Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel has challenged Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to a public debate on various issues, including the water, power and transport situations in the Capital. This comes a day after three Ministers responded strongly to the BJP’s allegations about governance in the city.
“The Chief Minister does not have any explanation for the failures of the Congress Government. That is why instead of coming to the fore and responding to my charges, she let her Ministers (Haroon Yusuf, Raj Kumar Chauhan and Arvinder Singh Lovely) respond,” Mr. Goel said.
He added that the Ministers “tried to mislead people with wrong figures and false claims”.
Seeking to stretch the verbal duel, Mr. Goel has now raised a list of 15 questions on the 15 years of Congress rule.
“The Chief Minister should stop playing hide-and-seek and come out in the open to explain her position on these questions,” he said.
Mr. Goel added that Ms. Dikshit owes an explanation to the people about her alleged failure on all fronts. “She should stop fielding her sidekicks, who indulge in empty political rhetoric.”
Mr. Goel also questioned the credentials of some of the Ministers. “Ministers like Raj Kumar Chauhan have no moral right to even talk about corruption as he himself had been indicted by the Lokayukta and departments headed by Haroon Yusuf and Arvinder Singh Lovely are some of the most corrupt and inefficient departments of the Delhi administration.”
Mr. Goel further said: “It is ironic that these Ministers are trying to speak on corruption and efficiency of administration. But this is not surprising. What can you expect from a government which is headed by a Chief Minister who herself has been indicted more than once by the Lokayukta for corruption and misuse of official resources?”
As for the 15 years of Congress rule, the BJP has used 15 criteria to pose 15 queries. It has questioned that if, as per the Congress, Delhi has witnessed unprecedented economic development, then why has the unemployment rate increased from 3.6 per cent in 1999-2000 to 4 per cent today.
Similarly, if Delhi has the highest per capita income, then why did the need arise for providing food security to 72 per cent of the city’s population.
On the power sector, it has asked why power tariffs have been increased by 300 per cent during past 15 years and why are subsidies being given to private discoms.
The BJP has also questioned why 29 per cent of the health budget not spent; and why despite the Government’s claims on unprecedented increase in hospitals and beds, as per the Delhi Human Development Report there are only 2 clinics for a population of 10,000.
Similarly, it has questioned why if the hospitals have been modernised, then the CAG has pointed out that there are not even enough life saving devices and services in Delhi Government’s hospitals.
As for the Congress claim on making several flyovers, the BJP has asked the party to explain why Delhi roads still remain so congested.
On Delhi having the world’s largest non-polluting CNG fleet of buses, it has asked why when 11,000 buses are required for Delhi, DTC is dragging its feet with less than 6,000?
Despite the Congress Government’s claims on increase in water supply, BJP has asked why did CAG underline that half of Delhi does not have proper water supply.
In education, BJP has questioned why 80 government schools have been shut down and why more than 12,000 posts of teachers are lying vacant.
On the treatment for weaker sections in private hospitals, it has wondered why the admission rate is a meagre 3.3 per cent.
And for students from weaker sections, it said while Congress Government claims that special incentives are given to them, what explains the fact that 15,000 seats reserved for them are not filled up?
The BJP has also picked holes in the showcase schemes of the Congress like the Laadli girl child scheme by questioning why among the 5 lakh beneficiaries under this scheme, the failure rate as per the CAG was a staggering 42 per cent.
On social security, it has asked the reasons for rise in crime and lack of social security net and in the field of environment it has wondered why as per the data of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, the pollution level in Delhi has risen by 21 per cent.