BUS AND METRO TRAVEL FREE FOR WOMEN IN DELHI

On June 3rd this year, Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, announced free metro and bus rides for women. While this is a new initiative by the Delhi government, it did spark some debate. After a few days of announcement of it, when Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took a bus ride, enquiring with approximately fifty women regarding the government’s novel initiative, none of them seemed unhappy about it. A strong wave of women, all over Delhi, expressed their ire over the “freebies”, and stated that they can afford their travel expenses. While this surely shows how independent and self-reliant women are, it simultaneously echoes their already privileged position.

The initiative will prove to be a major leg up for women who are poor and underprivileged, who hail from the lowest rungs of the strata of society. These women work as house-maids, labors, sellers of various items on the bursting streets of Delhi, and are engaged in some other petty work of the same ilk, to earn a living and make both ends meet.

Their monthly income nears somewhere to seven to eight thousand, of which they unfortunately spend two to three thousand on travels, either by e-rickshaws or on foot. Metro, to them, is a luxury.

Added to this, metro is also a relatively safer means of commute system when compared to auto or bus rides. By making it free, not only women from deprived classes will be able enough to save some money, but their safety, which else compromised, also shall be guarded. The safety issue springs up for women of all classes, who are a part of late night commuters by metro.

The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) will incur no losses. The funding of the entire initiative is entirely under the ambit of Delhi government. The mere presumption of tax hike and the skepticism that male citizens will eventually have to bear its brunt holds no solid grounds.

Many critique its underpinning, knotting it with a move to bolster AAP’s vote bank for the upcoming Assembly elections which is due for the year 2020. But again, if at all it is a  ‘poll plank’, it is a better strategy than fomenting religious or communal hatred, or hinting at majoritarianism, or disseminating disinformation to the masses through the sheer power of rhetoric.

This maneuver is one of the many affirmative actions that should be taken to empower women, since centuries of neglect and discrimination. Since it came to power, the Delhi government has taken many steps for the overall public welfare of the city.  This new undertaking should not be leveled with gender equality. It is primarily about empowerment; because, say, have we ever seen men get uneasy with or question the unequal pay to women for the same job?

Even when a woman carries the same number of bricks as that of a man, she would be paid less because of the entrenched, stereotyped dynamics that are still linked to gender. So, free metro and bus travels are rather related to emancipation, than equality.

This inventiveness forms a part of a larger framework of enterprises needed to give freedom to women and enfranchise them.

AAP Might Split In Punjab On Sucha Singh Chhotepur’s Removal

After Aam Aadmi Party removed Punjab chief Sucha Singh Chhotepur as AAP’s Punjab convener over the allegations of corruption, Aam Aadmi Party is most likely to split, reports suggests.

On Friday, last week former state minister, and AAP leader Sucha Singh Chhotepur was removed from the post of Punjab convener by Aam Aadmi Party. According to the party, Mr Chhotepur was allegedly taking the bribe to assign a constituency to a party candidate for the upcoming Punjab elections.

Mr Chhotepur who was before joining AAP was a member of the Akali Dal and Congress denied the allegation by calling it a conspiracy against him within the party.

AAP is most likely to decide Mr Chhotepur’s fate this week. According to sources, it is most likely that the party will expel him. 

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Source: ThePunjabNews.in

However, it seems like Mr Chhotepur also doesn’t want to continue with AAP anymore, in a press conference, he said, “They not only humiliated me but ensured that I was drowned. I have been reborn. I do not even want their shadows near me. I cannot forget the pain the party has given me.”

Meanwhile, an ultimatum has already been issued to AAP chief, and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal by six out of 12 zonal heads representing 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Punjab, asking to restore Mr Chhotepur and remove two top AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak.

While AAP leader and Member of Parliament Bhagwat Mann in a function on Wednesday, said no AAP leader has approached Mr Chhotepur for reconciliation, a report in The Indian Express said that AAP leaders including the state in charge Sanjay Singh tried to negotiate with him but he refused.

