Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday appealed to the people of poll-bound Karnataka to give his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) a chance to give a corruption-free government for five years.
He also promised to give free electricity, quality education in government schools and good healthcare for the state's people. Addressing his maiden election public meeting in Karnataka, the AAP supremo said the party has zero tolerance for corruption as a minister and an MLA in party-ruled Punjab were jailed.
"We are staunch honest. We will give a corruption-free government. We will give free electricity, build good government schools and provide quality education," Kejriwal said. Assembly elections are due in Karnataka by May.
The AAP chief alleged that corruption in the state doubled since the last assembly polls in 2018 and urged the people to vote in a 'new engine' government by throwing out the 'double-engine' regime of the BJP. Taking a dig at the ruling BJP in Karnataka, Kejriwal alleged that there is a 40 per cent commission government running in the state. "The people of Karnataka are good but the leaders are not. They defamed and destroyed the state before the world. There is a 40 per cent commission government here in which 40 per cent cut is taken in every public work," Kejriwal alleged.
In this context, he mentioned the recovery of Rs 8.23 crore unaccounted cash from Channagiri BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa's son Prashanth Kumar M V. "Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah came to Karnataka and appealed to the people to give absolute majority in the upcoming assembly election so that a corruption-free government can be established in the state. Then, someone reminded him that already there is a BJP government in the state. I want to ask him why you could not eradicate corruption in the last four years," the Delhi Chief Minister said.
He said the very next day after Shah flew back to Delhi, a BJP MLA's son was caught with crores of unaccounted cash. "That MLA and his son who hail from Davangere have not been arrested yet. Instead, Manish Sisodia was arrested," Kejriwal said referring to Delhi Deputy CM Sisodia's arrest by the CBI in the excise policy scam case.
He added that the raids at Sisodia’s house could not yield anything. "They (BJP) alleged that Sisodia hushed up hundreds of crores of rupees. If that was true, then at least some crore of rupees should have been found but only Rs 10,000 was found," Kejriwal claimed.
Taking a jibe at the BJP, the Delhi Chief Minister said the MLA in the dock may be given Padma Bhushan award next year. "All the criminals be it thieves, robbers, rowdies or rapists are absorbed in the BJP," he further claimed. After the BJP formed governments in Nagaland and Tripura and formed a coalition government in Meghalaya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech during the victory celebrations in Delhi asked people to stay away from 'staunch honest people', Kejriwal said.
"We did not fight the election in these three states but the Prime Minister mentioned us. He asked people to stay away from staunch honest people. He is afraid of us," the Delhi Chief Minister said. He 'advised' Modi not to be jealous of "AAP, the fastest growing party". "Learn from us. You too become honest just like us," the AAP supremo quipped. Stating that AAP is a 'staunch honest' party, Kejriwal said raids never led to any recovery.
The Delhi Chief Minister said during the 2018 assembly elections in Karnataka, there was a '20 per cent commission government' in the state. "The Prime Minister came to Karnataka and alleged that there is a 20 per cent commission government (during 2018 polls). He assured that he will eradicate corruption if the 'double-engine government' is formed in the state," the AAP chief said.
He added that people trusted the Prime Minister's words and formed the 'double engine government' (BJP government in the Centre and the state). Corruption doubled in the state from 20 per cent to 40 per cent commission, the Delhi CM alleged. Kejriwal said: "I will tour across the country and tell everyone not to form the double engine government. Corruption doubles in double-engine government. We need a new engine government."
BJP MLA Virupakshappa has been booked while his son Prashanth, a government officer, was arrested by Lokayukta following raids in several places in the state. The AAP chief added that the state contractors' association president Kempanna wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the ministers in Karnataka are demanding 40 per cent commission.
Instead of addressing the octogenarian office-bearer's grievance or taking action against the ministers and MLAs, the 82-year-old contractor was arrested in a defamation case, Kejriwal alleged. The Delhi Chief Minister charged that 40 per cent commission is charged from contractors, private unaided schools and Maths (hermitage).
Kejriwal said in the last five years, Rs 20,000 crore was spent on repairing the pothole ridden Bengaluru roads but not even 20 potholes were filled. Due to this indifferent government, over 100 people lost their lives due to potholes, he claimed.
Highlighting the corruption prevailing in the state, Kejriwal said bribes are taken to recruit police sub-inspectors and lecturers. "Even the MLAs are on sale. The ruling party MLA has said that anyone who has Rs 2,500 crore can become the chief minister in Karnataka. Throw them out and give a chance to the staunch honest AAP," the party chief said. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann too addressed the public meeting.