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Only AAP can provide corruption free governance to Gujarat: Arvind Kejriwal

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Only AAP can provide corruption free governance to Gujarat: Arvind Kejriwal

NEW DELHI/ GUJARAT:

Pressing on its rapid expansion in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party is making huge inroads in the state in the run up to the elections. To further accelerate the party’s campaigns, AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal is continuously reaching out to various stratas of the society in form of his town halls. In this vein, the AAP Convenor held three town halls today with the auto drivers, traders and lawyers of Gujarat in Ahmedabad. He had lengthy discussions with them about their problems and offered them solutions on the same from the AAP’s end. He further sought their support for the party in coming elections, promising them of a conducive environment under the AAP Government that will help them progress.

Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “Only AAP can give corruption-and-fear-free governance to Gujarat; we have proven our credence in Delhi & Punjab, now it’s Gujarat’s turn. Once AAP comes to power, no police or government officers will dare to ask for a bribe, we will end the raid-raj in Gujarat. These people don’t want to end corruption, they want ransom, they want commissions & cuts, which is why they are threatening people using their agencies. Unless and until traders don’t get a fear-free environment to thrive in they won’t be able to run their businesses properly, the country can’t progress like this. We will bring a law to ensure payments don’t get stuck to ensure betterment of traders, we will implement it in Delhi, Punjab and the whole country. We will simplify the GST regime in Gujarat; when three AAP CM’s will raise their voice in unison, we’ll have a stronger say.”

In a rather heartwarming instance during the AAP Convenor’s town hall with auto drivers, one of the attendees got up and made an earnest request to Shri Arvind Kejriwal. He said that he had seen Shri Kejriwal’s video of having dinner at an auto driver’s home in Punjab and he wanted to extend the same invitation to him on behalf of Gujarat’s auto drivers. Shri Arvind Kejriwal duly accepted his invitation and even invited the auto driver to drive him from the hotel to his home for dinner.

*Earlier Gujarat used to be their fortress, now it’s breaking away from their shackles; they call Ahmedabad their fortress, they won’t win a single seat this time: Arvind Kejriwal*

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AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “BJP is a very powerful party. They have kept the entire country in a state of fear, especially the media persons. The media is not at fault, they are full of noble people. BJP threatens the channel owner, editors, and the reporters, they hurl abuses at them. The media has been shackled to not broadcast our message and viewpoint to the public. But we need not worry, the people are with us. You all can pull out your phone, record his speech and circulate it on your WhatsApp groups. It would not make any difference if the media broadcasts our events or not, when our words have already reached the public through WhatsApp. We will form the AAP government by campaigning on social media.”

He continued, “Auto drivers gathered here saw my video of Punjab in which they requested me to come to their homes and have food with them. I readily accepted the request and went to have food. Now, the auto drivers of Gujarat said that you have had food at the house of auto drivers of Punjab, won’t you come to our homes to have food. I said why not? I will definitely go to their homes to have food with them. Auto drivers of Delhi and Punjab love me a lot and now auto drivers of Gujarat have also started to shower love on me. And this feeling is mutual.”

He added, “BJP has been in power for the past 27 years. Have any of their Chief Ministers or ministers sat together with you to have a face-to-face interaction? Have they ever treated you with respect? Did they come to your homes to have food with you? We respect you a lot. You are one of our own, part of our family. Auto drivers love us not because I have a pretty face but because we take care of them. When successive lockdowns were imposed in Delhi because of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, auto drivers were forced to sit at home. There were no passengers. They found it extremely hard to run the family and make the ends meet. We deposited money to their bank accounts during those troubled times. Did the Gujarat Government do anything to help the auto drivers of Gujarat?”  

Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “There are 1.5 lakh auto drivers in Delhi. We transferred Rs 5 thousand in the first month of the lockdown and we again transferred Rs 5 thousand in the second lockdown so that they do not have to worry about the groceries, vegetables and milk for the families. Auto drivers are not so rich and they belong to the lower-middle class. They run their families with extreme hardship. An overwhelming majority of auto drivers send their children to government schools in Gujarat and hardly a few auto drivers have enrolled their children in private schools. The quality of education in government schools is pathetic. Auto drivers have a dream of seeing their children becoming doctors, engineers and lawyers. Bring the AAP to power and I will transform the government schools in Gujarat. Your dreams will come true. If you again bring them to power, your children will also remain poor.”

He asserted, “The condition of government schools is deplorable. Shri Manish Sisodia has already visited the government schools to see the ground reality, so have I. People send their children to government schools because they do not have any choice due to lack of money. The moment they save some money, the first thing they do is to send them to private schools to ensure that they get quality education. We have transformed the government schools in Delhi. We now have excellent schools which are at par with the elite private schools of Delhi. Now, the children of auto drivers are also becoming doctors, engineers and lawyers. They have secured admissions in prestigious insitutitions of the country. The auto drivers of Delhi never thought that their dreams could actually come true.  I will provide quality education to your children free-of-cost. Children of auto drivers will achieve great heights in their career.”

He continued, “Think for yourself, auto drivers earn Rs 15-20 thousand per month on an average. When your child becomes an engineer, their starting salary would be Rs 3 lakh per month. They will end your poverty if they get a quality education. When I say that I will provide quality education to your children, these people say that I am distributing free of rewari. Every individual deserves it as a matter of right and only then can the country progress. Their own children study in foreign countries, not even a single politician is an exception to this, and yet they cannot digest the fact that poor children are getting quality education in government schools. They call it free ki rewari. I will continue giving free ki rewari, they can do whatever they want. Moreover, they have made it clear that they will not provide quality education to your children because they consider it free ki rewari. If you want to give quality education to your children, send them to private school. Do not vote for them, they will ruin the future of your children.”

He added, “We have also built excellent hospitals and mohalla clinics in Delhi. Everyone gets treatment free-of-cost, no matter if the cost is as high as Rs 50 lakhs. If someone falls sick in your family, even a small illness costs Rs 4-5 thousand. And if there is a major illness, families have to sell everything including the auto which is the source of their income. Such a thing does not happen in Delhi. 2 crore Delhiites get quality treatment free-of-cost. Bring AAP to power and we will arrange for quality treatment for your family free-of-cost. They also call this free ki rewari. What type of Hindu people are they? Our religious texts say that one should arrange for treatment of an ill person. It is a pious act. These people are against this. They want the poor to go to private hospitals for treatment. If someone in the family of their CM, Ministers, MPs or MLAs fall ill, they go to London or the US for treatment and the government has to bear all the expense. If they are your family, the common people are our family. If I arrange for their quality treatment in government hospitals, you call it free ki rewari. You give free ki rewari to your family, I will give free ki rewari to common people.”

The AAP National Convenor said, “Every family is in distress because of inflation. If your children get education and you get treatment free-of-cost, you will get some relief from inflation. Over and above this, if you also get electricity free-of-cost, you will get further relief. Electricity is most-expensive in Gujarat and people get bills in thousands of rupees. We supply electricity in Delhi and Punjab fee-of-cost. Vote for us and you will start getting zero bills from March 1st. I deliver what I promise. I do not make false promises. The CM and the ministers of Gujarat get 4000 units of free electricity per month but they make a ruckus when I give 300 units of electricity free-of-cost to the people. You want free electricity for yourself but do not want the same for the people. These are double standards. You should have some shame. Common man is finding it hard to make ends meet. The CNG prices are rising but the income is stagnant. They will be able to save some money if they get electricity free-of-cost and provide milk to their children. We will also give Rs 1 thousand per month to every woman in our family who is aged above 18 years. If you have a mother, a wife and a daughter, your family will get Rs 3 thousand in total.” 

