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AAP billboards urge people to conduct sting


New Delhi, Jan 20 :

People of Delhi woke up to see an unusual billboard put up at strategic locations in the capital – Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking citizens not to say no to demands of bribes from any official or functionary.

“‘Agar aapse koi rishwat maange; to mana mat karna. Ek number dunga uspe phone karna’,” (If someone demands bribe, do not refuse. Call on the number I will give you), read the billboard that carried Kerjiwal’s face.

The move comes after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government launched an anti-corruption helpline this month as part of its drive to root out corruption.

“One such billboard is right opposite my house in sector A in Vasant Kunj perched atop a bus stop,” said 28-year-old Aniruddho Chakraborty, who works with a digital advertising company.

Chakraborty added that the billboards scream out to people to record incidents of bribe demands made to them, record them and then give it to the Kejriwal-led government.

The helpline was launched for those who have been asked to pay a bribe by any official in the capital.

Such people can seek help on phone number 011-27357169, which received over 23,000 calls within two days of its launch Jan 8. The government followed it up with a four-digit easy-to-remember helpline number 1031 also.

“I think such billboards were put up just last week. They have the sole intention of encouraging people to speak up against corruption,” a spokesman of the AAP told IANS.

Soubhik Mukherjee, 28, welcomed the move and said that such a citizen drive can only improve things.

“This is a positive beginning. At least, they are trying to make a difference, contrary to what other politicians have done over the years,” Mukherjee told IANS.

“This will at least put fear in the mind of the corrupt. Such a citizen drive can only improve these sentiments,” he said.

However, there are a few sceptics like 27-year-old Amit Kumar, who spotted such a billboard near AIIMS.

“It theoretically aims to empower the people. However, at a time when audio recordings are not considered as an evidence in courts, I wonder how this will be of much help,” he added.