Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri has come down heavily on the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and accused him of making a false promise of providing free metro and bus rides to women in Delhi. He has told India Today that Kejriwal may have publicly announced free metro and bus rides for women but neither the Central Government nor the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had received any proposal to that effect.
Slamming Kejriwal for not acting on his words, Puri said that Kejriwal was suffering from “broken window fraud”. He said, “There are two types of syndrome – broken window syndrome and broken window fraud. I think Kejriwal is suffering from the latter.” He added, “Kejriwal has a budget of Rs 50,000 crore. He is neither using it for Swachhta in Delhi nor is he giving Delhi citizens benefits of Ayushman Bharat scheme by the Central government. But now he wants to give a freebie of RS 1,200 crore. This needs to be debated. BJP is all for women. But this is not a scheme. Kejriwal has made an announcement first but DMRC or us haven’t received any proposal as of yet.” Talking about the proposal to provide free bus rides, Puri said that the Delhi government had failed to bring enough buses on roads, rendering the proposal to provide free bus rides also unrealistic.
Hardeep Puri said, “To make bus travel free, there should be enough buses in the first place to cater to passengers. There’s a sanction of 11000 buses then why they are not on the Delhi streets, Kejriwal should answer that first.” Puri has thus, squarely exposed the AAP National Convenor about his fake promise to provide free bus and metro rides to women in Delhi.
However, it must be noted that even after being exposed the AAP leaders are still not accepting their folly. AAP Minister, Kailash Gahlot made counter-allegations against Puri instead of clarifying why his party convenor and Delhi CM had made fake promises. He said, “Hardeep Puri is simply lying. There are a number of meetings, which have taken place between the DMRC and Delhi transport department, and even at the moment, a search meeting is taking place to finalise the blueprint. Government has the budget for such schemes.” He also said, “The cabinet note is being prepared to be put up before the Delhi cabinet as soon as possible. All modes and feasibility are being studied by the DMRC and the daily transport departments and several meetings between the officials are also taking place.” Therefore, the proposal is in a very nascent stage and even the Delhi cabinet has not approved it till now. However, Kejriwal had announced the move in such a manner as if the decision had been cleared at all levels and all that was left was to practically implement it.
Now, that the Delhi government has been caught lying, it is once again trying to shift the blame on the centre. Even before failing on yet another front, the Kejriwal led party has already trained guns at the centre. Kailash Gahlot reportedly warned the Centre against creating roadblocks against this move. He said, “If the Union government stops this move [of free rides], this will go against people and work we are doing. Delhi government does not need their approval.” Therefore, it seems that the Delhi government is yet again set to fail at delivering on its populist promises and it has already positioned itself to blame the Modi government at the centre for its own failures.