Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has set targets for each minister in his cabinet and if that is not met, the people “can demand that the minister be removed,” Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today. Bhagwant Mann has “covered a lot of ground within just three days”, he said, pointing to the initial announcements by the new government.
Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party won a massive mandate in Punjab in the recently concluded assembly elections and Mr Mann took oath as the Chief Minister earlier this week.
The new Chief Minister, Mr Kejriwal said, has already “removed the security of old ministers and gave security to the public”.
Compensation was given for wasted crops. “He also announced Anti-Corruption Action Line, after which the people in Delhi started getting calls… improvements have started on their own,” he added.
In one of his earliest decisions, Mr Mann has also approved filling up 25,000 vacant posts in various state departments, including 10,000 in the police force.
Virtually addressing the meeting MLAs in Mohali, Mr Kejriwal said the MLAs should not “sit in Chandigarh” or they would “get used to horse-drawn coaches”.
“The party’s mantra is that an MLA will roam among the people, will go to villages,” he said.
“The people of Punjab have selected diamonds and we have to work as a team of 92 people under the leadership of Bhagwant Mann… I am just his elder brother,” he added.
In his address, Mr Mann went back to the basics, exhorting the MLAs to be punctual, open an office in every town of their constituency and work 18 hours a day.
“In Delhi, I have been watching. Every MLA and minister is surveyed to see what people say about him. Some negative feedback came in the survey of 21-22 MLAs. Their ticket was cancelled and given to others who also won,” he added.
On Saturday, 10 AAP MLAs, one of them a woman, were inducted into the new cabinet led by Mr Mann, who took oath on Wednesday. There are 18 berths in the cabinet, but Mr Mann has opted for a lean team.
The Aam Aadmi Party had bagged 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly, decimating the Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party combine, and the BJP-Punjab Lok Congress-SAD (Sanyukt) alliance.