He added, “We have put an end to the bribery system in Delhi. In Gujarat, they misuse the Section 188 to lodge frivolous cases even if the person is not at fault. They treat them as if they have committed a murder. Previously, Section 188 was also misused in Delhi in the same manner. We have got rid of that to provide relief to the auto drivers. We will do the same in Gujarat, be assured. Also, all the government processes, be it licence renewal, change of ownership, permit renewal or hypothecation cases, the auto drivers need not go to the RTO office. We have provided a phone number, they give a call on that number and an officer of Delhi Government goes to their home to get the work done. They do not fall in the trap of middlemen anymore. Licence renewal is as convenient as pizza delivery in Delhi. When we end the bribery system in Gujarat, you will end up saving a lot of money which you give to policemen and government departments.”

He continued, “However, you have to take it upon yourself to ensure that we come to power. We are two month away from elections. Firstly, you have to circulate our message on WhatsApp groups from today itself. We are having this event in Ahmedabad but the auto drivers of Gujarat should know that each of you are working for AAP. You will raise awareness in each of your passengers. When I first won an election in Delhi in 2013, auto drivers played a major role in it. A passenger spends 15 minutes to an hour on a journey. The auto drivers used to talk to them and ask them to give us a chance. When the passengers used to ask them why they should vote for us, they used to tell them our milestones.”

AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “If the passengers say that I am giving everything for free, ask them whether it is necessary for every child to get quality education or everyone should get quality treatment free-of-cost or not. Atleast, Kejriwal is not trading MLAs by spending Rs 50 crores on each one of them. These people have horse traded MLAs in the entire country. At least, Kejriwal is not corrupt. He is a kattar imanadar who saves taxpayers’ money and spends it on their welfare. Kejriwal does not take the money to Swiss Banks, unlike these people who have amassed a huge wealth now kept in Swiss Banks. They sell spurious liquor in Gujarat. We do not do such things. Our party is full of noble people. You have to tell all this to your passengers and also, raise awareness about AAP on social media.”

He concluded by appealing, “Give us a chance. People of Delhi gave us a chance by making us win 28 seats in our maiden elections. We were in power for 49 days but we did such remarkable work in that span that in the next elections, we got 67 seats out of 70. We continue bringing progress in Delhi and after five years, they gave us 62 seats. Then the people of Punjab got to know about the Delhi Model and  they also gave us a chance. They are already getting electricity fee-of-cost and government jobs as well. 100 mohalla clinics have been built in Punjab and people are getting treatment-medicine free-of-cost. We are transforming schools and other work is in the pipeline as well. Give us a chance in Gujarat and together, we will work to make a new Gujarat.”

Later in the day, he addressed a townhall of traders. Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “When I was coming for this event yesterday through flight and a trader from Gujarat was sitting next to me. He is a stockbroker. He was surprised and said that it was an honour sitting next to a CM. He requested to click a photo together and I readily agreed. Then he changes his mind saying that this might put him in trouble. When I asked the reason he said that CBI-ED are behind you with all their might. If I click a photo with you, they will get behind me as well. When I said that you can click a photo and instead of sharing it, you can keep it in your phone, he said that they tap our phones. They will get to know if I keep the photo in my phone. People and traders are scared so much. How can our country progress unless a trader is happy? They make the biggest contribution to the growth of our country’s economy.”

He added, “The moment I landed at the Airport, I got to know that AAP’s Gujarat office in Ahmedabad has been raided by Gujarat Police. Our party has hardly any money. They searched the premises for 2 hours and left empty handed in disappointment. Today the Ahmedabad Police denied conducting any raid. It is quite baffling. Three policemen came to the office. They showed their ID cards. They were without any warrant or paper and yet they raided the place. When we brought this to people’s attention, the Police is now denying by saying that they did not conduct any raid. How can they work like that by not following the law? If it was not the AAP, they would have asked for bribery as well. They did not dare to ask for money from us.”  

