Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has slammed his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal over his comments during a rally in Guwahati, calling the AAP chief a “coward” whose “heroism” is confined within the assembly.
Sarma criticised Kejriwal for not making any reference in his speech to allegations of corruption against the BJP leader, which he had reportedly made in the Delhi Assembly.
केजरीवाल के साथ हम दिल्ली के दौरे पर जाएँगे, पर Lutyens और South Delhi नहीं। केजरीवाल के साथ उन जगहों पर जाएँगे जहाँ मैं ले कर जाऊँगा, जहाँ दिल्ली के 80% लोग रहते हैं। केजरीवाल ने दिल्ली के झुग्गी झोंपड़ी वाले लोगों का ज़िंदगी नर्क बना दिया है। न्यूनतम सुविधाएँ भी नहीं हैं। pic.twitter.com/0woWaA33qe— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) April 2, 2023
The Assam CM had on Friday threatened to file a defamation case against Kejriwal if the Aam Aadmi Party leader alleged corruption cases against him outside the assembly.
What did the Assam CM say?
“He had made charges of corruption against me in the Delhi Assembly, but I cannot act on it as he is protected by regulations. I had challenged him to repeat the same allegations outside the House and then I will see him in court.
Mr Kejriwal turned out to be a real coward. He did not raise the fabricated corruption allegations he made against me inside the Delhi Assembly in Guwahati today because his loose conscience would not permit him to get into trouble by speaking lies. pic.twitter.com/WiM2FFVCxM— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) April 2, 2023
“But, he didn’t have the courage to say anything here. He spoke a lot of ‘anab-shanab’ (rubbish), but nothing on charges against me,” Sarma said at a presser on Sunday.
"The heroism of Kejriwal is confined within the assembly as he is protected by privilege there,” Sarma said.
The Kejriwal-Sarma feud
On Kejriwal’s claims at the Guwahati rally, where Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann was also present, about jobs provided by the Delhi government, Sarma said the figures were wrong and 60 per cent of citizens in the national capital were “living in hell”.
“I spoke to officials in Delhi. They told me that there are 1.50 lakh government-sanctioned posts under Delhi government. I will write to Kejriwal tomorrow to provide the break-up of the jobs, and I will also share the details of employment provided by our government,” he said.
अरविंद केजरीवाल ने कहा की दिल्ली में उन्होंने १२,००,००० नौकरी दी, लेकिन जब हमने दिल्ली की एक अफ़सर से पूछा, उन्होंने कहा कि दिल्ली सरकार में सिर्फ़ १,५०,००० पोस्ट sanctioned हैं । pic.twitter.com/ffLszbpoE8— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) April 2, 2023
Sarma also downplayed Kejriwal’s promise of free electricity if AAP came to power in Assam, asserting that the northeastern state has the ‘Orunudoi’ scheme under which the government credits Rs 1,400 per month in the bank accounts of economically backward families.
“Waiving only the electricity bill would have been cheaper for us,” he said.
Reacting to Kejriwal’s critical comments on the recent question paper leak in Assam, Sarma claimed that the Class 12 English paper in Punjab, which also has an AAP government, had leaked and the examination was cancelled.
On his Delhi counterpart’s invitation to visit his house in the national capital, Sarma said, “I will send 50 people from Assam, mostly journalists, and Kejriwal has to take them around Delhi. The only condition is that they have to be taken to the places we want to visit, not what he wants us to show.”
“60 per cent of people of Delhi live in hell. In contrast, 95 per cent of Assam live in heaven,” he claimed.
Sarma also said the AAP leader’s stature has “diminished” after Sunday’s rally.
“If he wanted to say so many lies, he should have at least ensured a bigger crowd of 20,000-30,000,” the BJP leader added.
Earlier on Sunday, Kejriwal promised free electricity and jobs if AAP came to power in Assam, while he accused the ruling of BJP of doing nothing but play “dirty politics” in the state.
"AAP came to power in Delhi in 2015 and the BJP here in 2016. Today, we have changed the face of Delhi. What has Himanta babu (Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma) done for the state in seven years? Nothing, only dirty politics," he alleged.
(With PTI Inputs)