Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who began his five-day Punjab tour from Sangrur on Thursday by meeting farmers and the business community, said if his broom brigade won the mandate in 2017, it would need only two months to sweep the state clean of corruption and drugs.
Before his visit ends on Monday (February 29), he will also meet unemployed youth and families of the victims of drug abuse. On the first day, he went to Mauran, Sunam, and Chhaajli villages in Sangrur district. The AAP would announces its chief ministerial candidate for the 2017 Punjab assembly elections soon, while journalists Ashish Khetan and Kanwar Sandhu would be in charge of making the manifesto, said Kejriwal.
During an interaction with business people of the district, Kejriwal said: “If my party comes to power, I will put an end to corruption in the state within two months, and abolish the inspector raj that the Akali government has brought to fill its pockets.” The Punjab merchant association suggested that he included VAT (value-added tax) reforms and unified tax in the manifesto, to which he agreed, saying: “The Punjab government receives about `28,000 crore every year as VAT and other taxes. If we get to rule, we’ll put this money into creating free medical facilities and giving away timely increased pension to rural people.”
“To stop tax evasion, we’ll make a policy of paying incentive to tax collectors. In Delhi state, we have completed for Rs 225 crore a flyover project that the previous Congress government had sanctioned for more than Rs 300 crore. We saved Rs 100 crore of public money in just one flyover project. In three similar, we have saved more than Rs 350 crore, and more than Rs 1,000 crore in aggregate. We know how to plug the leakage of money and make our functioning simple and quick to nullify corruption,” said the AAP leader.
At Mauran and Chhaajli he promised farmers free medical care, enhanced pension, and new relaxed policies for the sale and purchase of crops. Taking a dig at the state government, he said not even a single section of society seemed happy with it. AAP’s member of Parliament from Sangrur, Bhagwant Mann, said: “The Badal government fools people, but when the AAP wins in 2017, it will be the dawn of a new peaceful era in Punjab.”
Kejriwal said that in Delhi only three members of the Bharatitya Janata Party (BJP) had managed to win assembly seats amid a huge Modi wave in the country, but in Punjab, not even a single seat would go to any other party. “We’ll do a Delhi in Punjab: It’ll be an even better show.”