With the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerging as a contender and threatening to make the next Assembly elections a triangular contest, Punjab Congress is bringing its Delhi leaders to prepare a report card of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s first year in office and counter the new party.
Kejriwal is in Punjab at present on a five-day tour of the state.
Armed with a copy of AAP’s Delhi manifesto, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Ajay Maken Sunday “cautioned” the people of Punjab to not be “deceived by the hollow promises and false propaganda” of AAP.
“The people of Delhi are now regretting their decision to bring AAP to power,” Maken, who was the Congress party’s chief minister candidate in last year’s Delhi elections, said while addressing the media in Chandigarh.
Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is scheduled to arrive here Monday to “pick holes” in AAP’s claims of development in Delhi, it was informed.
Maken said the Kejriwal government finished a year in office on February 14 but had not fulfilled a single promise. The government, he contended, had not only betrayed people’s trust and faith but has also squandered taxpayers’ money to promote its “so-called achievements” by issuing advertisements in all forms of media, both in and outside Delhi. Calling these advertisements “full of lies”, Maken said AAP is taking credit for achievements of the previous Congress government. Dikshit’s government, he added, had laid the foundation for all development work in Delhi.
Maken alleged that the AAP government has earmarked Rs 526 crore for this publicity exercise even as it has no money to pay wages of employees and pension to widows, handicapped people and senior citizens.
The Delhi High Court is hearing a petition filed by Maken on this issue. On Thursday, the AAP government had filed an affidavit in court and refuted the charges.
According to Maken, among the “great achievements” listed by AAP are an increase in sale of liquor, and publishing of dairies and calendars.
Taking on Kejriwal’s claims to tackle Punjab’s drug menace within two months if his party comes to power, Maken said the AAP government has not set up a single rehabilitation centre in all thee months despite drugs slowly becoming a menace in Delhi, too.
Delhiites, Maken said, are now awaiting an opportunity to teach AAP a lesson, and that may come if by-elections to 13 Municipal Corporation of Delhi wards are held soon.
He also said AAP is intolerant towards internal criticism and pointed to the suspension of two Lok Sabha MPs from Punjab for raising the issue of internal democracy. But three AAP ministers accused of corruption and cheating continue to remain AAP members, he said.
According to Maken, Punjab is going through a tough time and does not need AAP at the helm – he alleged that the party took money to distribute tickets to contest the polls as also for Cabinet berth.
Maken was accompanied by AICC secretary in-charge of Delhi Kuljit Singh Nagra, Delhi unit chief spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee, and DPCC office-bearers Chattar Singh and Bhram Yadav.