Chandigarh: A day after taking oath as the new chief minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann on Thursday, March 17, announced that his government would launch an ‘anti-corruption helpline’ on the occasion of Shaheed Diwas on March 23. Taking to Twitter, the Punjab Chief Minister said people of the state will be able to lodge complaints of corruption via WhatsApp.
“On the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh ji, we will launch the anti-corruption helpline number. That will be my personal WhatsApp number. If anyone asks you for a bribe, send it to me by recording a video/audio of it. A strict action will be taken against the corrupt. Corruption will no longer work in Punjab,” Mann tweeted in Hindi and Punjabi.
भगत सिंह जी के शहीदी दिवस पर, हम anti-corruption हेल्पलाइन नम्बर जारी करेंगे। वो मेरा पर्सनल वॉट्सऐप नंबर होगा। अगर आपसे कोई भी रिश्वत मांगे, उसकी वीडियो/ऑडियो रिकॉर्डिंग करके मुझे भेज देना। भ्रष्टाचारियों के ख़िलाफ़ सख्त एक्शन लिया जाएगा।
पंजाब में अब भ्रष्टाचार नहीं चलेगा।
— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) March 17, 2022
“Ninty-nine per cent of people are honest, because of 1 per cent the system breaks down,” said Mann.
Calling the move “historic”, Delhi chief minister and AAP’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal said the corruption will no longer work in Punjab. “If someone asks you to pay a bribe, make a video of officer, send it on the WhatsApp number,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.
“Many many congratulations to the people of Punjab. Bribery will no longer work in Punjab,” he tweeted.
पंजाब में भ्रष्टाचार के खिलाफ़ आम आदमी पार्टी सरकार का फ़ैसला ऐतिहासिक। पंजाब में अब भ्रष्टाचार नहीं चलेगा। Press Conference | LIVE https://t.co/onauWALPo5
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 17, 2022
Earlier in the day, Mann had said that he would announce a “very big decision” that no one has taken in the history of the north Indian state. The newly elected chief minister from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took to Twitter to build-up ahead of the announcement.
“A very big decision will be taken today in the interest of the people of Punjab. No one in the history of Punjab would have taken such a decision till date. I’ll announce shortly…,” Mann posted on Twitter, which was retweeted by AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal, triggering speculations regarding the announcement.
Mann replaced Congress’s Charanjit Singh Channi as Punjab CM after AAP’s impressive win in the recently concluded assembly elections. After taking the oath of office in front of tens of thousands of people in Punjab’s Khatkar Kalan village, Mann appealed to the newly-elected AAP lawmakers to not get arrogant and gave assurance to the public that the state government will work all. Congress’s ouster from Punjab and dismal performance in other four states led to the sacking of all state unit chiefs, including PCC boss Navjot Singh Sidhu. Sidhu, who sent his resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday, wished Mann for rising to the occasion and to bring back Punjab on the revival path with pro-people policies.