Aam Aadmi Party launched the ‘Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao’ campaign from Jantar Mantar on Shaheed Diwas. The party has positioned this countrywide campaign as a bid to protect the democracy and constitution of the nation from being compromised by the BJP Government. The campaign began with salutes to the three great freedom fighters – Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Sukhdev and Shaheed Rajguru – on their martyrdom day. Roaring from the front while addressing the gathering, AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal questioned whether an undereducated Prime Minister can develop the country as per the needs of this era. He also accused PM Modi of promoting corruption and said that the PM protects people who do corruption after joining his party. Shri Arvind Kejriwal further criticised PM Modi stating that it is natural for him to be frustrated and irritated if he sleeps for only 3 hours at night. He also compared the current situation with the British rule, saying that Bhagat Singh had pasted posters during that era, but not a single FIR was lodged against him. However, PM Modi has filed 138 FIRs for pasting posters. He also highlighted the liquor scam in Gujarat, where 150 people died due to spurious liquor, and alleged that there is a liquor scam of 15,000 crores every year, but no action has been taken. He further accused PM Modi of shielding Adani, who was riddled with corruption allegations, and questioned why the CBI-ED was not sent after him. Finally, the Delhi CM talked about the arrest of AAP leaders Shri Manish Sisodia and Shri Satyendar Jain, stating that not a single rupee was found on them, yet they are in jail. In contrast, an MLA from BJP in Karnataka had 8 crores found at his house, but he got bail the next day. The AAP Convenor’s speech drew a huge response from the audience, and the ‘Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao’ campaign was launched with full fervour. The campaign is aimed at creating awareness among the masses about the misdeeds of the Modi government and urging them to vote for a change in the upcoming elections.
A large number of supporters from nearby areas including Delhi-Punjab reached the Jantar Mantar on Thursday. The event was addressed by Punjab CM Sardar Bhagwant Mann, Delhi State Convenor Shri Gopal Rai, Rajya Sabha MP Shri Sanjay Singh, alongside the Delhi CM. Party’s senior leaders and ministers including AAP MP & National General Secretary Dr Sandeep Pathak, National Secretary Shri Pankaj Gupta, Delhi Ministers Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj, Ms Atishi and Shri Imran Hussain, Punjab Cabinet Ministers Sardar Harpal Cheema, Shri Balbir Singh, Delhi MLAs Shri Durgesh Pathak, Smt Rakhi Birla and other senior leaders were also present at the event.
Speaking at the launch event, AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that today is the death anniversary of three great freedom fighters – Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru and they gave the supreme sacrifice to save our nation. “It must have been so difficult to be hanged in a jail but these brave freedom fighters did it for the sake of India. They had a vision for India and imagined it to be a certain way after attaining Independence from British rule,” he said. He added that they had a great vision for the nation and imagined people to be living happily in an Independent India. He said that they dreamt of an India where people would be educated and would not be fighting against each other.
He said that our freedom fighters like Subhash Chandra Bose and Chandrasekhar Azad put up several posters against British rule during that time. He said that even 100 years ago, the British did not jail anyone or file FIRs for putting up posters. He said that even Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh would not have imagined that in the future a Prime Minister would rise in this country, whose government would go on to file 138 FIRs against citizens just by putting up posters against their PM.
The AAP National Convenor said that when a crime takes place against a woman in the country, it often becomes difficult for her to file an FIR against the accused. He said that when a crime such as theft or robbery takes place, the victims often face trouble in trying to file an FIR. But over here, 138 FIRs were filed within a span of 24 hours for putting up posters against the Prime Minister of India.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal wondered if the Prime Minister was unwell because of the behaviour of the Central Government. “If a few people go around putting up posters saying ‘Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao’, what is the big deal about it. Let them put up the posters. Shri Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of such a big nation and is a powerful person. It does not suit his stature to arrest a couple of people who are putting up such trivial posters. Why is he so scared of criticism? Why is he so insecure despite being the PM of such a great nation?”
He gave the example of a BJP supporter who he recently interacted with and said that this person told him that PM Narendra Modi works for 18 hours a day. The BJP supporter also pointed out that the PM slept for only 3 hours a day. “I told him that this is not possible as a person needs a minimum of 6 hours of sleep to function properly. Have you ever seen the PM smile? He constantly seems to be irritated, perhaps because of lack of sleep, and only thinks about which opposition leader to put behind jail all the time,” he said.
