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Why Punjab shouldn’t trust Arvind Kejriwal?


Why Punjab shouldn't trust Arvind Kejriwal?

AAP is peddling the same false promises that he made in Delhi

By Navandeep Singh Matta

If the last 24 months of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi is anything to go by, then Punjab should take everything that Arvind Kejriwal says with not just a pinch, but a bagful of it.

After misleading Delhi during its electoral battle with false promises, he is now trying to deceive Punjab with the same promises, which he failed to fulfil in the capital. Dear Punjab, you shouldn't become another Delhi — and here's why Punjabis shouldn't vote for the AAP.

  1. On education

What Kejriwal says in Punjab: Delhi schools are world-class, Punjab too will have the same.

Reality in Delhi: 40 per cent of the overall for education — Rs 1300 crore — was unspent, resulting in no headway in building of 500 new schools and 20 new colleges. Almost 80 per cent schools in Delhi have no principals. Kejriwal has also refused to renew contracts of thousands of teachers, making them work as guest teachers for 40 per cent less pay – going back on his promise of making contractual teachers permanent – even as 28,000 posts for teachers lie vacant.

As of October 2016, the pupil-teacher ratio in Delhi Schools is 100:1, as against the ideal ratio of 40:1 under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Almost 40 per cent of funds for education and 60 per cent allocated for in Delhi Budget 2015-16 were unspent as of March 2016.

‘Punjab should take everything that Arvind Kejriwal says with not just a pinch, but a bagful of it.'

  1. On women's safety

What Kejriwal says in Punjab: Will make the state safe for women by replicating Delhi model.

Reality in Delhi: While Kejriwal promised 15 lakh CCTVs for women's safety and deployment of 10,000 home guards in Delhi and 5,000 marshals in buses. No steps have been taken in this regard. Only 3,000 marshals have been deployed so far.

Crimes against women in Delhi increased to 17,104 in 2015 compared to 15,265 in 2014. Delhi recorded highest rate of rape incidents — 23.7 per 100,000 population. Around 10 MLAs of Delhi have been booked for their involvement in crimes against women.

  1. On industry

What Kejriwal says in Punjab: Introducing a separate trade and industry manifesto in Punjab, Kejriwal claimed he will bring the state Industries on a par with Delhi by putting an end to inspector raj and reforming VAT rules like that in Delhi.

Reality in Delhi: Kejriwal not only brought a bill to bring at least 11 new products under VAT, he also allowed VAT rates of up to 30 per cent. In 2016 alone, the AAP government hiked VAT on petrol and diesel twice by at least 2 per cent.

While Kejriwal promised to provide traders with basic facilities, no meeting has been convened with the stakeholders. The government does not meet any trade organisation except the party's trade wing. No efforts have been made to understand the problem of the industrialists.

Tax procedures and VAT filing have become complicated in Delhi. The Delhi Sugam-1 (DS-1) form brought in by the AAP government mandates every trader to submit 17 kinds of details in a prescribed format for each invoice.

Apart from creating compliance hurdles, this has also affected interstate movement of goods. The form was rolled back only after massive protests from traders.

  1. On employment opportunities

What Kejriwal says in Punjab: As many as 25 lakh will be created in the next five years just as he promised for the Delhi youth.

Reality in Delhi: He had claimed that the AAP will create 8 lakh new jobs in the next five years in Delhi and will fill 55,000 vacancies in the government and autonomous bodies of Delhi on an immediate basis. Around 4,000 doctors and 15,000 nurses and paramedics will be made permanent.

However, as of February 2016, Kejriwal government had provided only 1,417 jobs in one year. No steps have been taken in regard to the other promises made.

  1. Dalits

What Kejriwal says in Punjab: Introducing a separate manifesto for Dalits, Kejiwal has promised a Dalit deputy CM for Punjab. The manifesto includes many points similar to those promised in Delhi for Dalits resulting in the upliftment of the community.

At a rally in Punajb, Kejriwal claimed, “In Delhi, we delivered what we promised to the Dalits.”

Reality in Delhi: According to the population of Scheduled Castes in Delhi, the fund allocation for betterment of Dalits should have been Rs 3,460 crore, but the actual outlay in Delhi Budget 2016-17 was a mere Rs 715.17 crore – only one-fifth of the amount.

The list goes on, but it's clear — Punjab deserves better, and definitely not AAP.

(The writer is a practicing lawyer, Delhi High Court, and also a national-level shooter)

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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