Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said if one could win elections by giving out things free of cost, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal would have made everything free. The Minister took a dig at the APP Delhi government's various schemes like free metro rides for women and subsidised power bills.
Speaking at the 6th National Forum 2019 organised by the Public Affairs Forum of India, the Union Minister said, "It's not about making it free or not, but how could you devise a system which is reasonably priced and efficient."
The Delhi government had recently announced a free bus and metro rides for women in New Delhi. It had also announced free electricity to Delhi residents up to 200 units of power.
Adding to his statement further, Puri said that if one could win polls by making everything free, Arvind Kejriwal would make everything free. "Some he would make completely free, others half free, when you ask him on where the money is coming from, he would say there is corruption," he said.
Following up with the Delhi Government's recent decision, the BJP Union Minister said that Delhi has one of the finest Metro systems in the world which is both cheap and efficient.
Union Minister Puri also countered AAP's claim of metro ridership going down post the fare hike. Puri said the footfall has rather "trebled" since the increase.
"The ridership was Rs 24-25 lakh then (before fare hike) but it has increased since then. It is Rs 66 lakh now and going up by the day. Yes, there is a co-relation between fare and ridership but it is more dependent upon the overall demand and what kind of service you are providing," he said.
Earlier on September 18, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that fees of 3.14 Lakh CBSE candidates appearing for 10th and 12th standard examinations would be paid by Delhi Govt
दिल्ली के सरकारी स्कूलों में 10वी और 12वी में पढ़ने वाले हर वर्ग के 3.14 लाख बच्चों की CBSE परीक्षा की महंगी फीस अब सरकार देगी— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 18, 2019
पैसों के अभाव में किसी भी बच्चे की पढ़ाई हम नहीं रुकने देंगे
दिल्ली के हर बच्चे की पढ़ाई मेरी जिम्मेदारी है।
Delhi CM and AAP President, Arvind Kejriwal's announcement of freebies including the free metro and bus rides for women in came ahead of the assembly polls in the state which are due next year.
Opposition parties including the BJP and Congress claim that such moves are just political gimmicks. Following Delhi Government’s scheme for providing free electricity, Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari had said, “The declaration by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for making electric consumption up to 200 units free misleading and an election stunt."