Delhi

Manish Sisodia slams BJP on ‘freebie’s issue

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the Centre of extending benefits to “friends” by taxing the poor, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also hit out at the BJP-led Central government alleging it of promoting ‘dostwaad’ (undue favours to friends).

In a press conference held on Friday, Mr. Sisodia said while the Delhi government runs welfare schemes for crores of citizens, the BJP runs the ‘dostwaad model of governance’, through which it gives thousands of crores to a few of its ‘friends’ in the form of loans and tax waivers.

Mr. Sisodia also responded to the charges levelled by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her press conference on Thursday, in which she accused the Delhi CM of “trying to bring in a sense of worry and fear in the minds of poor”.

“The ‘dostwaadi’ government thinks waiving taxes worth ₹5 lakh crore and loans worth ₹14 lakh crores for its super-rich friends would bring development, but giving free-of-cost education and healthcare to the people will destroy the nation,” Mr. Sisodia said.

“Is giving better facilities to crores of people a ‘freebie’ or waiving loans and taxes worth lakhs and crores for friends of politicians a freebie?” he asked.

The backdrop

The BJP has been trying to corner the politics of AAP, which is contesting elections in several States with promises of free electricity and education, as ‘Rewdi politics’ (politics of freebies).

The war of words between the two parties intensified in the backdrop of Mr. Kejriwal on Wednesday announcing a monthly allowance of ₹1,000 for women in Gujarat if AAP is voted to power. He had earlier promised 300 units of free electricity and ₹3000 unemployment allowance to the State’s youth. AAP leaders, including its national convenor, Arvind Kejriwal, have retaliated to BJP’s ‘freebies’ remark by accusing the party of ‘dostwaad’.

On Friday, Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said since Mr. Kejriwal’s entry into politics, he has only been busy levelling false allegations. “Throwing mud on others without any facts and figures to sustain is his nature and signature,” he said. 

Ridiculing the poor

On Friday, Mr. Sisodia said that the BJP is “ridiculing the poor” and urged it to desist from demonising the “aam aadmi” for availing of welfare schemes.

“In our country, the poor are mocked when welfare schemes run for them are called ‘free ki rewari’. The ‘dostwaadi’ government thinks providing basic facilities free-of-cost to the public is a crime, which is why India is failing on every index of education, healthcare and public welfare,” he said.


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Printable version | Sep 4, 2022 2:52:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/manish-sisodia-slams-bjp-on-freebies-issue/article65762716.ece