Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday took to twitter to ask why people, who are worried due to inflation, should not get access to free education, medicine and electricity, and said that by calling such things free, the common man should not be insulted.
Mr. Kejriwal was commenting on a news clip in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that tax payers get sad when they see that free “revdi” is being distributed with the money collected from taxes.
“People are quite worried due to inflation. Why should they not get free education, treatment, medicines and electricity? Politicians get so many facilities for free. Banks waived the loans of so many rich people. By calling it free revdi again and again, do not insult the common man,” Mr. Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.
The political war of words on the culture of freebies has been going on since July this year when Mr. Modi, while inaugurating an expressway in Bundelkhand, called the culture of distributing revdis “very dangerous” for the county, its development and well-being. Since then, in the run-up to the Gujarat Assembly elections, several leaders from the BJP have attacked the AAP for distribution of freebies.
Mr. Modi, speaking after conducting virtually the ‘grih pravesh’ ceremony of 4.51 lakh beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) housing scheme in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district on Saturday, had said, “Every taxpayer must be thinking (today) that as I am celebrating Diwali, the poor brothers in M.P. too are rejoicing during the festival of light. He is getting a pukka house. His daughter’s life will improve. But when this taxpayer sees that the money (tax) collected from him is being spent on the distribution of revdi (freebies), he is pained,” Mr. Modi said.
He added that several taxpayers were writing to him against the revdi culture. “I am glad that a big section of society has resolved to free the country of freebies,” he added.
In Delhi, the flagship scheme of the AAP, giving free electricity to consumers, has from this month been made optional. Consumers have to send a message and opt to continue receiving subsidy on their electricity bills.
When announcing that people had to opt for the electricity subsidy, Mr. Kejriwal had said that he had received letters from people asking for the scheme to be optional and they did not want to receive the subsidy.