Targeting the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his comments on “revdi”, or freebie, politics, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday that people who call welfare schemes provided to ordinary citizens “free ki revdi (sweets)” are “traitors” to the country.
Asking what was wrong in providing free education, health and electricity to ordinary citizens, Kejriwal said, “Since the past few months, an atmosphere has been created across the country… Those people who question the free schemes and call it the key reason for the government’s revenue loss have written off crores of debt and waived off loans worth Rs 10 lakh crores taken by their friends, who took the public money and escaped the country. This has not affected the government’s vault, but schemes for poor citizens are affecting them.”
“It is very saddening to hear that on the 75th Independence Day, at a time when we all should come together and bring out a revolutionary plan to make education, health, electricity and water accessible for the public, these people…are trying to create an atmosphere to put a stop to all these schemes.”
The Chief Minister also accused parties of either promoting “dostvaad” (favouritsm) or “parivarvaad” (dynastic rule) but did not name any party.
“There is one party which is a textbook example of ‘parivarwaad’ and there is another party which is a textbook example of ‘dostwaad’. The time has come to take a pledge to end both ‘parivarwaad’ and ‘dostwaad’ to bring ‘Bharatvaad’ (Indianness).”
“In logon ne kuch chand logon ka 10 lakh crore ka karza maaf kar diya hai. Kaha ja ra hai un chand logon mein kai inke pakke dost the. Par iske baare mein koi baat nahi kar raha hai. (These people waived loans worth Rs 10 lakh crore. It is said that some of these loans were of their friends. But nobody is talking about this.) They just don’t want to provide free education to children using government funds that are actually meant for this,” he said.
“They care about a little group of people who help them with money. They have waived taxes for these groups of people and some of them are their close friends. These people have increased the GST on basic daily essentials and food items being used by ordinary citizens because they don’t care if the poor live or die,” Kejriwal said.
Demanding an investigation, he said, “Amendments should be introduced against these people who are waiving loans amounting to the tune of lakhs of crores, and they should be declared traitors.”
He also demanded an inquiry into how many people were given relaxations in loans and whether the party received money from them for election campaigns.
“They want that only ministers and leaders are given free electricity. Why is it wrong to provide education and electricity to the poor… Hindu dharma main humein sikhaya jaata hai agar kisi ke paas thoda bhi paisa aa jaye toh vo piau kholta hai, logon ko free paani pilata hai. Pyaase ko paani pilana hamare hindu dharm main punya ki baat maani jaati hai (Hinduism teaches us that if someone earns even a bit of money, they give water for free. Giving water to the thirsty is considered to be a good deed),” he said.
Kejriwal added that he studied government welfare schemes from across the globe and found that about 39 countries provide free education to children, nine countries, including Canada, Brazil and the UK, provide free healthcare, and 16 countries, including the US and Germany, provide unemployment allowances to citizens. “But no government has given undue benefits and waived crores of loan amounts for the personal benefit of their friends. That is why these countries are richer than ours,” he said.
The Chief Minister also asked governments to provide free education, healthcare and free electricity up to 300 units to every citizen. “I demand, on behalf of 130 crore people, that each and every child, be it from a rich or poor family, be provided free education; every citizen should be provided free electricity and each household should be provided subsidy on electricity up to 300 units. Those who are calling this a freebie scheme and free ki revdi should be declared gaddar (traitor) to this country,” Kejriwal said.