After Sisodia was arrested, I realized country should have educated PM: Kejriwal
Sounding the poll bugle in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took swipes at Narendra Modi over the arrests of his colleagues
Sounding the poll bugle in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took swipes at Narendra Modi over the arrests of his colleagues and said the country needed an "educated prime minister". Speaking at a `Jansabha' gathering in Bhopal, he promised free electricity, education and health facilities if his party came to power in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh where Assembly elections are due by year-end. He was accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. .
“People of Madhya Pradesh have given enough opportunities to both the Congress and BJP which ruled the state for 45 and 30 years, respectively. Just give a chance to AAP, and as in Delhi and Punjab, we will provide free electricity, education and health facilities to the people of the state,” Kejriwal said. He then referred to his party colleague and former Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia's arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation in an alleged corruption case. “The day the Prime Minister sent Manish Sisodia to jail, I felt it is absolutely necessary to have an educated prime minister in the country to understand the importance of education,” he said.
Taking a jibe at Modi over his appeal to beat plates during the COVID-19 crisis (to express solidarity with health workers), Kejriwal further said, “If the prime minister is less educated, someone comes to him and advises him to make people beat plates to shoo away coronavirus. He made people do that, but did coronavirus flee? Therefore, it is necessary for the prime minister to be educated," he said. .
Criticizing the prime minister further over the arrests of Sisodia and Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain, Kejriwal said the two had transformed the education and health sectors in the national capital. But the prime minister did not like it as it was against private players' interests, he alleged. Modi will not put behind bars corrupt politicians belonging to the BJP, the AAP leader claimed.
Referring to the `Vyapam scam' related to admissions to medical colleges and recruitment in government jobs in Madhya Pradesh and a scam in the Women and Child Development department in the state, Kejriwal said nobody was sent to jail in these cases. “The philosophy of the BJP is that you are not supposed to do corruption if you belong to the opposition, but corruption is justified if you do it after joining the BJP,” he said.
The AAP formed governments in Delhi and Punjab and got 14 per cent vote share in Gujarat, and hence the BJP began to "throw mud at me," Kejriwal claimed. "Does a corrupt person build schools and hospitals? The corrupt destroy government schools and hospitals for the benefit of private players,” he said, referring to the work done by his arrested colleagues. The AAP would certainly form government in Gujarat in 2027, he said.
Criticizing Modi for carrying out demonetization in 2016, Kejriwal said the PM was "fooled by someone" into believing that it would end corruption and terrorism. Did corruption and terrorism really end after that, the AAP leader asked. A learned prime minister has the knowledge of economy, technology and science, he said. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP will come to power even if people voted for the Congress, Kejriwal said, in apparent reference to the fall of the Congress government in 2020 after a group of MLAs defected.
“Now people have an alternative in the form of AAP. Just give a chance to AAP once, if we do not deliver I will not come again to seek votes from you,” Kejriwal said.
A beginning has already been made with AAP's mayoral candidate Rani Agrawal winning in Singrauli, he added. Punjab Chief Minister Mann highlighted his government's achievements such as establishment of 500 mohalla clinics in one year and provision of free treatment.
Sisodia was jailed as he was educating people by providing good schools which was not in the BJP's interests, Mann claimed. Jain was arrested as he was setting up good hospitals to provide free quality treatment to the people in Delhi which was against the interests of private players, he alleged.
On the Congress, he said, “Congress is not a party for change, but it is now an exchange where MLAs are sold.” Free power, education and health facilities cannot be termed as freebies as they are being provided from increased revenue, Mann said.