Updated: May 30, 2022 8:13:12 am
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal Sunday challenged the ruling BJP in Haryana to contest the 2024 Assembly election under the leadership of incumbent Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. He also asked people to change the current regime to get free electricity.
“A journalist told me that the BJP is going to remove (Manohar Lal) Khattar sahab. They are replacing him with someone else as Chief Minister. Have you heard about it? Is Khattar sahab corrupt? Doesn’t Khattar sahab work? I would like to challenge the BJP. If they have courage, contest the 2024 election under the leadership of Khattar sahab,” Kejriwal said, addressing the AAP’s “Ab Badlega Haryana” rally in Kurukshetra.
This was Kejriwal’s first rally in Haryana after the party’s stunning performance in neighbouring Punjab’s recent Assembly polls. Like his rallies in other parts of the country, here too he began his speech with the slogans of Bharat Mata ki jai, Inquilab Zindabad and Vande Matram. In his native state of Haryana, the Delhi CM said: “I like it the most when people call me Haryana’s Lal. Haryana is my birth land. And the land of birth is like a mother. A person can’t pay the debt of a mother and the motherland even in seven lives.”
The rally was held ahead of the civic body polls in Haryana where the AAP leadership has announced to contest the election on the party symbol. Giving a call to support the AAP candidates in civic body polls, the AAP national convener said: “In MC polls, show you strength like people of Punjab and Delhi have already shown. Throw out all these political parties. Give us one chance. We will clean corruption from Municipal Corporations with jhadu and in 2024, we will remove corruption from Haryana. Only AAP can give an honest government. We will end corruption in Haryana too after Punjab and Delhi.”
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Pointing out the delay in Army recruitment, Kejriwal said he would write a letter to the Prime Minister Monday seeking restart of the recruitment process as there were one lakh vacancies in the Army. “Several youths want to join the Army to serve the country. No recruitment is taking place in the Army after 2020. The youngsters are turning over-age,” he said.
The Delhi CM also referred to the alleged suicide by a youth, Pawan, 23, from a village of Bhiwani district who gave up his life last month after turning overage for recruitment. Kejriwal himself is from Siwani town of Haryana’s Bhiwani district.
Referring to the year-long agitation of farmers at the borders of Delhi against three contentious farm laws which now stand repealed, Kejriwal congratulated the farmers of Punjab and Haryana on “forcing the Central government to bow down”. “They (BJP) had turned arrogant thinking that nobody would have a say in front of them.” During the rally, the AAP national convener also read out a list of the recruitment exams whose question papers allegedly leaked in Haryana in 2020 and 2021. Taking on the Khattar government, he said: “When you can’t even hold an exam, what type of government would you run?” Alleging similar practice in other BJP- ruled states too, the AAP leader said: “Have you heard about the Guinness Book of Records? All big records are mentioned in it. The Guinness Book members held a meeting yesterday, in which BJP is being mentioned as a party which let happen the highest number of paper leaks.”
The Delhi CM claimed that his government has given jobs to 12 lakh people in the past seven years, adding that they have plans to give employment to 20 lakh more in next five years. Referring to the visit of the then US First Lady Melania Trump to a Delhi government school during her brief visit in 2020, Kejriwal said: “It was a big thing that American President’s wife came to see Kejriwal’s school. We must have done something. I would like to ask who came to see Haryana schools of Khattar sahab? Has someone even come from Sri Lanka? Has someone come from our country? People come to see your schools only if you will do something.” While referring to the stunning performance of some students of Delhi’s government schools, the Delhi CM said: “Give us a chance. I will change all govt schools of Haryana. I have done this in Delhi. For the past seven years, we have not allowed the private schools in Delhi to increase fees.”
In an apparent offer of free power to Haryana residents in case the AAP is voted to power, Kejriwal said: “I have heard there are a lot of power cuts in Haryana. We have made availability of power for 24 hours daily in Delhi. Do you want 24-hour electricity supply in Haryana too? In Delhi, we have not only given round- the-clock electricity but it is also free. Do you want free electricity? The government needs to be changed, if you need free electricity. Khattar sahab is not going to give free electricity.”
While referring to the recent arrest of Punjab’s health minister, the AAP leader said: “In Punjab, our health minister was seeking money from officers in Punjab. Neither the media was aware nor the Opposition. If there was some other party, it would have asked him to contribute some part of (bribe) in the party fund too. If there was some other Chief Minister, he would have sought 50 per cent as his share. But the Aam Aadmi Party is not like that. We sacked him and sent him to jail. In 2015, a Delhi minister was seeking a bribe from a rationwala. An audio recording landed at my place. Neither the Opposition was aware nor the TV channels. I sacked him and handed him over to the CBI. Even if my son commits badmashi tomorrow, I will not spare him.”
AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Gupta, former Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar and former Haryana minister Nirmal Singh addressed the rally too.
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