On the last day of his three-day tour to Punjab, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met industrialists, traders and various business associations in Ludhiana and Khanna on Tuesday. At the Ludhiana event, he promised to refuse government contracts to politicians and their kin.
“From gravel to buses, cable TV to hotels, Badals have captured every business here. No politician or his family will be eligible to apply for government work contracts under AAP,” he said, at the event held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan in Ludhiana.
Taking up the case of public transport in particular, he said, “Punjab’s bus transport system will be freed from the clutches of Badals and his associates. Even state owned transport corporation has been sidelined by Badals for profits of their own buses. Once AAP comes to power, all buses owned by Badals and politicians will be off the roads.”
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Kejriwal, however, did not explain how he planned to refuse such contracts.
The venue also saw Muslims and Akali Dal supporter protest his presence, blaming his party for the alleged desecration of the holy Quran at Malerkotla last month.
Addressing them at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan of Ludhiana Kejriwal said that AAP too was a victim of goondagardi (hooliganism) in Punjab.
“We are the victims of police goondagardi under the leadership of deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia. Police in Punjab is a complete mess and once AAP comes to power, we will bring discipline in Punjab Police,” said Kejriwal adding that Majithia had filed false defamation cases against him and Sanjay Singh.
“And now this is the latest one. An innocent MLA is being framed in the Quran desecration case,” said Kejriwal, referring to Delhi legislator Naresh Yadav. “People called us leftists, they also called us Naxalites and socialists, but we are aam aadmi. People said that Kejriwal’s government will devastate trade and business in Delhi but today results are here for all to see.”
Highlighting achievements of AAP government in Delhi, Kejriwal said that his government has simplified procedures.
“We have introduced online DS2 form. Now a truck driver entering capital from outside is not harassed and need not fill a lengthy form. And here in Punjab trucks still cannot clear naakas (police barricades) without bribing them,” said Kejriwal. Trying to woo Punjabis, Kejriwal said, “Eh sab public nu tang karan layi, paise khaan layi.’ (All this is done to harass public and eat money).
Many participants complained that they are harassed by bureaucrats and politicans when it came to VAT refund in Punjab. Kejriwal claimed that AAP government in Punjab will clear refunds within a few months