The Sahib Singh Verma Chat
Sahib Singh Verma, the former chief minister of Delhi, made a pretty neat job of answering some very ticklish questions. And while some of the chatters were mollified, others clearly weren't.
Mr Sahib Singh Verma (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:26 IST)
Hello. I am Sahib Singh, ex-chief minister of Delhi. I will like to have a chat on different matters related to politics in the country.
Raju Kulkarni (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:15 IST)
Mr Verma: How did the idea of launching a website come to your mind?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:29 IST)
Raju Kulkarni: Raju, I wanted people to know about whatever I have done as chief minister and get feedback. I think a website is the right medium. Even during the elections, I worked on it. People get a lot of information here and I also learn what they had in mind. I love being techno-friendly; that is why I started the site. I feel this is most useful, through this I get access to lakhs of people the world over.
Nandita (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:17 IST)
Mr Verma: Will you take the blame for the BJP losing the Delhi assembly elections last year? Or the blame goes to the BJP leaders?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:31 IST)
Nandita: Unfortunately nobody can be blamed for that. The people of Delhi still feel the present government cannot even think on those lines of whatever our government did. The people are missing us badly. They feel it was most unfortunate that the government changed. And they are determined to reverse the results in this election.
Shobha (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:20 IST)
Sahib Singhji: Is it true that you still travel by bus for your work> I read a report on your simplicity. Is that true?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:33 IST)
Shoba: It is true that I live in a small house with very few facilities and like a common man. I use cycles, scooters, buses and also go on foot to many places. And I love to behave in this manner.
Jason (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:22 IST)
Hello Mr Verma, sir what is on the BJP's agenda once it comes back to power?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:35 IST)
Jason: We will try to make the agenda set by the NDA a reality. And I will leave no stone unturned to work for my country and reach the goal of which our great martyrs dreamt.
shaliniverma (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:23 IST)
Mr Verma, do you suppose you will get a Cabinet birth if the NDA comes to power?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:37 IST)
shaliniverma: The cabinet is purely the prime minister's prerogative. However, I have to work as a disciplined soldier for him and the party.
Farida (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:24 IST)
Mr Verma, even this time we expect a coalition government at the center. How do you plan to have a stable government this time?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:38 IST)
Farida: This time we will have a comfortable majority. We will have no problems. Also, the partners are almost all tested ones. There is no chance of any problem.
Aneen (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:32 IST)
Mr Verma, why are you so adamant on becoming the urban affairs minister?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:39 IST)
Aneen: I never insisted for anything, and I have already said that it is the prerogative of the prime minister.
Harish (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:26 IST)
Vermaji, nothing has changed since the BJP came to power. The only things you have done are to conduct nuclear tests as well as embroil India in a border conflict.... What about important issues like poverty, education and unemployment?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:41 IST)
Harish: Well now we are getting five years to serve, and issues of removal of poverty and giving employment to everyone will be our main tasks. And that we will definitely achieve.
Anandita (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:35 IST)
Mr. Verma, I am incidentally from your constituency, Kalkaji Extention (Pockets). I always expect local leader like you take care of us along with villages of your area. You must have seen the condition of the road approaching Kalkaji Extention. It's been that way for the last few years.
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:43 IST)
Anandita: During my election tour I went to your area and I saw the deplorable conditions, especially because of the JJ clusters. I am determined to improve it, and you will see the result in the near future.
doniv (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:29 IST)
Hello, Mr Verma, what about the row between you and Mr Khurana. Have guys made up with each other?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:44 IST)
doniv: I always respected Mr Khurana and I still have all respect for him, just like for my elder brother. And an elder brother has the right to be angry sometimes. Now everything is fine.
Sanjay Sharma (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:35 IST)
Mr Verma, isn't it strange that you insult politicians' dignity in this country?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:46 IST)
Sanjay Sharma: The context of your question is not clear.
shaliniverma (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:46 IST)
Earlier you had your own government in Delhi. What did you do for your area at that time?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:50 IST)
Shaliniverma: When I was in the government as minister and chief minister my area covered the whole of Delhi, and we did a lot of work for all sections of society and for all areas. We wanted to do a lot more. The work has already started but will be visible only after a few years. MRTS is one of those things, where we are going to spend more than Rs 30,000 crores. There are other schemes also. I am confident of doing many things after the new government is formed.
shaliniverma (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:49 IST)
Mr Verma, please tell me about your opinion on women's reservation in Parliament. Don't you think women should be given a chance in politics?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:53 IST)
shaliniverma: I am all for reservation for women in politics. But I also feel that ladies are not doing as much in politics as they are expected to. Ladies should also take more interest and work with us to deliver the best when they come in active politics and become members of different elected bodies, after they are given adequate reservation.
Jojo (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:49 IST)
Mr Verma, Delhi is becoming a dangerous city to live in, what with crime against women and elderly on the rise. But besides fighting elections and mudslinging, can't the so-called political leaders do something about it? Or is it because politics itself is infested by criminals?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:55 IST)
Jojo: Delhi needs improvement on all fronts, especially law and order. The new police commissioner has done a fairly good job. He has been given free hand and I hope the law and order situation will certainly improve in the time to come.
Shailesh Joshi (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:51 IST)
Mr Verma: Reports state that BJP is going to lose badly in UP.
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:58 IST)
Shailesh Joshi: I went to the western part of UP and I am confident of getting more seats in this part of UP. The Congress may get a few seats, but that will be at the cost of the Samajwadi Party, which is losing the support of the minority community.
dheeraj (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:52 IST)
How many seats will BJP get in Delhi?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 4:59 IST)
Dheeraj: I am confident of getting all seven seats in Delhi.
Shailesh Joshi (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:55 IST)
Mr Verma: Why are you contesting the election as an MP?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 5:1 IST)
Shailesh Joshi: My party has asked me to contest the election because it feels I have not lost interest in politics, and that I am still engaged in service to the people.
s k (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:56 IST)
Mr Verma, the Election Commission seems to have been throwing its weight around recently, trying to exercise control over the media's right to conduct polls, which is done all the time in other democracies. Will the recent rebuff by the Supreme Court open up the chance for reforms of the Election Commission?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 5:3 IST)
sk: I agree with you. The Election Commission must understand its role and discipline its control and give a fair chance to press to act and react.
Princess (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:56 IST)
Hello Mr Verma... ghar ke chiraag ne hi ghar ko aag laga diya. Are you the chirag Sushma was referring to?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 5:7 IST)
Princess: Better ask Sushma about it. We worked very hard during the election, and have confidence in each other.
Princess (Thu Sep 16 1999 4:57 IST)
You said *ladies are not doing enuf in politics*? I don't believe this! What have the men got to show for having dominated the world all this while? Nuclear bombs and poverty, degradation on all fronts...
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 5:18 IST)
Princess: I want more involvement of women in politics. Because when we will have 33 per cent reservation we need to have more and more activists for the posts. What I see at the moment is that hardly a few ladies are being permitted by their family members to take active part in politics.
I have all respect and regard for women working in politics. But I simply want their number to be increased so that we have enough number of experienced women required for participation after the seats are reserved.
ganesh nadar (Thu Sep 16 1999 5:7 IST)
Will a failure chief minister make a good MP, Vermaji ?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 5:10 IST)
ganesh nadar, the people of Delhi are proud of our performance in Delhi, and the result of my constituency will show whether I failed or succeeded as chief minister.
s k (Thu Sep 16 1999 5:10 IST)
Mr Verma, how do you feel about candidates contesting from constituencies which they have had no prior connection with? Shouldn't a person at least have been residing in an area for so many years, before being a legitimate candidate to contest from there? Otherwise, how would the candidate have any interest in the district, if they are just dropping in out of the blue, to contest there?
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 5:13 IST)
sk: I agree with you. The candidate or any constituency should have his concern in every respect with that constituency. He should come up to the expectation of the people whom he represents.
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 5:20 IST)
I am happy to reply many of your questions. And I hope to reply more after the results are declared and when I come to chat with you again. I am grateful to all the participants and loved to reply the questions. And I am sure they are satisfied.
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 5:20 IST)
Thank you everybody.
Mr Sahib Singh Verma(Thu Sep 16 1999 5:20 IST)