By Prateek Kumar
From high-class businessmen to rickshaw-wallahs, Akhilesh Pati Tripathi, M.L.A from Model Town constituency in Delhi never makes a distinction among people and regularly conducts Mohallah Sabhas and field visits to understand the miseries and tribulations that people of his constituency are facing.
In a candid chat with NewsGram, Tripathi describes his journey as a politician so far and the immediate changes he wants to make in his tenure as an MLA.
Prateek Kumar: Nowadays, one of the hottest topics of discussion is a conflict between Kejriwal and Jung. What are your views on this?
Akhilesh Pati Tripathi: This is a matter of contention. Lt. Governor acts as the titular head of Delhi whereas the real power is exercised by the Chief Minister and his council of ministers.
In the Articles 239 and 239AA of the Constitution of India, the functions, powers and duties of the Lt. Governor are defined clearly. He is a representative of the President and acts on the aid and recommendation of the council of ministers. The provisions of Article 239B apply in relation to the National Capital Territory of Delhi, as they apply in relation to the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Pondicherry.
The Sec. 41 of the GNCT (Government of National Capital Territory) of Delhi Act, 1991 clarifies that the Lieutenant Governor shall act in his discretion during a matter that falls outside the range of the powers conferred on the Legislative Assembly like security and law & order.
I think we might file a petition in Supreme Court against this attempt to undermine democracy by the BJP thugs.
PK: Tell us more about your experiences as an MLA yet?
AT: My parents always wanted me to become an IAS or IPS officer but I chose more fruitful methods to bring a change in our society. We have been a victim of past governments’ inaction and the their corruption. Therefore, now we thought to bring a change by ourselves.
Being an MLA is like serving people with holding powers in your hand. Now, I have an authority to ask any department, be it MCD, PWD etc. to take relevant steps if something is wrong. I am indeed feeling proud to serve people in such a manner.
PK: Model Town is a home for rich people. So who are your priorities, High class or lower class?
AT: AAP is a party made for masses and not for classes. Our priority is to serve everybody and we don’t concentrate on a particular section.
PK: What are your major plans for this area?
AT: I have been living here since my childhood and want to see this place as one of the best places in Delhi. Recently, we have started ‘Smart Classes’ in a nearby government school and have provided relaxations in fees and other aids. Education is our main agenda to focus upon. And we have been doing that since I took the charge as an MLA.
PK: AAP decided to make Delhi a Wi-fi enabled city. How much time will it take to turn it into a reality and are there any problems you are facing in the process?
AT: The projected time is February 2016. Yes, we are also facing some problems as approvals from many departments are still pending. Maybe they don’t want us to take these steps as it will definitely reduce the internet net users using their mobile data, which will eventually affect the businesses of mobile operators.
PK: Your views on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent foreign tours?
AT: Modi really needs to stop criticizing India abroad. It’s just like you are going for a job interview and criticizing your last company. He needs to understand that it will not engender trust in the people you are talking to. It’s time for a 64-year-old to develop an understanding of a 24-year-old at least.