, but a government,” a senior official said.
AAP sources said the search for new officials is necessitated by the sweeping changes that the party wants to bring in.
“We know that we have made big promises and we have a limited time frame to pull it off. These are possible, but will not happen if we have to work with people not amenable to change, and clean politics. While everyone will be given a fair chance, there will be zero tolerance for corruption. Any allegation will be probed,” a party member said.