BJP Trashes AAP Manifesto, Poses Third Set of Questions
NEW DELHI: Terming AAP manifesto as a document of "rehashed" and "borrowed" ideas, BJP on Saturday said the promises made by its rival party were not even worthy of consideration.
Labelling the manifesto as "entertaining", Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said AAP did not have a blue print for developing Delhi into a global city.
"Going through the manifesto reveals that it is full of rehashed ideas from its last year's manifesto. Many of the points have been borrowed from BJP's future plans for the capital," she said in a press conference.
BJP's Third Set of Questions
Speaking in broken hindi, Sitharaman also took a dig at AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, saying "vishwas nahi hain us party pe jaha Vishwas baithe hai (we do not believe in the party, of which Vishwas is a member)."
Asked about BJP's stand on the issue of giving full statehood to Delhi, the Minister said that government was "seriously seized" of the matter.
"Statehood is a serious issue involving different layers of governance including internal security, national security, resource mobilisation. We are seriously seized of the matter. We aren't saying we won't give statehood to Delhi," she said.
The party also lobbed a fresh set of questions to AAP alleging that electricity tariff had gone up by up to seven per cent during the 49-day government contrary to AAP's claims of a 50 per cent reduction.
Union Minister Ananth Kumar claimed that the short-lived AAP government had subsidised private distribution companies asking why the relief was not directly passed on to the consumers and an audit of the discoms were not conducted.
The party also questioned the AAP's claim of not conducting VAT raids traders while it was in power. Citing an "RTI reply", Kumar said that 151 raids by VAT department were conducted between January 1 and 14.
BJP also sought to counter AAP's assertion of collecting over Rs 5000 crore as revenue while it was in the government.
He said the AAP was "befooling" contractual employees in the name of regularising them.
Picking up certain points from the AAP's 70-point Action Plan, Sitharaman said they were "ill-thought-out".
"They talk of running 5,000 new buses on Delhi's already congested roads without any road map of improving the public infrastructure. Where do these ideas come from?" she asked.
She also said AAP has no regards for the Constitution referring to the party's plan to legislate the Jan Lokpal and Swaraj Bills.
"They should first read the Constitution which already has the provision for Gram Swaraj, Panchayati Raj and other mechanisms for devolving power at the grass root level," she said.
On the Jan Lokpal Bill, she wondered why AAP was not talking about strengthening the existing office of Lokayukta. Mocking AAP's promise of ensuring free Wi-Fi all over Delhi, she said that was nothing new as the BJP-run NDMC had already initiated steps on that front by making Connaught Place a free Wi-Fi zone.
The MoS for Commerce and Industry said the AAP's promise of bringing down VAT charge was a "non-starter" as the central government was in the process of rolling out GST by next year.
During the press conference, AAP leader Govardhan Singh, who was replaced by the party as its Mehrauli candidate, joined BJP.
Singh was dropped as the AAP candidate "following an inquiry by the party's internal Lokpal".
Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia had accused Govardhan's family members of transporting people in buses to the Prime Minister's rally held at Ramlila Maidan recently.
"The Mehrauli candidate Govardhan's family members had transported people in buses to the Prime Minister’s Ramilila Maidan rally. That is not proper," he had said.
"They first forced me to contest the polls. Now they are accusing me all sort of things after making a last moment u-turn. I want him (Kejriwal) to give me one reason behind my removal," Singh told reporters.