Aam Aadmi Party is gaining massive support in Chhattisgarh, just months before the state is due to go for polls later this year. Building on this momentum, AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal delivered a powerful address to a massive gathering at the Jansabha in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, along with Punjab CM Sardar Bhagwant Mann. Shri Arvind Kejriwal emphasised the crucial role of education in leadership, criticising the Prime Minister and shedding light on his own party’s initiatives to uplift the people of Delhi. During his speech, he highlighted the significance of having an educated Prime Minister, stating that an undereducated man cannot lead India; this nation needs an educated Prime Minister. He further referenced an interview in which PM Modi confessed to not pursuing further studies after leaving his village school, underscoring the importance of education in governance.
Turning his attention to the state of the economy, Shri Arvind Kejriwal criticised PM Modi for implementing demonetisation, stating that PM Modi destroyed the economy by bringing demonetization. An educated Prime Minister would have never done so, he said. He stressed the need for competent leaders who possess the necessary knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions for the betterment of the country. Highlighting his party’s vision and achievements, he expressed the intent behind providing essential services to the people of Delhi. He contrasted this with the lack of similar initiatives from the BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh, remarking that BJP-Congress could have given free electricity in Chhattisgarh in the last 20 years, but they did not have the right intent.
In response to PM Modi’s criticism, Shri Arvind Kejriwal defended his policies, mentioning that PM Modi says that Kejriwal distributes ‘Free Ki Revdi,’ but he has forgotten that his own best friend takes home more ‘Free Ki Revdi’ than anyone else. He also criticised the Prime Minister for favouring corporate interests. He also expressed his optimism for a potential change in Chhattisgarh, saying that if Chhattisgarh gives AAP a chance like Delhi and Punjab, people here too will forget BJP-Congress.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that Chhattisgarh is a state that is blessed with abundant beauty and resources and added that it had beautiful rivers, forests and forms of traditional medicines. He also added that there are many different types of minerals that the state is blessed with. With all the resources that the state is blessed with, it should have been the richest state in India. However, the CM said that, unfortunately, it is also the state which has the highest amount of poverty. For this he blamed the politicians of the state. He said that despite such bountiful resources and the good intentions of the people of the state, it has been cursed with bad politicians and therefore for the state to progress, the ruling political party in Chhattisgarh needed to be changed. “It was in 2000 that the state of Chhattisgarh was created after being separated from Madhya Pradesh. At that time, the residents of the state had high hopes and believed that now their state would also see development. Chhattisgarh is a state that is blessed with abundant beauty and resources and added that it had beautiful rivers, forests and forms of traditional medicines. The state is also blessed with many different types of minerals and coal and steel is produced here. The Gods have blessed the state and given it everything, except probably just one thing – honest politicians. This is one thing that unfortunately this state does not have,” he said.
He continued, “With so many minerals and mines in the state, with iron and steel in the state, Chhattisgarh should have seen development much earlier. It has been over 20 years since the state was created and with the resources that this state has, every family in Chhattisgarh could have become rich in this time. There could have been good quality schools and hospitals built in every village in the state in all this time. If the politicians here were honest and if they had worked for the citizens in the last 20 years, then so many people would not have come to this gathering of the Aam Aadmi Party in Chhattisgarh today. If the people here were actually happy with the traditional political parties such as the BJP and the Congress, then there was no need for AAP to enter the state,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the rise of AAP in Delhi and Punjab has made people forget about the Congress and the BJP. “Look at the situation now in Delhi and Punjab, the citizens there are so happy with the ruling AAP government, that hardly anyone even attends the rallies that are organised by the BJP and Congress in these two states. The presence of such a large crowd here at the AAP rally in Bilaspur today suggests that the people in the state are not happy with the Congress and the BJP,” he said.
The Delhi Chief Minister hit out at the politicians of Chhattisgarh for defaming the state. “Unfortunately, across the country today, Chhattisgarh is known for the scams that have taken place in the state over the last few years. These include scams that have taken place in minerals, iron and the transport sector. Whoever got the opportunity – the BJP or the Congress – they both have gone on to loot the state,” he said.
He continued, “There was a time when Delhi was also defamed by the politicians who ruled the state. When the Congress party governed Delhi, it was known as the city where the Commonwealth Games Scam had taken place. It was further also known as the land of CNG Scam and the 2G Scam during the time of the UPA government. But since the AAP-led state government has taken over Delhi, it has been known as the place where there are excellent schools and Mohalla Clinics. Today, Delhi is known across the country and the world because of its good quality education and healthcare. It is known for its progress, its development and the happiness of the citizens of Delhi. It has only been a year since AAP formed the government in Punjab and across the country the people are speaking about the progress the state has been making.”