He also said that he was informed by someone today that some people had put up posters against him across Delhi today. “It is perfectly fine. This is a democracy and people have the right to express their opinion on political parties. If people like my work then they will praise it, and if they do not like my work they have the right to criticise it. I appeal to the Delhi Police to not arrest anyone for putting up posters against me. I would also like to request the Prime Minister to show some compassion and release those six people who were jailed for putting up posters yesterday,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the biggest fight that the people of India need to fight against is corruption. He highlighted that around 3-4 years ago, the Prime Minister stood up at the Red Fort and announced that he would wage a battle against corruption. The people of the country liked this move as their PM was going to fight against corruption. The very next day, a very big raid was conducted by the CBI and the ED against a leader of the Congress party and lots of unaccounted cash was found at his house. A day after this, the Congress leader fell on PM Modi’s feet and said that he wanted to join the BJP, and soon after all the cases against him were shut down.
Similarly, he pointed out that a senior leader of the TMC was caught by the investigative agencies with a lot of unaccounted cash at his residence, but soon after he joined the BJP and the cases against him were also closed. The CM said that this made it clear to the people that the decision to wage a battle against corruption announced by PM Modi was nothing but a lie. In another incident 8 MLAs of the opposition party were raided and unaccounted cash was found with them, but they joined the BJP later and all cases were shut down. “So, it is clear that the PM is not waging a fight against corruption, but saying that you can join the BJP and continue being corrupt. But if you are in the opposition and then corrupt, then we will jail you,” he said.
The CM pointed out that recently in a raid the son of a BJP MLA from Karnataka was caught with Rs 8 crore of bribe money and yet he managed to get bail the very next day. He compared this with the arrest of leaders such as Shri Manish Sisodia and Shri Satyendra Jain and said that despite not a single penny being found in their possession, they were arrested alleging corruption and have still not been granted bail.
Claiming that there is no thing as ‘excise policy scam’ in Delhi, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that if there is a state in the country where there is a scam in the name of alcohol, then it is in Gujarat. He said that despite being a ‘dry state’, alcohol can easily be procured in Gujarat and just last year more than 150 people died after consuming illicit liquor. He claimed that the liquor trade in Gujarat is worth over Rs 10,000-15,000 crore despite it being a ‘dry state’, he highlighted how when the members of the BJP indulge in corruption then no one raises the matter over there.
Highlighting the numerous cases of corruption against the Adani Group, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that despite the citizens of India asking for a probe, the Central Government did not have the courage to order an inquiry. He said that eventually it was the Supreme Court that asked for a probe into the company’s dealings, but the Modi-led Central Government has still not had the courage to send the CBI and the ED to raid Adani. Therefore he said that the message was clear that if you want to indulge in corruption, then you have to join the BJP and do it, otherwise the central agencies will raid and jail you.
Giving the example of Karnataka, CM Arvind Kejriwal said that the BJP-led government there is referred to as the ’40 percent commission government’. He revealed that for the first time in 75 years, the contractors association in the state got together and wrote a letter to the Prime Minister. In their letter they claimed that they are forced to pay 40 percent commission to politicians. Yet, the Prime Minister did not respond to their letter. Instead, the 82-year-old Contractors’ Association President D Kempanna was sent to jail by the BJP government because he raised his voice against corruption in the state.
Pointing out that in a recent WhatsApp forward, he saw a message that claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has literally hand-picked all the corrupt leaders in Indian politics and brought them into the BJP. He went on to say that in the message it was said that the PM is the ‘Sardaar of all the chors’, and he added that it does not feel good when the people of the country refer to the Prime Minister in such a way.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal contrasted the working style of the BJP against that of AAP and said that in the Aam Aadmi Party we do not spare anyone who indulges in corruption. Giving the example of former Environment and Food and Supplies Minister Asim Ahmed Khan in the first Kejriwal Cabinet, the CM said that the minister was found to be indulging in corruption and even before the opposition parties knew about it, he himself ousted the corrupt leader from the Cabinet and handed him over to the CBI. He also pointed out how Sardar Bhagwant Mann found his own Health Minister to be involved in corruption and got him arrested by the police. He also revealed that the Punjab Government found one of its own MLAs to be involved in corruption and even he was arrested by the police. “If PM Narendra Modi wants an example of how to run an honest government, he can come to us and we will show it to him. Otherwise, it does not suit him when he speaks about fighting against corruption,” he said.
