In a scathing attack, the Aam Aadmi Party, India’s youngest political party, accused the country’s oldest party, Congress, of stealing ideas and manifesto points from their party. AAP Senior Leader and Cabinet Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj highlighted several instances where Congress seemingly imitated policies championed by Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). He drew attention to Congress’s apparent hypocrisy by pointing out their criticism of AAP’s promises of free water and electricity in Delhi, only to witness Congress announcing similar guarantees in Himachal Pradesh. Congress ridiculed our free water-electricity guarantees in Delhi, he said, adding that yet they shamelessly adopted the same promises in Himachal Pradesh, along with the announcement of free electricity and monthly allowance to women.
Furthermore, Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj criticised Congress for vehemently opposing CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal’s groundbreaking initiative of free bus travel for women in Delhi, only to later emulate the scheme in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.
AAP Chief Spokesperson Ms Priyanka Kakkar shed light on the Congress government in Karnataka, accusing them of withholding funds for other vital infrastructure projects in order to fulfil their own electoral promises. Ms Kakkar also applauded CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal’s ability to deliver a profitable budget for Delhi despite providing numerous free facilities to the people.
Addressing a press conference on the issue, Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “The Congress party is the oldest national party in the country, and it has been on a decline for a while now. It has been some time now that the people of the country have been wondering what or who is responsible for the decline of this political party. They have been wondering why such an old political party and its leadership is in absolute tatters at the moment. But what we are noticing is that there doesn’t only seem to be a leadership crisis within the Congress party, but they also seem to be suffering from lack of ideas to rise from this crisis,” he said.
Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj further said that the Congress party seems to be disconnected with the people on the ground and that they seem to have no way to even find out what the citizens on ground want from them. “The biggest example of this in the current political scenario is that now the oldest political party in the country has started to even steal ideas and the manifesto of the youngest political party of the country. I was trying to see if there is any legal way to copyright our manifesto so that others don’t end up copying ideas from it. It was Shri Arvind Kejriwal who for the first time said that most election manifesto were fake and therefore introduced the “Kejriwal ki guarantee”. Now the Congress has even gone on to steal the term “guarantee” from the AAP manifesto. During the Himachal Pradesh elections, the Congress used the term “guarantee” instead of manifesto,” he said.
The Delhi Cabinet Minister said that when AAP for the first time in its manifesto mentioned that it would provide electricity up to 200 units free of cost and up to 400 units for half the price, the Congress party made fun of the guarantee and protested against it. “When for the first time in our manifesto we mentioned that we would make “bijli half, paani maaf”, the leaders of Congress party including Shri Ajay Maken made fun of our promise to the people and said that AAP does not know how to do politics. He went on to say that this cannot be done and that the AAP was lying to the people to get their votes. Ajay Maken said that these people do not know how to do politics and the Congress party has been in politics for decades, and therefore we know that all of this cannot physically be made possible. The video of Ajay Maken saying this is still available on the Internet,” he said.
Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj said that after mocking AAP and making fun of its manifesto, the Congress party is now word-by-word stealing the promises that AAP has made to the people and writing them down in their own manifesto. “Before the Himachal Pradesh elections, the Congress party shamelessly copied the “Kejriwal ki guarantee” and included it in its manifesto. It said that it would give 300 units of free electricity in the state. In Punjab when we had said that we would give a monthly allowance to women, the Congress party made fun of us. All their senior leaders including Shri Captain Amarinder Singh, Shri Navjot Sidhu and Shri Charanjit Singh Channi, said that this was not possible and that AAP was just fooling the people. But then later the Congress went on to make the same announcement in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka,” he said.
The senior AAP leader pointed out that it was the same case with the free travel scheme for women in the state. “They first mocked us and then went on to implement the same scheme in Himachal Pradesh. Now in Karnataka they have implemented the same scheme – although they have put up several conditions for the women travellers over here,” he said.
Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj said that the Congress did not have talented individuals to lead the party and therefore it had now become what is called a CCC – Copy Cat Congress. “The Congress does not seem to have individuals who are in touch with the people on the ground. They do not have party workers who understand the issues faced by the people and can draft an original manifesto that can solve the problems that the people face. Even this basic qualification seems to be over in the party workers of the Congress. All that the Congress indulges now in is copying the Aam Aadmi Party. We can call it the CCC – Copy Cat Congress,” he said.
He concluded by saying that if the grand party wanted to continue to remain a serious political contender then it will have to do a serious rethink of its tactics. “At the moments, the leaders of the Congress party are unable to run a party, or come up with original ideas for their manifesto. All that they do is steal the ideas of Shri Arvind Kejriwal. This is a serious problem within the party and I think that if they want to continue to remain a serious political contender, then the Congress needs to think about this seriously,” he said.
AAP Chief Spokesperson Ms Priyanka Kakkar said that she was recently made aware that there is a study being conducted in Harvard University to try and look into the reasons for the decline of the Congress party. “Some of the reasons pointed out by this study are the horrific decisions taken by the party high command. Take for instance, the decision to appoint Shri Charanjit Singh Channi as the Chief Minister of Punjab just before the Punjab elections. They eventually went on to lose to us very badly. Their defeat in Punjab was the worst that the Congress party has seen in its history in Punjab,” she said.
She further said that the Congress may go on to copy the manifesto promises of the Aam Aadmi Party, but it does not have the diligence to work after coming to power unlike Shri Arvind Kejriwal. “The Congress may copy the guarantees of AAP and include it in its manifesto, but I firmly believe that it will still not be able to do the work that AAP does. The fiscal prudence of Shri Arvind Kejriwal where he can make the promises to the people and yet deliver on a surplus budget, this cannot be copied by everyone. We have heard that now in Karnataka, infrastructure projects are being put on standby because the Congress does not have the funds to implement the five “guarantees” that it promised to the people. It is easy to copy someone blindly, but even to run on a copied path one needs to have some intelligence,” she concluded.