The Delhi CM said that the residents of Chhattisgarh that he interacted with were completely surprised when they found out that the people of Delhi get a zero electricity bill. “Some people from Chhattisgarh came to me and said that the electricity in the state is very expensive. You would be surprised to know that in Delhi people get a zero electricity bill and they also get 24 hours of electricity. In Punjab, it has been a year since AAP formed the government and even there the residents now get a zero electricity bill, and there are no power cuts as well. Before the AAP formed the government in Delhi, there used to be 8-hour power cuts on a daily basis, but now there are no power cuts at all. A year ago, in Punjab there used to be 7-8 hour power cuts, but now there are no power cuts and at the same time people get free electricity. This has been possible because our intentions are right. If Sardar Bhagwant Mann can provide free electricity to the residents of his state within a year and I can do it in Delhi as well, then why have the politicians in Chhattisgarh not been able to do it in the last 20 or so years?” he asked.
He further added that the governments in Chhattisgarh could have done it as well, but they were busy looting the people to fill their own coffers. “Of course, the governments over here could have done it as well, but they were busy looting the people of the state and earning money for themselves. What is even more shocking is that electricity is produced in Chhattisgarh, and yet it is so expensive for the residents of the state. In Delhi, we do not produce electricity, and yet my government has been able to provide free electricity to the citizens there and they get it 24 hours a day. The people in Delhi get an electricity bill, everyone gets it, but in that bill zero is written. The people over here may not be able to believe it as they would not have seen a zero bill. In Delhi, people get 24 hours of electricity and their bills come to zero, but over here in Chhattisgarh, the bills do not get electricity and they only get the electricity bills, which are inflated,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that he is proud of providing “free ki revdi” to the citizens of Delhi and listed out the seven “free ki revdi” that his government has been providing to the residents in Delhi. “Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is very angry with me and he goes around saying that Kejriwal is distributing ‘free revdis’ to the citizens in his state. Yes Modiji, I provide “free ki revdi” to my citizens, but your leaders end up stealing all the revdis for themselves. I want to tell the PM that in the hands of each individual in Delhi I have provided seven “free ki revdi”. The first one is that I have made electricity free in Delhi and I provided it for 24 hours to my citizens. The second is that I have built excellent schools across Delhi. Now the children of the rich and the poor families study together in these schools. The son of a judge, an IAS officer and a rickshaw-driver sit together and study in these schools. The third “free ki revdi” is that I have made healthcare free for citizens. In most other states, healthcare is so expensive nowadays. In case someone falls ill in the family, our poor citizens are forced to sell their land and inheritance to go to a hospital. But this is not the case in Delhi, over here everything from the doctor’s fees to medicines come for free. Even if you need to get some surgery in case of cancer, even that we provide to our citizens for free,” he said.
He added, “The fourth one is that everyone in Delhi gets good quality water and the water bills for most households are free. The fifth is that bus rides for the women of Delhi are free in all types of public and private buses. The sixth “free ki revdi” is that I provide free teerth yatra to the elderly citizens in every family of Delhi. As part of the program we take them to Ayodhya, Dwarka, Shirdi, Puri, Rameswaram and other destinations across India. The seventh and the final “free ki revdi is that I am working hard to provide employment opportunities to the youth of Delhi. So far, our government in Delhi has provided 12 lakh jobs to the youth of Delhi. It has only been a year since AAP formed the government in Delhi, but Sardar Bhagwant Mann has already provided 30,000 jobs to the youth of the state. The state government in Punjab is in the process of providing 3 lakh jobs in the coming years. These are the seven “free ki revdi” that I provide to the people of Delhi.”
He further asked the people what was wrong if he provided essential facilities that could ease the lives of the people. “Today I want to ask the citizens of Chhattisgarh, do you not want these “free ki revdis”? Do you not want free electricity, free education, free healthcare, free teerth yatra and so on? If I work hard to ease the lives of these people a little, what wrong am I doing? The PM and his government has made life so difficult for every poor citizen of India with such high inflation. The salaries of our citizens have not increased and yet the cost of atta and milk and paneer has constantly been rising. The prices of all essential items have been rising. Have you ever wondered why this has been happening? The prices are not simply going up on their own, they have been rising because of the tax that the Modi Government has been increasing,” he said.
He added, “The PM has gone on to tax milk, buttermilk, paneer, atta, rice, tea, coffee, etc. You name a food item and there will be tax on it. In our history it is claimed that the Britishers looted the people of India, but even they never taxed food items such as atta and rice. In the last 75 years, not once was a food item taxed, but this Modi Government has gone on to tax nearly everything that the common people eat in the country.”
He explained how the taxes implemented by the Centre go on to increase the cost of essential items. “In Chhattisgarh, petrol costs Rs 102 per litre, out of which the actual cost of petrol is only Rs 57. The remaining amount of Rs 45 is tax. When the cost of petrol alone is Rs 57, you expect the tax to be around Rs 5-6, but Rs 45 is what the citizens pay in taxes when they buy a litre of petrol. Similarly, high taxes have been put on food items that the poor consume such as milk, atta, rice, oil, etc,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the people had been forced to go through adversity by the PM just so that he could provide free loans to his “businessmen friends”. “When the government is collecting so much tax, where do you think all this money is being used? Where is Modiji taking all of this money and going? This government has been looting the common people in the name of tax and distributing this money to its “businessmen friends”. Modiji has several friends. Recently, a friend of Modiji from Mumbai took a loan from the banks worth Rs 34,000 crore. After that he decided to not repay the loan. What should Modiji have done in such a case? He should have taken this person and put him behind bars. But the PM ensured that the loan did not have to be repaid. Similarly, another friend of Modiji took a loan worth Rs 18,000 crore and he also did not have to repay the loan. In this manner Rs 11 lakh crore that belonged to the nation has been given to the friends of Modiji. This is what the Prime Minister is doing for his friends. The resources of our country are being given for free. On the other hand, the people of the country are being taxed for everything to earn revenue,” he said.
He added, “The amount the Britishers would have looted from India in the last 250 years, the BJP has gone on to loot that much of the country’s wealth in just 9 years. It has even gone on to loot the amount Congress party has looted from the nation in the last 75 years. This is why the inflation has been so high and the people of India have been suffering its brunt.”
The AAP National Convenor said that it is unlikely that the Prime Minister of the country will be assisting his “businessmen friends” without getting anything in return. “I want to ask you one important question. If the Prime Minister has gone on to forgo some businessman’s loan worth Rs 34,000 crore, do you really think that he would have done that for free? In today’s world, no one works for anyone for free, not even their own family and friends. So, certainly, the PM must have taken something from this person. It is being said that throughout the country loans worth Rs 11 lakh crore of business persons have been forgiven by the government of India. Just imagine how much money would the PM have made from such people?” he asked.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal pointed out that the PM and his leaders indulge in corruption, but it is honest leaders such as Shri Manish Sisodia who are put behind bars. “It is Modiji who goes on to do corrupt acts, but the person who has been sent to jail by the Centre is Shri Manish Sisodia. Tell me what is the mistake that Manish Sisodia made? He is the son of a teacher himself and he dreamt about educating the poor children of Delhi. He built such excellent schools for the children of Delhi and today these children are going on to become engineers and doctors. All of this has been possible because of a person like Manish Sisodia. Today, such a person is in jail, while those who openly indulge in corruption are roaming around freely. This is nothing but kalyug,” he said.
The Delhi CM highlighted some poor policy decisions taken by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and said that an educated leader would certainly not take such decisions. “In the last 10 years, the BJP-led Centre has made a mess of our country. They went on to take some ghastly decisions such as implementing demonetisation. Their rationale behind it was to end corruption. I want to ask the people gathered over here – has corruption ended after demonetisation? They even claimed that it would bring an end to terrorism, but no such thing has happened. If we had an educated leader running the country, he would certainly not take such poor policy decisions,” he said.
He added, “I recently watched a TV interview of the Prime Minister. In it, the anchor asks him how much formal education the PM has received, to which he responds by saying that he has only studied in the “village school” and never gone to college. He has also repeated this same point in a public rally as well. Today I want to ask the people gathered over here, should the Prime Minister running the government of 21st Century India not be adequately educated? India is such a great nation and our leader cannot remain uneducated.”
Shri Arvind Kejriwal went on to narrate the story, “The 4th Pass King”, to the crowd gathered at Bilaspur. “I want to narrate a story to you all today. The title of the story is “The 4th Pass King”. This story highlights the point that if the person running a kingdom is uneducated and corrupt, then even a great nation can be brought to tatters. Once upon a time, there was a very great kingdom in some parts of the world. In that kingdom a boy was once born in a village to a mother who belonged to a very poor family. Just as the tradition was at the time, a fortune teller was called and he told the mother that her son would go on to become a king someday. She could not believe it as she was very poor and wondered how her son would go on to become a king one day. But the fortune-teller told her that the destiny of her son was such that he would become a king one day in the future,” he said.
The son grew up and went to school and since he was not very good at studies he somehow managed to study till Class 4 and then left the school. Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the boy then started to sell chai at a railway station that was near his house. He continued, “The boy was good at giving speeches and would talk about everything under the sun. The people who came to the tea stall became his listeners. Once he started speaking, he just would not stop talking.”
The Delhi CM said that as the fortune teller had predicted the boy went on to become the king. But he was referred to by his public as the “4th Pass King”. He said that since the king was not educated, he would often be fooled by his own ministers. “The ministers would talk a lot in English and they knew that the king understood nothing, so they would get him to sign on any document. The king was also ashamed to ask questions to his officers, so he signed wherever the officers asked him to,” he said.
Continuing the story, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that eventually the king began to feel bad as everyone referred to him as the “4th Pass King” and therefore he decided to get a fake university degree. He said that the king one day told his citizens that he has a degree in MA. Even though everyone knew that he was lying they had no option but to bear with him. This king was very fond of wearing new clothes and would go on to change his clothes four times in a day.
He continued that one day some officers came to the king and praised him highly and said that they had an excellent idea. They asked him to implement the demonetisation scheme and said that this would end corruption and terrorism in the kingdom. “The king did not understand much of what the officers said as he was a 4th Pass, but he thought that it would be a great idea because the officers had said so. So one day he appeared in front of the TV cameras at 8 pm and announced the demonetisation exercise. After that there were massive queues outside all the banks and many people died standing in these queues waiting to get the money that they had earned with their hard work. Because of this decision of the king, the citizens suffered. Every business was affected and neither did it end corruption or terrorism. The great nation ended up going back 20 years in time because of this poor decision of the king,” he said.
He continued, “One day in his kingdom there was an outbreak of a major disease and eventually many people went on to die in it. One of the king’s officers told him to ask the citizens of his nation to come to their balconies and bang utensils against each other. The king did not have any understanding of things and he announced across the nation for this to be done. The people continued to die due to the lack of oxygen in his kingdom.”
Shri Arvind Kejriwal further continued, “Eventually the friends of the king continued to loot the kingdom and the king allowed someone to take Rs 10,000 crore and someone else to take Rs 20,000 crore. Throughout the kingdom the situation was so bad – the inflation was unbearable for the citizens to handle, and there was massive unemployment. A friend of the king went on to misbehave with the international wrestlers of the kingdom and the king supported his friend. Eventually, the kingdom started to disintegrate. The Gods sitting above were watching all of this happen and they all decided to go to Shivji Maharaj. They all asked him to do something about the situation on earth. Shivji Maharaj went on to meditate for the wellbeing of the citizens and he eventually brought this positive energy among the 140 crore citizens in this kingdom. Shivji Maharaj asked the people to revolt and throw the king out of power.”
Shri Arvind Kejriwal concluded by saying that with time, a lot can change in politics and he urged the citizens of Chhattisgarh to give AAP an opportunity in the state. “The way the people of Delhi threw away the BJP and the Congress, the way the citizens of Punjab threw away the BJP, Congress and the Akali Dal, similarly, I urge the people of Chhattisgarh to give AAP a chance,” he said.
Punjab CM Sardar Bhagwant Mann stated that the AAP government in Punjab provided free electricity last year on 1st July and now, 90 percent of households in Punjab receive zero electricity bills. “Our intentions are pure. Therefore, the electricity board is not in deficit, and it is also receiving subsidies. The government schools in Delhi are better than private schools. If all children receive an education, poverty in their homes will be eradicated. In such a scenario, who will listen to the pleas of people like Bhupesh Baghel? That is why we say, do not deny education to the poor. Whereas the Aam Aadmi Party states that we will educate children and make them doctors, engineers, and lawyers. All medical treatments in Delhi are free. Delhi has not taken a single rupee in debt. This is possible because Shri Arvind Kejriwal is educated. He knows where to generate funds and how to spend them,” he said.
CM Sardar Bhagwant Mann said that it is generally seen that the government showcases public enterprises to be in deficit and hands them over to private companies. For example, in the country, airports, seaports, railways, BHEL, and LIC have been presented as incurring losses and then given to their friends. But the Punjab government has taken control of the private thermal power plants running in deficit and has declared that it will produce electricity and show it. “Another example is the fraud committed by chit fund companies. The chit fund company Pearl has victimised more than 80 million people in the country. Many of them were from Chhattisgarh. People committed suicide after losing their money. We have decided that the Punjab government will seize all the assets of chit fund companies, including Pearl, and auction them to return the money to the public.” He said that Congress and BJP are the same. “No one can trust Congress. We should not vote for Congress and let them sit in their party headquarters and sell cheaply-priced MLAs. People buy their MLAs where there is no majority. Today, Congress is surviving by selling the MLA. People’s votes are of no importance to Congress.”