New Delhi: Delhi’s Social Welfare minister Sandeep Kumar would have in no circumstances anticipated the reaction that he received from Chief Minister and AAP supremo over the former’s attempt to rid Delhi streets of the menace of beggars.
As part of this drive which was set to begin on Monday, the minister had formed ten teams which were tasked with picking up beggars from across the city and producing them before a Metropolitan Magistrate. The Magistrate would then decide whether to let them off or send them to beggar homes.
However, the response that the minister received from his boss has not only put the entire exercise at rest, it would definitely have caused a major dent in the minister’s self-confidence.
"Most inhuman and futile exercise that social welfare department could think of. (I) am directing them to stop it immediately," Kejriwal tweeted this morning.
Kejriwals direction over Twitter to stop the planned move "immediately" caught Kumar, who has been pushing for the drive over the last few weeks, unawares.
Immediately after Kejriwals outburst on the micro-blogging site in the morning, Kumar is learnt to have directed his team to wind up the proposal.
Sources said Kumar had not even consulted the Secretary of the department before charting out the roadmap of the drive to make Delhi beggar-free, that was to begin on Monday.
"The issue is more complex and has to be dealt with more sensitively. And the blueprint prepared by the minister had conceptual flaws which was bound to create controversy," an official said.
Social activist Harsh Mander, who has worked for the citys homeless over the years, criticised the plan saying the same strategy was adopted before the Commonwealth Games, resulting in disastrous consequences.
"There are two ways to make a city beggar-free. One is to create a social security system for vulnerable and destitute people and the other is to drive them out. A threat is used to frighten people away. The same thing had happened before CWG when a large number of people ran away in panic," Mander added.
(With PTI inputs)