The Aam Aadmi Party has slammed Delhi LG VK Saxena for his derogatory remarks portraying the people of Delhi as freeloaders. AAP Chief Spokesperson Ms. Priyanka Kakkar vehemently defended the hardworking citizens of Delhi and highlighted their significant contributions to the nation. She also issued a challenge to the LG, urging him to relinquish the “free” facilities he receives from the taxpayers of Delhi and leave the city if he has such serious concerns about the benefits provided by the Kejriwal government. She pointedly highlighted the irony of the LG receiving 3 to 4 thousand units of free electricity, a luxurious bungalow, an entourage of servants, staff, and vehicles, all at the expense of hardworking Delhiites. She emphasised that as an outsider, LG VK Saxena fails to recognize the unwavering work ethic of Delhiites, who contributed a staggering amount of 1.78 lakh crore in taxes to the Center during the financial year 2022-23. Furthermore, she highlighted instances where the LG’s decisions hindered essential services and programs for the people of Delhi. The AAP Chief Spokesperson demanded a public apology and a retraction of the statement from the LG.

Delhi LG VK Saxena made a statement on Wednesday claiming that the people of Delhi are used to receiving freebies, during an event organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce. In a scathing response to the LG’s derogatory remarks, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Thursday, “The people of Delhi are hard working. They have beautified Delhi with hard work. LG Sahib, you have come from outside, and do not understand Delhi and Delhiites. Don’t insult the people of Delhi like this… The Delhi government does not steal like other governments. By saving money, it gives convenience to the people. Why is this bothering you?”

Criticising the Delhi LG for his attempts to defame the people of Delhi, AAP Chief Spokesperson Ms Priyanka Kakkar also highlighted the LG’s remark earlier this month, that “Delhiites lack a sense of belongingness towards the city.” She hit back at him for these derogatory remarks, saying, “The outsider LG continues to insult and defame the hardworking people of Delhi by portraying them as freeloaders.”

She strongly defended the people of Delhi, emphasising their hard work and contribution to the city and the nation despite the lack of support and funding from the central government towards Delhi and its residents. She stated, “First and foremost, I would like to remind the outsider LG, Vinai Kumar Saxena that the people of Delhi are very hardworking individuals who contribute significantly to our economy and our nation. Delhi is among the highest tax contributors to tax collections, with a staggering contribution of INR 1.78 lakh crore in direct taxes in the previous financial year, 2022-23. Astonishingly, despite this substantial contribution, the central government only allocated a meagre INR 325 crores to the capital city. Furthermore, according to the Finance Commission, the civic bodies in Delhi are also entitled to receive the assistance of Rs 485 per person, yet the central government fails to provide any support or financial aid to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.”

It is important to note that Delhi is among the two states that pay more than half of India’s income tax. Despite repeated requests, Delhi’s share in the Central pool of taxes continues to be frozen at Rs 325 crore for the past two decades. The Centre gives grants to all municipal corporations across the country, based on a formula of Rs 485 per person of the population. However, it has not been paying grants to the Delhi MCD for over a decade.

Highlighting the integrity of the Delhi government, Ms Priyanka Kakkar emphasised, “The people of Delhi still have a sincere and honest government that prioritises the welfare of its citizens. Unlike others, we are not entangled in any political nexus with the BJP. The CM Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government ensures that the hard-earned money of the people is collected through taxes transparently and is reinvested into providing essential services and public facilities for Delhi residents. The LG and the BJP perceive these citizen-centric initiatives as ‘freebies,’ but in reality, they are the result of an honest government efficiently utilising the taxpayer money from the people for the betterment of the people.”

Capturing the frustration felt by many, Ms Priyanka Kakkar asserted, “Is the LG’s work only to enjoy perks and benefits owing to the tax contributions of the people of Delhi, while stopping services and programmes for the people, and insulting them? If he dislikes the people of Delhi so much, then he should, first of all, give up all the facilities, which are being paid for by the people of Delhi, and then depart from Delhi. I want to remind LG Vinai Kumar Saxena that all the privileges being enjoyed by him today are being paid for by the hard-earned wages of Delhiites. The Delhi LG enjoys free electricity allocations of 3 to 4 thousand units, the provision of a free residence at Raj Niwas Bungalow, free cars and fuel, free business class air travel, etc. Even his domestic help and support staff are paid for by funds sourced from the people’s taxes.”

Ms Priyanka Kakkar questioned whether the central government has placed an outsider LG Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena in Delhi, only for him to ungratefully hinder the progress of the very people who pay for the benefits he receives. She asked, “The unnecessary termination of yoga classes, the discontinuation of environmental awareness programs like ‘Red Light ON, Gaadi OFF,’ and even the halt on teachers’ exposure and training programs in Singapore are clear examples of the LG’s obstruction of the programmes aimed to benefit Delhi residents.”

The AAP Chief Spokesperson concluded, saying, “Is it fair for the LG to enjoy these privileges funded by the people’s money while simultaneously obstructing the progress of Delhi? AAP demands that the LG immediately retract his derogatory statements against the people of Delhi and issue a public apology.”

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