NEW DELHI: The Delhi BJP on Sunday slammed the AAP government for spending money on advertisements during the coronavirus crisis, and asked whether it was demanding Rs 5,000 crore from the Centre to meet its promotional expenses.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has sought an urgent assistance of Rs 5,000 crore to pay salaries of Delhi government employees and meet office expenses.
Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal if his government needed the money to spend on advertisements.
He also cited central government schemes for poor people in a bid to suggest Sisodia's demand was misplaced.
Tiwari tweeted, "790 crore directly in Jan Dhan accounts, free cylinders of Rs 836 crore, Rs 243 crore given to Divyang, widows and senior citizens, Rs 768 crore of ration that you could not distribute.
Arvind Kejriwal ji if you demanding the money for advertisement expenses?" The chief minister has also requested the Central government to help the Delhi people at this time of a crisis.
ALSO READ | To pay employees' salaries, Delhi government seeks Rs 5,000 crore from Centre: Manish Sisodia
Tiwari previously too had attacked the Kejriwal government for issuing advertisements in newspapers and TV channels during the pandemic, claiming there was a shortage of beds in hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
He had sought to know how much money was spent by the AAP government on advertisements and on hospital beds.
BJP's East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir also took a swipe at the Kejriwal government, saying if it wanted to buy printing press of newspapers with Rs 5,000 crore.
"The frontpage advertisements in every newspaper are appearing daily, if printing press of newspapers will be bought by taking Rs 5000 crore in the name of people," Gautam wrote retweeting Kejriwal's request for Central help.
Sisodia said the Delhi government needs Rs 3,500 crore per month to pay salaries to its employees and meet necessary office expenses.
In the past two months, the government has collected around Rs 1,735 crore revenue only.
He said that tax collection of the Delhi government has been around 85 percent below the normal due to the impact of coronavirus epidemic and lockdown.