He asserted, “So many people have been raided by the CBI, ED or Income Tax Department that the country lives in a state of fear. And they are not bothered about curbing corruption, they want to raise money this way. The country cannot progress until the trader can trade freely without any fear. When we will come to power, it will be our first priority to give a safe environment to the traders. People cannot even dare to come out in the open and say that they have been raided. We have to take the fear away from the people. I come from a business family as well. Families of both my parents were involved in a trade and I know the fearful environment in which the traders work.”

He continued, “Traders are extremely troubled from the GST in Gujarat. They are bothered about the rates as well as the compliance. These people have made the process so complicated that the traders have to pay a lot of money to CAs. Yet they end up in trouble. We have to simplify this process and work on both the rates as well as compliance. We will do it in Gujarat when we come to power and we will also raise this issue on a national level. When we will have 3 CMs from AAP, we will have a strong voice while talking to the Central Government.”

AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “A trader just said that the ruling of the GST council is not binding on state governments according to a Supreme Court order. This is a huge opportunity. We have not studied the order in detail but it will have wide implications, both legal and administrative. We will study it and if any opportunity arises, we will sit and talk to the traders. The GST regime in Gujarat will be prepared in consultation with them.” 

He added, “Another major issue which the traders of Gujarat face is the inordinate delay in payment when they supply goods. Someone takes goods from them on credit and they do not return the money. Majority of businesses get shut down because of this reason. I do not have an immediate solution but we will sit with you and develop solutions. I am consulting a lot of people to know what can be done or if there is a need for a law to ensure that traders get their money back.  If the traders will be assured that they will get their payment, it will result in an increase of trade by 50-60%. They will be more confident in growing their business. We are optimistic that we will come up with a solution or a law. And whatever measure we will implement here, we will replicate the same in Delhi and Punjab. Hopefully, the entire country adopts it as well.”

He continued, “A lot of VAT and GST refunds in Gujarat are pending and the governments deliberately stall the payment when they run out of money. This disrupts the flow of cash for the traders and cash-flow is the backbone of any trade. We will complete all the pending refunds within six months of coming to power. A lot of VAT cases are yet to be resolved despite the fact that the VAT regime ended so many years ago. We will prepare a VAT Amnesty Scheme in consultation with the traders to end all the pending cases by settling all the claims to free you from all the hassles.”

The AAP National Convenor said, “Only AAP can provide corruption-free administration. Traders of Gujarat have complained that policemen and government officials ask for bribery to do the work. None of them will dare to ask for money in our government. We have delivered corruption-free administration in Delhi. When we first came to power in 2013 by winning 28 seats, we were in power for 49 days but we did such remarkable work in that span. Among all the major developments, I made an announcement that if some officer asks for a bribe, do not refuse. Instead, put your hand in your pocket, record a video and send it to us on our WhatsApp number. I will send the officer to prison. I sent 32 officers to prison within 49 days and corruption just not got reduced but was completely eliminated from Delhi. When our government was ousted from power, these people went to the people to ask for more bribery to compensate for their loss in 49 days.”

He continued, “It is only us who know how to eliminate corruption. Our intentions are pure and we are noble people. We do not gobble money. These people are trying tooth and nail to prove to the country that we are corrupt. They tried to malign Shri Manish Sisodia by saying that he misappropriated Rs 144 crores in the Liquor Scam. But when the CBI raided his residence, they could not find even a single penny of unaccounted money. They could have found at least a few lakhs or crores if he actually committed any scam. Yesterday, they raided the AAP’s Ahmedabad office and they did not find anything there as well. We will end the raid system on traders in Gujarat and give them a clean administration.”

The Delhi CM said, “No raid takes place in Delhi because when we come to power we ended this problematic regime. I was an Income Tax Officer myself and I know that all the offices are not bad. A few of them are honest but In general, I have seen the mockery of law during raids. Officers try to crack a deal. They sweep more money than the money recovered by the Government. If the raid system is stopped, the traders will happily pay taxes to the government. When we came to power in Delhi, the budget of the government was Rs 20 thousand crores. We ended the raid system which resulted in a massive hike in VAT collection and the budget has now increased to Rs 75 thousand crores. The traders are happy because their children get quality education in excellent government schools and they get quality treatment in government hospitals. They are paying taxes on their own because they know that their government is working in their interest.”

