The Aam Aadmi Party has claimed that it has ended corruption in Punjab within 10 days of coming to power. According to Delhi chief minister and AAP National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal, there is now no corruption in Punjab, since the chief minister Bhagwant Mann has packed the stalls of all corrupt leaders and officials. Kejriwal said, “I don’t know how to do politics. But I know how to end corruption. We ended corruption in Delhi, where now you do not have to pay bribes in government offices. In Punjab, Bhagwant Mann ended corruption in ten days.”
The Delhi chief minister made the claim in Gujarat, where his party is looking to emerge as a challenger to the BJP. Wouldn’t you think that there is not a speck of corruption remaining in Punjab? It is almost like officials have stopped taking bribes and engaging in shady activities organically. But this is a lie. Corruption is very much rampant. To add to it, Kejriwal views ‘corruption’ as only a phenomenon in which bribes are exchanged. That really limits the purview of what corruption actually is.
AAP’s Track Record
Arvind Kejriwal likes to flaunt his ‘Delhi Model’ wherever he goes. According to a survey by Statista, as of January 2020, a majority (40 per cent) of Delhi residents said there had been no reduction in corruption under Kejriwal’s rule. In fact, 14 per cent of the respondents even went on to say that corruption had increased under the AAP government. 23 per cent of the respondents said there had been only a minor reduction in corruption.
In February this year, an AAP councillor from East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Geeta Rawat, and her associate, Bilal, were arrested by CBI on charges of bribery and corruption. CBI spokesperson RC Joshi said a case was registered by the agency against the councillor of ward 10-E on the allegations of demanding a bribe of Rs 20,000 from a person.
Remember how Arvind Kejriwal and his gang strongarmed the UPA government to bring in the Lokpal Bill during the ‘India Against Corruption campaign’? Well, since September 2020, the post of state Lokayukta in Delhi has remained vacant. So, while Kejriwal wants the Centre to be held accountable for corrupt activities, it does not want the same to happen to his government in Delhi.
In 2017, a massive feud broke out within the Aam Aadmi Party. Back then, his cabinet colleague, Kapil Mishra accused Kejriwal of massive corruption. He even filed complaints with the CBI and the Anti-Corruption Bureau alleging that he saw Kejriwal taking a bribe of ₹2 crores from his colleague Satyendra Jain. He also alleged the Delhi CM delayed the probe into the ₹400-crore water-tanker scam and that his relatives were striking shady land deals in Delhi.
AAP has a massive advertisement budget. Where does it get the money for it from? Does it use its personal coffers for extravagant advertisement campaigns, or is the money of Delhi’s citizens being used by Kejriwal to fuel the growth of his party? I’ll leave answering that question to you.
Bhagwant Mann and his Rs 6 Lakh wonder bridge!
Who can forget that Bhagwant Mann just constructed a bridge worth crores in under Rs 6 lakh after coming to power in Punjab! That’s right. In Dirba village of Sangrur, the AAP government managed to build a bridge consisting of two concrete slabs in under Rs. 6 lakhs! Of course, it thought the people would fall for its lies. Mann and Kejriwal thought they would place two concrete slabs over a stream and convince the people of Punjab that they had built a bridge. The lie did not fare well with the people though.
The brilliance of it all: A bridge that costs merely ₹6 lakh. Compliments to the engineer. pic.twitter.com/dhNoYXKFyi
— Kanchan Gupta 🇮🇳 (@KanchanGupta) March 31, 2022
Will Kejriwal Answer?
Arvind Kejriwal’s politics is centred around ending corrupt practices. But he has failed at ensuring that corruption ends in Delhi, leave alone him doing so in Punjab within 10 days of gaining power. As a matter of fact, the allegations of corruption facing AAP and its leaders are rather serious, and if probed diligently, could end Kejriwal’s career as a politician.
In Punjab, Bhagwant Mann has launched a WhatsApp number that people can use to lodge corruption-related complaints directly with the chief minister’s office. This move was hailed as “unprecedented” and “historic” by the AAP government. Mind you, that is all Mann’s government has done to tame corruption, and it still has the gall to declare Punjab a corruption-free state!