What’s wrong in providing free education and health care: Kejriwal

In Gujarat, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convener defends party’s welfare schemes

Published - August 07, 2022 02:35 am IST - AHMEDABAD

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener on Saturday continued his defence of welfare schemes against the criticism of political parties offering “freebies” or what Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently termed the “revadi culture”.

He asked what’s wrong in providing “free education and healthcare services” to the citizens since it is the government’s mandate to provide such facilities to the taxpaying public. “What’s better, the government providing free education and health or waiving loans of certain corporates?” he said during an interaction with traders and businessmen in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

Mr. Kejriwal is on a two-day tour of the State as part of the campaign for the Assembly poll in December.

“In Delhi, it is our policy to offer free medical treatment to all, whether it costs ₹10 lakh or ₹40 lakh and irrespective of whether you are rich or poor,” he said, adding, “Similarly, shouldn’t the government be providing free and quality education? It is a work of nation-building.”

Despite providing the best quality education, free health care and free power, he said the Delhi government is debt-free unlike the BJP-led Gujarat government which is in the red by over ₹3 lakh crore.

Courting traders

Courting local traders, businessmen and owners of micro, small and medium enterprises, Mr. Kejriwal said his party will form an “advisory body” of traders to guide the government if it came to power in Gujarat with representatives from various sectors.

This was his second interaction with local traders and small businessmen in the Saurashtra region ahead of the State polls. Earlier, Mr. Kejriwal held interactions in Rajkot, the main business hub of the region.

Assuring the businessmen of ensuring ease of business in Gujarat, he offered value-added tax sops and promised that his party would never allow “raid raj” on the business class. “I am not here to ask for donations, I do not need donations. I am here to make traders and industrialists partners in the development of Gujarat.”

Mr. Kejriwal also repeated his charge that the BJP government has created an “atmosphere of fear” through rampant misuse of the state machinery and Central agencies and businessmen and industrialists now fear speaking out against the government in public.

“I am here to make traders and industrialists partners in the development of Gujarat”Arvind KejriwalDelhi Chief Minister

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