He added, “We will simplify all the government processes which are currently quite complicated. It is deliberately done to tire out people so that they do not have a choice except giving a bribe. The bribe given by the people reaches the topmost person in the system. But when that person makes it clear that he does not need money, the entire system gets reformed and the process gets simplified. All the officials work to the best of their capabilities. We want the same system in Gujarat. We will target to double the size of your business within five years by eliminating corruption and providing clean administration.  The country has potential and the businesses can grow rapidly. The government has kept the traders and industrialists in shackles. If they are left to work freely, we will surpass China.” 

He continued, “An propaganda has been created in the country to project quality education given in government schools free-of-cost as free ki rewari. The US, the UK and Japan give quality education to their children for free. Rich and developed countries do that. They do not give free education because they are rich, they are rich because they provide free education to their children. Quality education is the first prerequisite to become a developed country and that too free of cost. We are providing quality education to poor children free of cost in government schools. Children from poor families are rising up to become engineers from IIT. They change the fortune of their families. Merely formulating government schemes will not eradicate poverty, only quality education will eradicate poverty.”

Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “We are also providing quality treatment to people free-of-cost in Delhi. Several developed nations do that. England has National Health Services which even airlifts the poor patients if they need emergency treatment. 2 crore Delhiites get treatment free-of-cost, from medicines to operation. This is not free ki rewari. Education and healthcare contribute to nation building.  And it is completely voluntary for the citizens. They have a choice if they want to avail the benefits or not. We are fine with both.”

He added, “I understand the concerns of the traders because they always remain in fear of the government. I will not insist you to support us openly to avoid putting you in any trouble. Those who want to, they can and those who do not want to, they need not support us openly. However, a change is necessary in Gujarat and you can make it possible. 27 years of reign fills people with arrogance. They turn deaf ears to the people. You can support us internally and raise awareness about our vision. Your word of mouth matters. Ask everyone, be it your customer or family/friends to vote for Jhaadu.”

He concluded, “These people have an air of arrogance around them that Ahmedabad is their fort, their stronghold. Earlier they used to say that Gujarat is their stronghold. Now, they have reduced this to Ahmedabad because they have sensed that they are losing grip over the state. There are 16 seats in Ahmedabad and you have to ensure that they do not win even a single seat here. People of Delhi gave us 62 seats this time, earlier they gave us 67 seats. Punjab gave us 92 out of 117 seats. You have to break the record we set in Delhi and Punjab.”

Speaking at the townhall with lawyers, AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “Lawyers are quite powerful personalities. If they come together and make up their mind, they can change the fate of elections. They can make a party win the elections and other parties lose the elections. When we were contesting our first elections, circumstances led to Kiran Bedi becoming the CM candidate of BJP. She had some rift with the lawyers. When she was in the Police, she ordered a lathicharge on lawyers’ protest. Lawyers decided to teach them a lesson. Lawyers from several Bar Associations came to meet me and said that they will support me. They formed various teams and ran a door-to-door campaign to seek votes for us. It was the results of their efforts that not only we won the elections but Kiran Bedi also lost the election against a small leader of ours.”

He added, “Elections are two months away. I will not beat around the bush. Your support is crucial for us. Lawyers have a powerful word of mouth as they effective speakers and they talk to so many people. If all the lawyers comes together, they can put an end to 27 years of maladministration of BJP. AAP works in the interest of the lawyers. We conducted a series of meetings when we formed the government in Delhi. We have taken the best possible decisions for the welfare of the lawyers. They demanded us to provide electricity free-of-cost to their chambers and we accepted the same. Delhi might be the only state in the country where lawyers and court chambers get electricity free-of-cost.”

