When Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal rose to speak on the motion of confidence, it was expected that he would answer the questions raised by the BJP and the Congress MLAs during the discussion, point by point.
However, in his 20-minute long speech, which was high on emotions, Kejriwal ignored some of questions while giving a strong rebuttal to many others.
The two big decisions that the Kejriwal government has taken since it assumed office on December 28 — free water up to 20 kilolitres to every household with functional meter and 50% reduction in power tariff to customers who consume up to 400 units in one billing cycle — were questioned by leader of the opposition Harsh Vardhan and Delhi Congress chief and MLA Arvinder Singh.
Interestingly, both Vardhan and Singh were on the same page when it came to criticising the new government’s decisions on power and water.
“You are taking decisions in a hurry,” Singh said. “Water subsidy is not benefitting many and you have actually made water costlier in Delhi,” Singh added.
“If you are so concerned about the poor, why did you raise water tariff by 10%?” Vardhan asked.
On the issue of giving subsidy to power consumers, Vardhana and Singh questioned the logic of diverting taxpayers’ money for other purposes. “You will have to divert money from the heads of the other departments to fund the subsidy.”
Kejriwal, though he accepted that his decisions would only benefit a few, ignored pointed questions on where the money would come from for the freebies that his government has announced.
The chief minister, however, reiterated that his government would take strictest action against the corrupt — both in the previous Delhi government and the BJP-ruled civic bodies.
“The condition of education, health, roads, water and power is bad in Delhi because the politics is bad,” the chief minister said.
“We are here to provide a corruption-free politics and governance to the people of Delhi,” said Kejriwal. By repeating the promises his party made in election manifesto, Kejriwal said he wanted to see how many members in the assembly were ready to support the issues that concern the aam aadmi of Delhi.