The Support Sucha Singh Chhotepur is getting from AAP volunteers from across the state and six zonal heads, suggests that Mr Chhotepur is most likely to form his own party. It is bit clear that his exit from Punjab’s AAP cadre might bring an interesting turn in upcoming Punjab elections.

Aam Admi Party in Punjab is already diving in controversy over the use of the broom, its party symbol alongside the golden temple’s picture on its youth manifesto; not only this after Navjot Singh Sidhu, changed his mood of joining AAP, it also lost a prominent face of the state.

Aam Admi Party’s march for election next year in Punjab doesn’t seem a smooth walk. Will AAP make it in Punjab, as they did in Delhi?

 

 

Why is BJP Afraid of AAP? Centre Rejects AAP Bills.

Integrity is too noble to be found in Indian politics. The recent developments in BJP rejecting 14 bills passed by Delhi Assembly is an acute instance of this ignobility.

Barry beat Eobard. For that reason Eobard hated Barry. He could not bear to live with the fact that he had lost to someone. Eobard decides to do everything he can, to trouble and torture Barry whenever and however possible, to make Barry’s life a mess. Eobard thought that one day Barry would give up. These lines could very well be used to describe the current situation between the BJP Central Government and the AAP in Delhi. If you thought you heard the last of AAP facing rejection and the Delhi CM lashing at the PM, well it’s just beginning.

In recent events, the Centre has returned 14 bills passed by the Delhi Assembly. Since Delhi is a Union Territory, any bill before being introduced in the assembly has to be vetted by the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) first. It has to come in the form of a legislative proposal first and if found to be not repugnant with Central laws then only it can be introduced in the assembly, let alone passed. A senior HMA official claimed that the procedure had not been followed by any of these 14 bills. A Delhi Govt official responded by saying that they will examine the issues raised by the MHA and work towards amending them as act of prior approval cannot be the sole reason for returning of the Bills. The bills returned included the Jan Lokpal Bill 2015, the Minimum Wages bill 2015, the Delhi School Bill 2015, the Delhi School Education Bill 2015, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2015 and a bill related to working journalists.

“If he was not allowing the Assembly to function because he was not able to digest the defeat?” – Kejriwal lashed out against this move.

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In an earlier issue, President Pranab Mukherjee declined to give his assent to a bill formed by the AAP. The aim of the bill was to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretaries from the ‘Office of Profit’. The Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal retaliated to this by saying that the PM intends to not work himself and will stall anyone who tries to get proper work done. He asked the PM to trouble him as much as he wanted but not to stall work that intends to serve the interests of the people of Delhi. There were other politicians from BJP and Congress who lashed back at the Delhi CM and for a while there was a major war of words among the three parties. Eventually it died away and was over.
The Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal retaliated to this by saying that the PM intends to not work himself and will stall anyone who tries to get proper work done.

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Like before Kejriwal took to twitter to lash out at Modi for this set back. In a tweet Kejriwal claimed that Modi is avenging his loss to the AAP by stalling his work for the citizens of Delhi. In another tweet Kejriwal said that Modi’s slogan is ‘Na kaam karoonga, na karne doonga’ (Neither will I work and nor will I let others work). He even asked why the central government had the right to block the work done by the Delhi govt. ‘Is the Centre the headmaster of the Delhi govt.’ he asked. Other members of the AAP claim that the central government has no intention of passing any of these bills at all.
At one side the AAP claims to be working in every possible way to uproot corruption while the Centre claims that all their bills contain legal loopholes. Who’s to say what is true and what is not true. With the return of these bills the AAP has again started lashing at the central govt. for their interference. Possibly there will be another war of words occurring shortly.

Despite Eobard’s intentions and rivalry, truth and righteousness always prevailed against him. Let’s hope that in this conflict of politicians the truth and right people prevail, especially for the sake of the citizens of Delhi.

Feature image source- kejriwalexclusive