AAP National Convenor & Delhi Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Bhagwant Mann jointly inaugurated a new batch of 80 Mohalla Clinics in Ludhiana on Friday. The clinics will provide free healthcare services to the people of Punjab, improving the accessibility and quality of healthcare in the state.
During the inauguration, Shri Arvind Kejriwal addressed several political issues and challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prove any corruption charges against him. PM Modi, please stop your ‘nautanki’, you can hang me in front of the nation the day you are able to prove that I have committed corruption of even one paisa, but until then, let us serve our citizens, he remarked. He also praised the AAP government’s performance in Punjab and criticised the BJP for ignoring the situation in Manipur while conducting election rallies in Karnataka. These people used to say AAP won’t be able to handle a border state, we managed to handle Punjab very well, but today when Manipur is burning these people are busy doing election rallies in Karnataka, he added.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal accused his rivals of conspiring to stall the development taking place in Delhi and Punjab and said they left ED-CBI behind him so they can falsely frame him for corruption. However, he expressed gratitude for the public’s support and said that it is the public’s blessings that fuel the party’s vigour. The Delhi CM said that his government has brought an investment of 40,000 crores to Punjab within one year, and other states should follow the AAP model instead of merely signing MoUs that never bring investment. He also expressed his desire to make every government school in Punjab good enough to make the whole state proud of its students and teachers.
In his speech, Sardar Bhagwant Mann praised the success of the Mohalla Clinics in Punjab and said they have already opened 580 Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics in Punjab, offering 48 types of tests and complete treatment for free. “We offer the best healthcare services in Punjab and we aim to make Punjab ‘Rangla’ once again. The AAP government will give employment, education, healthcare, and good infrastructure to every citizen,” he added.
The inauguration of the new batch of Mohalla Clinics was attended by Punjab Health Minister Dr Balbir Singh, Rajya Sabha MPs from the state Shri Raghav Chadha and Shri Sanjeev Arora and other senior AAP leaders and supporters in large numbers, who hailed the efforts of the AAP government in improving the healthcare and infrastructure in Punjab.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that he is delighted to be in Punjab to inaugurate the next set of Mohalla Clinics. He added that the state until now had 500 Mohalla Clinics functioning and now 80 more would be added to this list. He also added that the residents of the state have said that they are extremely pleased about these Mohalla Clinics and have been benefiting from them. Highlighting the benefits of these clinics, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the residents do not have to pay any consultation charges and further the costs of medical tests and medicines are free. He also added that these Mohalla Clinics have functional air conditioning systems and it does not look like how the previous medical facilities in the state were.
He added that the residents of Punjab have never had such good health facilities near their houses. “A little more than 1.5 years ago, when Sardar Bhagwant Mann and I were campaigning in the state ahead of the Punjab elections and we promised the people such facilities, not many people believed us. Although the residents here were aware that the AAP Government in Delhi had provided free schools, hospitals, electricity and water, but they were unsure if this could be done in Punjab. But the people thought that AAP in Punjab should be given a chance and therefore we won with such an overwhelming majority,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the Sardar Bhagwant Mann-led government in the state will go on to fulfill all the promises that were made to the people before the elections. The Delhi CM said that even he is amazed at the speed at which the AAP government in Punjab has been working for the people. “It has only been one year since our government was formed in Punjab, and generally one year is not a lot of time. Other political parties ruled over Punjab for 75 years and they went on to loot the people of the state. There are so many scams that the previous governments indulged in. They left behind mafias in all fields of business in the state. It takes time to fix these things up. Despite all of this, Sardar Bhagwant Mann had built so many Mohalla Clinics in such a short span of time. In Delhi it took us five years to build 500 Mohalla Clinics, but here in Punjab 580 Mohalla Clinics have been built in just over a year,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that in the last couple of months he has been visiting Punjab very frequently and every time he is here to inaugurate some new service that has been launched by the state government. He highlighted that he visited the state when there were 400 Mohalla Clinics to be inaugurated, then another 100 Mohalla Clinics were to be inaugurated, and then there was the inauguration of yoga classes for the residents. He said that he was very happy to see that so much development has taken place in Punjab in a short span of just one year. “For 75 years the residents of Punjab had only seen their state be looted, but today they are witnessing their state touch upon the heights of development,” he said.
He also said that when a government does good work, information about it spreads across to other areas. “In Delhi when we began to do good work, the states around it started to get to know about it. Soon in Punjab the people saw the developmental work that was taking place in Delhi and they decided to vote for the AAP over here in the state. Similarly now in Punjab, the state government is doing a good job, and the this news is going out to other state across the country,” he said.
He said that when the AAP Government in Delhi provided free electricity to its residents, the people across the country said that this can be done in Delhi, but not in a big state like Punjab. “But now our government has provided free electricity in Punjab and the people have started to believe that this can be done across the country as well,” he said. Speaking about the creation of jobs across the state, he said that the Punjab CM just mentioned that the state government has provided 29000 government jobs to the residents. “But these are just government jobs. Now that 580 Mohalla Clinics have been opened, that means at least 580 doctors and the number of paramedics employed will be two or three times this number. A single Mohalla Clinic provides jobs to 6-7 people,” he said.
