'Arvind Advertisement Party': Congress digs at AAP over ads in Gujarat by Punjab government

Congress alleged that the Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government is unable to pay salaries of employees but spent Rs 36 crore in two months on advertisements in Gujarat

September 13, 2022 06:21 pm | Updated 06:21 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Ajoy Kumar. File

Congress leader Ajoy Kumar. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu photo library

The Congress on Tuesday accused the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP of getting its Punjab government to spend on advertisements in poll-bound Gujarat, calling it the "Arvind Advertisement Party".

The Congress alleged that the Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government is unable to pay the salaries of employees but spent ₹36 crore in two months on advertisements in Gujarat.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar said the AAP should be called the “Arvind Advertisement Party, Arvind Actors Party, and Arvind Aish Party” for indulging in advertisement politics and corruption.

"In 2015, the AAP spent ₹81 crore on advertisement through TV and print. In 2017-18, ₹117 crore; in 2019, ₹200 crore; in 21-22, about ₹490 crore. Under Sheila Dikshit's Delhi government, the advertisement budget was ₹11 crore," Mr. Kumar said.

Dikshit was the longest-serving woman chief minister of Delhi who steered the Congress to victory for three consecutive terms in 1998, 2003 and 2008. She died in 2019 at the age of 81.

Mr. Kumar said the Punjab government is unable to pay salaries, but TV channel owners are happy, especially in Gujarat, because Mann has spent ₹36 crore in two months on advertisements in Gujarat.

He alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi spent ₹19 crore on advertisements for schemes of education loan for students, but gave scholarship to only two students.

Mr. Kumar asked if the Kejriwal government’s policy was so successful then why the number of students was rising in private schools.

The pass percentage under the Sheila Dikshit government in Delhi was 90% which has now come down to 81%, the Congress leader claimed.

While in Punjab, two lakh students have dropped out from schools since the AAP came to power, he claimed.

Mr. Kumar said the AAP government was just inaugurating infrastructure projects started by the Sheila Dikshit government.

He also accused the AAP of indulging in corruption through the Delhi liquor policy.

"On a ₹350 liquor bottle, the government used to get ₹223 in tax, the great Kejriwal has reduced that to ₹1.9 and said this is the world's best policy. Please understand the corruption, if you have ensured such a profit to private players where is the money going? It is going in Gujarat polls, Himachal polls, in their minister's pocket, in his home," he alleged.

Mr. Kumar also asked if the AAP was following the RSS’ ideology.

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