Highlighting that it has been 8 years of the AAP Government in Delhi, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the state government has taken all the citizens along in these years and said that the rate at which developmental activities was taking place in Delhi was phenomenal. He said that this has been possible only because this is a government that is run by educated people. He also said that while working as the Chief Minister, he has realized that it is very important for the head of the state to be literate, otherwise the officers of the government can easily take you for a toss.
Giving the example of the demonetization exercises that was done by the Central Government in November 2016, the CM said that the exercise took the country ten years behind. He also pointed to the number of business that were later shut down as a consequence of it and the number of people who died standing in queues outside banks.
Revealing details of why the demonetization took place, the CM said that it was because some officers decided to take the PM for a toss. “A few officers went to the PM and sold the idea to him that if demonetisation is done, then corruption will come to an end. I want to ask all of you, has corruption stopped since then? The officers told him that if demonetisation takes place then terrorism will also be stopped. Has terrorism stopped since then?”
He said that he recently watched an interview where a journalist asked the PM how educated he was, and the PM responded that he studied till high school. In another speech he can be heard saying that that he is not too educated and that he studied in a school in a village. “After watching this I understood why demonetisation happened in India. If we had an educated PM, then he would have understood that this decision will take India ten years behind. Therefore it is very important to have an educated Prime Minister in India,” he said.
Highlighting the Centre’s decision to implement the GST structure, the CM said that the decision to implement the GST regime was ongoing from the time of the Congress-led Central Government. But the way the GST has been implemented is a mess. He said that you can speak to any trader in the country and they are troubled by the implementation of the GST. Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that if India had an educated PM, then GST could have been implemented in a better manner and it would not cause distress to the traders of India.
Revealing how PM Modi brought in the three farm laws despite the farmer community pleading against it, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the ego of the PM was such that despite thousands of farmers sitting on protest at the borders of Delhi, the Central Government did not listen to their voices. It was only after over 750 farmers died while protesting that the laws were revoked by the government under pressure. He said that if the PM was educated then such a decision against the farmer community would never have been taken.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal revealed that in the last few years 60,000 government schools have shut in the country and said that at a time when poverty in the country is on the rise, the number of government schools should actually be increasing. He said that India is a country that has over 6 lakh villages and therefore there should be more than 6 lakh government schools, but in reality the number of government schools is on the decline. He said that because the PM is not well educated, his political party does not give priority to education.
Referring to Shri Manish Sisodia, the Delhi CM said that after 75 years of Independence a person such as him became the Education Minister and had a vision to change the face of government schools of Delhi. He said that if the PM actually cared about education in the country, he would put political differences aside and bring an able leader such as Shri Manish Sisodia into the Centre and make him the Education Minister of the Central Government. “But a person like Narendra Modi goes ahead and puts a person like Manish Sisodia in jail. That day I was very upset. Not for Manish Sisodia, he is a true patriot like Bhagat Singh and can give his life for the country. But I was upset because this nation will lose a very capable leader,” he said.
Pointing out other embarrassing gaffes of the PM, the Delhi CM said that the Prime Minister had asked the citizens of the nation to bang plates to drive away Covid-19. He also said that in an important meeting with renowned scientists, the PM said that tea can be made from gas that is released in drains. He also pointed out how the PM once said that we must attack an enemy nation during the rains, as the radar will not detect the attacking projectile because of clouds. He said that when the PM says things like this, it makes the head of the citizens of the country hang in shame.
The Delhi CM said that he was worried as the PM takes several decisions related to the well-being of our citizens on a daily basis and if he is not educated then on what basis are these decisions taken. “I want to raise a very important question today. Is it not necessary for the Prime Minister of 21st Century India to be educated? Can an uneducated PM bring the development that 21st Century India needs? This is a very serious question and I want all of our citizens to deeply think about it,” he said.
He concluded by saying that the AAP-led Government in Punjab under Sardar Bhagwant Mann recently took some brave decisions to curb extremism in the state and they need to be applauded for their efforts. “Without shooting a single bullet, the rise of extremism in Punjab was brought under control and this was done with intensive planning and strategizing carried out by the AAP Government in the state. Today everyone is saying that the AAP-led Government in Punjab is doing a fantastic job to control law and order in the state,” he said.