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  India   All India  18 Mar 2022  Punjab govt to launch anti-corruption helpline on Mar 23: CM Bhagwant Mann

Punjab govt to launch anti-corruption helpline on Mar 23: CM Bhagwant Mann

Published : Mar 18, 2022, 2:04 am IST
Updated : Mar 18, 2022, 2:04 am IST

The Punjab CM said he was not threatening any officer or an employee

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann. (PTI)
 Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann. (PTI)

Amritsar: He said the anti-corruption helpline number to be launched on the martyrdom day of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh will be his "personal WhatsApp number" and enable people to upload videos of corrupt officials asking for a bribe or indulging in other malpractices.

Mann made the announcement taking a leaf out of AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's book, saying he would tackle corruption in Punjab the way it was tackled by his party's government in the national capital.

Endorsing Mann's initiative, Kejriwal welcomed his announcement and said he eradicated corruption in the national capital and now Mann and his ministers will run an honest government in Punjab as well. Recalling how the AAP government, during its 49-day stint in Delhi, had asked people to provide video or audio of corrupt officials, Mann said “with this, corruption ended completely in Delhi.” “In coming days, we will launch such a helpline which will be my personal WhatsApp number and it will be launched on March 23 - the martyrdom day of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh,” he said in a video message. “If anyone demands a bribe from you, do not refuse it. Record a video or audio of it and send it to this number. I guarantee you, my office will examine it and no corrupt person will be spared and strict action will be taken," he added. “Corruption has infested like termite,” he said, adding “perhaps it will be the biggest announcement in the history of Punjab. Such an announcement was never made in Punjab”.

Mann said it will be his "personal WhatsApp number", asserting that his government will root out the corrupt system and also promising that he will not let the people of his state be harassed. The Punjab CM said he was not threatening any officer or an employee. “Ninety-nine per cent of the Punjab government employees are honest and there is only one per cent such people who are wrong and corrupt,” he said. “I will not let officers and employees be defamed for just one per cent,” he added while stating that he stands firmly with honest officers and employees. Mann also took on previous governments, holding them responsible for the corrupt system in the state. “It is only the AAP government which can act tough against corruption. The rest of the other parties spoiled this system. From top to bottom, their leaders, officers and collection of 'hafta vasooli' (protection money) from policemen, they used to do it. All this money either went to their parties or in the pockets of ministers and leaders,” he alleged.

Mann said the AAP does not need such illegitimate money. The chief minister also told all officials and policemen that they would not receive any call for 'hafta vasooli' or for any transfers or postings. He said the corruption will be rooted out.

“We will set this system right together. People, government, officers and employees -- we all will root out this corrupt system. We will develop such a system where people's work is done without any hassle or bribe,” Mann said. “I will not let the people of Punjab be harassed and it is my promise. We together will make a Punjab of Bhagat Singh's dreams,” said 48-year-old Mann, who took oath as Punjab chief minister on Wednesday. Soon after, Mann made the announcement, Kejriwal, in an online briefing, endorsed it, recalling how he had done something similar in his first stint in Delhi that lasted 49 days. "When I had formed the government for the first time, I had also issued a WhatsApp number.

During those 49 days, we took action against 30-32 officials by sending them to jail. Corruption was eradicated in Delhi and the phone became the biggest weapon of empowerment of the common public," he said.

The AAP stormed to power after winning 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab assembly, decimating all rival parties.

Tags: bhagwant mann, anti-corruption
Location: India, Punjab, Amritsar