Be it highlighting the features of a new governance model or making the ‘Jumla’ jibe against the BJP government at the Centre, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s speech was full of political connotations.
Delivering his second full budget in Delhi assembly on Monday, Sisodia liberally quoted Mahatma Gandhi, former American president Franklin Roosevelt, and Enrique Penelosa, the mayor of Bogota, to outline the governance blueprint of the AAP government, which is to focus on “optimum utilisation of resources, honesty and sincerity in use of public money, participation of people and extent of benefits to citizens at large”.
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little,” Sisodia quoted former American president, Franklin D Roosevelt.
Sisodia’s mention of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal being the only Indian politician to find mention in Fortune magazine drew the loudest of applause from the treasury benches including Kejriwal.
Giving full credit to Kejriwal for Delhi’s progress in the last one year, he quoted the CM from his first political speech: “Today, every citizen of Delhi has become a chief minister”.
Hitting out at the BJP government at the Centre, Sisodia said, “Unlike other political parties, which after winning the election declare their manifesto promises as mere “jumla”, we consider it is a solemn pledge.”
With education given a top billing in the budget, with Rs 10,6900 crore or nearly a quarter of the outlay set aside to the sector, Sisodia criticised the Centre for ignoring the crucial area.
“Focus of other governments has been to promote private schools and colleges because several of them are owned by politicians. Unlike other political parties, the AAP government is committed to its promise of making government schools better than the private schools,” Sisodia said.
Successful implementation of the odd-even car rationing scheme and praise for the public health system by the western media also found mention in the budget speech that lasted for two hours. “Till now everybody professed about the western model of development. Now, American journalists are recommending the Delhi model to revamp their public health system,” Sisodia said.
He concluded his speech quoting Mahatma Gandhi: “I should love to satisfy all, if I possibly can; but in trying to satisfy all, I may be able to satisfy none. I have, therefore, arrived at the conclusion that the best course is to satisfy one’s own conscience and leave the world to form its own judgment, favourable or otherwise.”