Praising Sardar Bhagwant Mann, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that in the last one year, the Punjab CM has travelled extensively across the country and brought investment worth Rs 40,000 crore to the state. He also pointed out that this is real investment, unlike the gimmick that is done by most other states. “Every state now has an event similar to “Invest Punjab”. But what happens in most of these states is mere “nautanki”. I am using this term intentionally. Since what most other states do is just sign MoUs. This does not translate to money and jobs for the residents of the state. But within one year, Sardar Bhagwant Mann travelled to Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, etc. He literally sat with the business leaders in these cities and discussed projects for the state. Presently, the Punjab government has not just signed MoUs worth Rs 40,000 but factories have started to be built in the state,” he said. Tata Steel’s second largest plant in the country after Jamshedpur is going to be built in Punjab. The inauguration has taken place and foundation laying has also started. In the next one-and-a-half years, many such industries will become operational, where 2.50 lakh people will get employment. “Today the industrialists of the whole country are expressing their faith in Punjab. This is a big deal. Often the Chief Ministers have an ego that I am the Chief Minister, ‘no one junior than the chairman of Tata Steel should come to meet me’; But Sardar Bhagwant Mann also meets the CEOs and Managing Directors of the companies. Provided that they are ready to invest money in Punjab. Bringing Rs 40,000 crore within a year is not a joke, previous Chief Ministers used to sign fake MoUs worth Rs 40,000 crore,” he added.
Highlighting the plight of Punjab before AAP came to power, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that earlier state employees used to climb upon water tankers protesting for their demands. “But after the formation of the AAP government, this practice has stopped. So far, more than 27 thousand contractual workers have been regularised. As soon as the government was formed, we started strengthening the employees and regularised them. We sat with the AG, lawyers and officers and asked how to ensure that there is no legal shortcoming that prevents the regularisation. Our intention is clear. That’s why we didn’t wait for the elections to bring development,” he said.
Referring to a tweet by the Education Minister of Punjab, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the building of the first School of Eminence to be built in Punjab will be very grand. “After a few years every government schools will be a matter of pride for the people of Punjab. Like Delhi, it will be a matter of pride for the people of Punjab to send their children to government schools,” he said. The AAP Convenor also said that the Punjab government is now going to start the work of transforming all the government hospitals as well. “It will definitely take two-three years, but the system will be such that the complete treatment of every class, rich and poor, of Punjab will be free,” he added. He also pointed out how the AAP government has given Rs 15,000 per acre as compensation to the farmers for crop damage. Farmers never received this much compensation before. Earlier compensation was announced after crop failure and people used to wait for it for many years. But this time the compensation money reached the farmers’ account within 20 days. “Earlier, after selling the crop, the farmers were not paid for many days, but now the payment is done within 24 hours. A Samman Rashi of Rs one crore each is being given to the families of the martyrs. Some soldiers of Punjab were martyred on the border in Jammu and Kashmir and CM Sardar Bhagwant Mann went to their house and presented them with a cheque of one crore rupees. Punjab is the land of heroes. There is also a Sikh Regiment of Punjab. Many soldiers of Punjab have given martyrdom to the country. Till date, the families of the martyrs have never received such support from the government,” he said. Shri Arvind Kejriwal also declared that eventually, the mafia-raj including that of the sand mafia and bus mafia is being stopped in Punjab and corruption is being eradicated as well.
Congratulating the Punjab government and Sardar Bhagwant Mann, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the government handled the Amritpal issue with great maturity without making noise and without firing a single bullet. “Within the last year, the law and order situation in Punjab has become better than ever before. Now there is peace everywhere in Punjab. I pray to God that such peace prevails and people progress a lot. Before the elections, people used to make fun of us and used to say that Punjab is a border state, the Aam Aadmi Party will not be able to handle it. We were able to manage this border state. But those in Manipur fail to provide safety to their people. Today Manipur is burning and but they all are busy doing election rallies in Karnataka.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Bhagwant Mann said that Punjab’s success in opening 580 Mohalla clinics that have provided free checkups, tests, and medicines to over 25 lakh people so far is a testament to the Aam Aadmi Party’s determination to prioritise the welfare of the common people and fulfil its electoral promise of free and high-quality medical care in Punjab. Setting up Mohalla Clinics in Punjab will not just create employment but also help in the early detection and treatment of several diseases, such as tuberculosis, diabetes, and hypertension, across various regions in Punjab and in ensuring that specialist hospitals and doctors are provided accordingly. Moreover, mohalla clinics have also contributed to reducing the burden on tertiary care hospitals and emergency departments.
Sardar Bhagwant Mann said that the AAP governments have managed to achieve their electoral promises despite doubts raised by the opposition parties over funds. He emphasised that corruption-free governance is the key to funding these projects. He said, “The state government is not a money-minting machine, but rather it is responsible for ensuring that funds are managed well, leakages are closed, corruption is curbed, and the money is planned and used effectively for the people.” He expressed gratitude that AAP is headed by an ex-income tax commissioner, Shri Arvind Kejriwal, who understands how to manage expenses for the benefit of the people. He also rebutted criticisms that free education, treatment, and electricity were spoiling the people, noting that if political leaders could enjoy these comforts, so too could the people.