AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal interacted with textile traders at a private hotel in Surat Sunday. Kejriwal assured the traders of solving their problems if the AAP were to form the next government in Gujarat. The entire hall was packed with people from the textile industry as well as other walks of life.
The Delhi chief minister said, “The BJP is claiming that it will get a good number of votes but, in reality, all those votes will come to the AAP.”
Arvind Kejriwal further said, “There is fear everywhere and even among the traders and businessmen. The people are scared to admit that they are supporting the AAP. Once we form the government, we will remove fear from society… The traders who work hard and earn money are being treated as thieves and tax defaulters. We will give respect and honour to the traders.”
During the interaction, the host of the event, retired income tax officer and AAP Majura candidate PVS Sarma, raised the issue of the BJP government making it mandatory for the people to obtain the Ashantdhara (disturb areas) certificates while selling or giving their property on rent in Surat. The applicants, Sarma alleged, have to face a lot of difficulties and bribe government officials including policemen to get the certificates.
Manoj Kejriwal, a textile trader in Surat and a native of Haryana, raised the issue of defaulting firms. He said, “I have been a victim of such firms and people. Today, they are roaming freely and I feel great pain over losing money to them. When we approach the police to register an offence, they don’t do it. On the other hand, the police register offence against us.”
Responding to Manoj Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister said: “The issue of firms and people defaulting is not only limited to Surat or Gujarat but is true for the rest of the country as well. We will bring a special Act against such defaulters. We will also ensure that you get your money back. The Act will solve the issue. We will give a protected and free environment to the traders and businessmen.”
He added, “We have also planned to set up an integrated textile park to promote the garment industry in Surat. The park will have export facilities and generate more foreign revenue…”
Arvind Kejriwal further said, “We will stop ‘raid’ raj in the state. I believe that the purpose of inspectors raiding a business firm is to pocket money rather than generate revenue for the government. When we formed the government in Delhi in 2015, the revenue was Rs 30,000 crore. We took a decision not to carry out raids on business firms and trading offices, today our revenue has reached Rs 75,000 crore.”
Gujarat will go to polls in two phases next month – December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will be held on December 8.