Free water, electricity, health care or world-class primary education are not “revdis“but the responsibility of the state,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday, as he refuted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s joke on government giveaways ahead of the election on the same day, which he likened to the winter cravings of northern India.
“Today, Gagan, the son of a laborer who lost his job at Rs 15,000 per month during lockdown, managed to gain admission into IIT Dhanbad in Computer Engineering. Ask him if Kejriwal is distributing free revdis or build the future of this country,” he said, emphasizing his desire to improve public schools in the capital.
“We have transformed Government Hospitals in Delhi, built amazing Mohalla clinics. Delhi is the only mega city in the world where each of the 2 million people can get free treatment. This includes surgeries up to Rs 30, 40 or 50 lakh “, says Mr. Kejriwal.
“Those who ask me why we give 200 units of free electricity to Delhi and 300 units to Punjab – I want to ask them, how many units of free electricity do you give to your ministers? 4,000? 5,000?” he said.
“Those who abuse me for making bus rides free for women are the same people who spent thousands of dollars on private jets,” he added.
The AAP chief listed the Delhi government’s “Farishtey Scheme” which pays for the treatment of an accident victim at any hospital (“13,000 lives have been saved so far”); free yoga classes (“17,000 people take advantage of this facility”); free pilgrimages to Ayodhya, Haridwar and more.
“Despite so much being free, Delhi has a budget surplus. What’s wrong with ending corruption and using that money to help the public?” he said.
“I’ll tell you what’s free revdis are. There is a big business. He took out loans from many banks and did not repay. The banks went bankrupt. This company paid the ruling party and received no action. It’s free revdi“said Mr. Kejriwal.
“When you forgive thousands of crore loans to your friends, it’s free revdi. When you go on a trip abroad, and you look for contracts for your friends, it’s free revdi“, he said in a pointed attack apparently aimed at Prime Minister Modi.
Earlier today, the Prime Minister, at the inauguration of the Rs 15,000 crore Bundelkhand highway in Uttar Pradesh – which the opposition has branded as ‘half-built’ – warned against this which he called the “revdi culture” of giving gifts for votes and said it was “very dangerous”.
‘In our country today, attempts are being made to bring in a culture of collecting votes by distributing’revdis‘. This ‘revdi culture’ is very dangerous for the development of the country. The people of the country and especially the youth need to guard against this culture,” Prime Minister Modi said.
He said that supporters of ‘revdi culture’ will never create new highways, airports and defense corridors.
“The revdi culture people think they will redeem people by giving away for free revdi. We must overcome their thinking together. I have to delete ‘revdi culture’ of the politics of the country,” Prime Minister Modi said without taking names, as did Mr Kejriwal.