Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Friday said Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is trying to scare people by alleging that welfare schemes given to ordinary citizens will destroy the country. “Instead of scaring and creating panic among the public, the Centre should invest in citizens,” he said.
Accusing the BJP-led central government of running a ‘dostvaad’ model, Sisodia quipped, “The BJP has waived Rs 5 lakh crore tax and Rs 10 lakh crore loan amount of their friends. It did not affect the government’s exchequer but free education to poor children, healthcare and electricity have been destroying the country’s revenue surplus!”
“A new practice has started where free schemes for ordinary citizens are looked down on and called ‘freebies’ and ‘free ki rewri’ by BJP leaders. Yesterday, minister Nirmala Sitharaman said how the schemes can destroy the country if they continued with the public tax money… I don’t know what they mean by this, but if the government does not spend money on development and public welfare, it will collapse and the country will go to rack and ruin…,” said Sisodia.
The ‘freebie’ issue has gone all the way to the Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition to stop political parties from promising freebies using public money to fulfil those promises. Chief Justice of India N V Ramana Thursday acknowledged that the impact of freebies promised on the country’s fiscal health was “a serious issue”, but said he was not in favour of derecognising any party over it as that would be “anti-democratic”.
Highlighting the Delhi model of governance, Sisodia explained how welfare schemes introduced by the AAP government are resulting in development and helping ordinary people. “There is another model where the government uses people’s taxes for their welfare, to provide free education, healthcare, subsidy on electricity, free transportation for women and teerth yatra for elders and pensions to senior citizens,” said Sisodia.
Sisodia added the Finance Minister should see how the ‘dostvaad’ model is affecting the public. “If a farmer takes loans for farming and misses to pay even one due amount, the dostvaadi government seizes his land and house… This is their model, they can waive their friends’ loan amount but not the poor farmer’s… The government also doesn’t believe in free education…” Sisodia also said the Centre doesn’t believe in investing in a free healthcare system. “It has destroyed the government hospitals and is promoting private healthcare systems. They don’t care if the poor lives or dies,” he said, and added that the developed countries provide free schemes to their citizens.