Days ahead of Delhi assembly elections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has defended the various freebies given by his government. Taking to Twitter, he said that freebies in "limited dose" is good for economy. He said that it increases demand by making money available to the poor. Explaining further, Kejriwal said that if done in a limited manner, it does not lead to budget deficit as no extra taxes are imposed.
Freebies, in limited dose, are good for economy. It makes more money available to poor, hence boosts demand. However, it shud be done in such limits so that no extra taxes have to be imposed and it does not lead to budget deficits— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 24, 2020
Kejriwal's explanation comes at the backdrop the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on finances. Quoting the report, Kejriwal had in December said that the Delhi government had maintained a revenue surplus over the last five years and asserted that it was because of an "honest government".
The Delhi government has in the last six months, made bus rides for women, made 200 units of electricity-free, given free WiFi, and special water subsidies. It had also announced free metro rides for women and free pilgrimage for senior citizens. However, DMRC and IRCTC sought time to implement the changes.
The national capital Delhi will go to polls in a single-phase on February 8 and the counting of votes will take place on February 11. The last day of filing nominations for the candidates was on January 21 and the last day to withdraw nominations is Thursday, January 24. BJP has fielded Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha president Sunil Yadav against Kejriwal from New Delhi constituency, and Congress has fielded former NSUI Delhi president Ramesh Sabharwal against him. While it was speculated that BJP will file its Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari against Kejriwal, former party president Amit Shah had announced that BJP would contest under PM Modi's leadership.
The incumbent CM Kejriwal released a 10-point guaranty card – 'Kejriwal's Guarantee Card' and said that a detailed manifesto would follow within 10 days after a door to door campaign. While addressing the media, Kejriwal spoke about the guarantees saying that he will ensure these things in Delhi. A major highlight of his promises is that there will be free bus rides for students and mohalla marshals will be appointed, similar to bus marshals. The BJP is banking on PM Modi's Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, and the Congress is eyeing a comeback in the name of Late former Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit.