Kejriwal 'mastered art of deceit': Amarinder Singh

Kejriwal a 'master of deceit', BJP polarising Delhi polls: Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said Arvind Kejriwal had done "nothing exceptional" by providing cheap power and healthcare in Delhi and alleged the AAP leader was a "shifty character" who had "mastered the art of deceit and lies to mislead people".

Singh said all chief ministers of Congress-ruled states were providing such amenities to the people and asserted that claims of an AAP wave in Delhi were only a "myth" as in Punjab in 2017, when Kejriwal's party had won 20 seats despite the hype.

Addressing an election rally in Hari Nagar, he also hit out at the BJP, accusing it of converting "the entire country into Shaheen Bagh", using it to polarise elections in Delhi and in the process destroying India's foundations.

Singh said Chief Minister Kejriwal should tell the people what he has done for the progress of Delhi and to provide jobs to people here, instead of talking about the freebies.

"Some people will surely be happy with these freebies but what has he really done for the development and progress of Delhi? What has he done for creating jobs for your children," he said at a public meeting in favour of Congress candidate Surinder Setia.

Singh said that there has been virtually no progress in Delhi in the last five years.

"In Punjab we have given jobs to 11 lakh youths," he said, adding that what Delhi needed was economic and industrial development.

He, however, lamented that both the AAP and the BJP had "sacrificed" the interests of Delhiites in their turf war, and the city, "which saw lots of progress under the Congress regime, had been deprived of any development over the past five years".

He said only the Congress could ensure Delhi’s development and work for strengthening and uniting India.

Targeting the BJP, the Punjab CM said, "They are attempting to polarise the elections here with Shaheen Bagh but they will not succeed, as people have seen through their game".

The Congress leader said the entire country had in fact become Shaheen Bagh with protests against CAA and NRC across the nation.

"There is unrest in universities. Students are on the streets across the country, and are being shot at," he said, adding that this was not the India for which so many had sacrificed themselves.

In contrast to the divisive politics of the BJP, which had weakened the nation, the Congress had always worked towards strengthening India, he added.

Singh said the names of 19 lakh people had been excluded in the NRC in Assam. "Will they put them all in detention camps that they have built,” he said, asking where will all those people, who are being brand as non-citizens, go.

He later said Kejriwal is subsidising power only to a section of customers and making commercial and industrial consumers in Delhi pay through their nose by cross subsidising them.

The chief minister said that the Delhi government had been subsidising residential consumers to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore and this amount had been raised to about Rs 2,600 crore only recently with an eye on the polls. He said even this amount was only one-fourth of the subsidy being given by his government.

"In Punjab, we subsidies power to 21 lakh domestic consumers belonging to SC/BC & BPL Category, 14 lakh agriculture and 1.50 lakh Industrial consumers and spending Rs 9,000 to Rs 10,000 crore every year," he said, adding that electricity rates of commercial & industrial consumers in Delhi are 1.5 times more than Punjab.

The chief minister said that while commercial consumers in Delhi pay Rs 11 to Rs 12 per unit in Punjab, they are charged Rs 7-8 per unit only. Similarly, Industrial Consumers in Delhi were paying Rs 10-11 per unit, as compared to Rs. 5-7 per unit in Punjab, he pointed out.

While Amarinder Singh refused to predict how many seats Congress will win in Delhi in the February 8 assembly election, he said that the party was in a strong position.

He expressed confidence that Setia would emerge victorious from Hari Nagar.

In her address, AICC general secretary Asha Kumari said that Delhi had become an orphan in the tussle between the BJP and the AAP. She said neither of these parties are bothered about Delhi and have their own vested interests in mind.

Unlike Sheila Dikshit, who led Delhi from the front, both AAP and BJP have destroyed it, she alleged.

Amarinder Singh later held a road show in Kalkaji in favour of party candidate Shivani Chopra.

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