He continued, “Secondly, they had two other demands of life and health insurance. We created a liberal policy. We got group life insurance of Rs 10 lakh. We will need to bring the Advocate Protection Act. The draft of the act is ready, so if it needs to be strengthened further, we will strengthen it. It is very unfortunate that there are so many attacks on lawyers and doctors. This practice should stop and we will bring a law to protect them. The Kerala Government brought a scheme to provide Rs 5 thousand to new lawyers. I will study the scheme and guarantee you that  we will implement a better scheme than Kerala. We will build more chambers. Women will have creche facilities for their children. All the arrangements will be made keeping everyone’s interest in mind.”

AAP National Convener Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “It has been 75 years since we got independence. 75 years is not a long time in the history of any country, but it is not too short either. In these 75 years many countries have overtaken us. Why do we lag behind? What do we Indians lack? God has created Indians as the most hardworking and intelligent people. Indians are in the top brass of all the multinational companies in the world. Singapore became independent after 15 years from us and has overtaken us. Japan and Germany were devastated in World War II, but they have also surpassed us.  If there is one thing which we can do in mission mode to lift India out of poverty very soon, that is education. In Delhi, we have made excellent government schools great. This year about 450-450 children from Delhi Government schools have got admission into IIT and NEET. If we give quality education to all our children, then in the next 5 to 10 years we can eradicate poverty. In our country, 18 crore children study in government schools.”

He added, “Nowadays a big dangerous trend of closing government schools has begun. State governments across the country are closing government schools one after the other. If you have closed government schools, where will a poor man send his child to study? Today the condition of government schools is no less than a scrapyard, yet people do not have a choice but to send their children to government schools. If government schools also get closed, then 18 crore children of our country will be left illiterate. Our country can only become powerful, Vishwaguru and number 1 country, when we will give quality education to every child free-of-cost. If government schools in Delhi can be transformed within five years, the same can happen in the whole country. We have done it in Delhi and now it is happening in Punjab. If you give us a chance, we will make the government schools in Gujarat great too. We will also fix private schools like Delhi. We created a law that schools cannot arbitrarily hike the fees. It’s been 7 years and barring 2-3 schools, no private school has dared to increase the fee. Firstly, we will regulate the private schools to not allow them to hike fees arbitrarily. This must have happened for the first time in the history of India that private schools had to refund the overcharged fees. We will conduct an audit of all the private schools in Gujarat as well.”

AAP National Convener Shri Arvind Kejriwal concluded, “There is no shortage of money in the government. They have money to buy an airplane, build a bungalow or take a big car for them but if the public asks for something, there is no money. They tried to topple our government in Delhi. They approached 12 of our MLAs and offered Rs 20 crore each to each. Their target was to buy 40 MLAs. They arranged Rs 800 crore for this. This money belongs to the taxpayers. We do not buy MLAs. We will provide electricity, education, and healthcare free-of-cost. We will eliminate corruption which will save a lot of money. Aam Aadmi Party is the only kattar imandar party in the whole country. There was a recording of one of our ministers in Punjab asking for bribery from someone. CM Sardar Bhagwant Mann sent him to prison. These people never take action against their own but only send CBI-ED to raid others. We do not tolerate corruption. In any government office in Delhi and Punjab, no one dares to ask money to do any work. Gujarat has a debt of Rs 3.50 lakh crore. Earlier Delhi was also in debt. As per the CAG report last year, the Delhi government does any debt and the budget of Delhi is in profit. This is the advantage of electing a well-educated IIT engineer as CM. You gave them 27 years. Now they are not going to do anything new. Give us a chance too. Change must happen. If I do not deliver what I promised in five years, then kick me out of Gujarat. These people come after every five years and ask for another chanCe. You can call any of your acquaintances in Delhi and ask whether Kejriwal is doing a good job. If he says that I am not doing a good job, do not vote for me. People of Delhi love me. There was a time when 70-80 percent lawyers were with BJP, but today all of them are with us.”

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