Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday stated that political parties had underestimated the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) before it registered a record win in the national capital and now they are doing the same in Haryana, where the "party's graph was on the rise". While addressing a public gathering, he said:
"Many parties make fun and underestimate AAP in Haryana like they did in Delhi'. They tell us that we have no base in Haryana. They used to say that no one would vote for us. But the people of Delhi had made up their mind and voted for us with an overwhelming majority".
Stating that the AAP can provide a viable alternative to parties like the BJP, Congress and INLD, Kejriwal said his party was growing in Haryana:
"There are 6,200 panchayats and 7,000 villages in Haryana. Out of these 7,000 villages, families in 4,500 villages have put up flex boards saying they were with the AAP. Seeing this, the INLD, BJP and Congress are losing sleep and are approaching people to put up their respective party flex boards, but people are shooing them away," he claimed.
Hailing from Siwani Mandi near Hisar in the state, Arvind Kejriwal has been trying to sell AAP's Delhi model of governance, particularly its initiatives that were taken in the education and health sectors along with welfare measures for farmers and defence forces in Haryana.
On Monday, the AAP supremo had visited a few government schools in Beri town in Jhajjar. The Delhi chief minister's visit to Bhiwani on Tuesday is his eighth visit to the state in the past three months.
Kejriwal also talked about the "bad shape" of government schools in Haryana.
"I visited four schools today. We went to Beri yesterday. Government schools are in bad shape. One of the schools we visited today was in a dilapidated condition, it lacked facilities, in a way it is like playing with the future of lakhs of children," Kejriwal, who was accompanied by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, said.
Hitting out at the Khattar government, the AAP leader highlighted that the Delhi government gave adequate compensation for crop damage to farmers, but the BJP regime in Haryana was not concerned about farmers' welfare.
"We gave compensation at the rate of Rs 20,000 per acre for crop damage to farmers. The cheques were delivered at their homes within three months. I went to fields here and saw waterlogging. Under the Fasal Bima scheme, they compulsorily collected premiums from farmers and in a way imposed 'Goonda' tax, but no compensation has been given so far (for crop damage). If the Delhi government can give compensation, why cannot the Haryana government do the same?" he said.
Kejriwal claimed that bureaucracy was calling the shots in Haryana. Hitting out at the BJP, Congress and INLD, he said these parties seek votes from people in the name of caste and nobody talks about improving the shape of schools and hospitals.
The Haryana Assembly polls will be held next year.
(With inputs from PTI)