Congress leader Alka Lamba on Thursday took on Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal over his politics around freebies. Lamba, who was in the AAP before she returned to the Congress, said Kejriwal should be focussing on providing jobs and houses instead of doling out free services.
Lamba said the people of Delhi can take care of their power and water bills if the government provides for their basic necessities.
“Arvind Kejriwal says freebies are his USP. But, if you ask people about it, they would say they don’t want freebies, they want houses, jobs and relief from inflation. They are saying that if he can provide these three things, they will take care of their electricity and water bills,” Alka Lamba told Hindustantimes.com
The Aam Aadmi Party government had come to power in 2015 on the back of many promises including free water to people if they consume less than 20,000 litres. Over the next five years, the Kejriwal government expanded it to cover free electricity up to 200 units. As AAP prepared to make a pitch for the state elections due next month, his government announced free public transport for women in national capital Delhi.
The schemes, which AAP believes has helped the party make lives easier for millions, have also drawn criticism from rival parties, primarily the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.
Alka Lamba, who was elected as an AAP legislator in 2015 but exited the party last October after a bitter falling out with the AAP leadership, said though she had quit the Congress to join AAP, said she had only changed her party but not ideology.
Alka Lamba had quit the Congress in December 2014, nearly 20 years after she took her first steps in politics when she contested and won the Delhi University Students’ Union election to become its president on a ticket from the Congress’ students wing, NSUI.
Launching a scathing attack on Kejriwal, Lamba said in his six years as the AAP boss and the chief minister of Delhi, he has transitioned from a perpetual protester to a “power-hungry” leader.
“In these 6 years, Kejriwal has forgotten all about his three main promises of Jan Lokpal, containing corruption and Swaraj. The man who used to be at the forefront of protests is nowhere to be seen during the students’ protests against the newly amended citizenship law. The students of Jamia and the sisters of Shaheen Bagh are looking for that old Kejriwal,” she said.
Alka Lamba said people “have seen the real face of Arvind Kejriwal” and shown him the mirror during the 2017 municipal elections, the Delhi University elections and the Haryana assembly elections.
“People have noticed his (Kejriwal) transition and have seen his real face. They have shown him the mirror during 2017 municipal elections and the Delhi elections. In Haryana, AAP got fewer votes than those cast in favour of NOTA” she said.
The Congress leader also alleged that since Kejriwal came to power, the graph of Delhi’s development has gone down. Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had swept the 2015 Delhi, winning 67 seats. The BJP had won three seats and the Congress drew a blank.
The assembly election in Delhi will be held on February 8 and the counting of votes will be done on February 11.
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