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News : Pune to Get AAP’s Anti-graft Helpline
Pune, India, April 15, 2015 -- After having launched its 24x7 anti-graft helpline in Mumbai in August last year, and despite currently facing the heat from its own rebel factions, the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) state unit is all set to launch the service in Pune next week, in a bid to make the city corruption-free.
Although the state unit's party workers are currently divided over ongoing disagreements among the leadership, local Kejriwal supporters have come together over the last week, busy planning the launch of the helpline, which has already been established in Delhi and Mumbai.
The service can be used by the general public to lodge complaints if harassed for bribes by government officials. AAP's state executive committee secretary Abha Mulay told Mirror, "The helpline will officially start soon. We are working on beginning a trial run on a war footing." Groups of volunteers across the city have been getting trained to run the helpline and attend to calls in Marathi, English and Hindi. Volunteers living in different parts of the city are currently being selected.
Asked about the Mumbai helpline, Mulay added, "It has received thousands of calls in a week. Through this helpline, four Railway Protection Force (RPF) policemen were booked for demanding a bribe from a sweeper." Further, a gang of middlemen was caught accepting money from people to issue ration cards. "One official was only seeking money to get the ration card work done — when we approached the anti- corruption bureau (ACB), he said he would finish the task in a week," Mulay said, adding, "A number of FIRs were registered after our intervention, with several policemen also being caught for soliciting bribes."
Around 80-odd volunteers across Mumbai work with co-ordinators to ensure the helpline's utility.
Speaking about the need for such a helpline here, she said, "Pune is largely an educated city, so we expect more of a response here. Apart from graft-related cases, we are also seeking cases of admission-related corruption in city schools and colleges." Non-cooperation from the civic body and police officials will also be addressed here.
A Pune volunteer said, "We will soon issue the helpline number, so that people can start using it from the very first day. We will not entertain personal grievances. Volunteers have been asked not to work like other political parties, which help citizens get ration cards or Aadhaar cards. We are trying to empower citizens to deal with the system."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Aam Aadmi Party:
Aam Aadmi Party is an Indian political party, formally launched on 26 November 2012 and is currently the ruling party of Delhi.
Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2015