Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the party would end “raid raj” and will facilitate the business community after coming to power in the state.
Kejriwal was in Jalandhar as the chief guest of the Agrasen Jayanti Samaroh celebrations, organised by the Aggarwal community.
Addressing a gathering in the function, he said: “Even though my doctor advised me to rest and refrain from speaking and travelling, it is your love that brings me here.”
Targeting the Narendra Modi government, he said it had launched a crackdown on businessmen to complete their income tax target and claim that they are recovering black money.
“If the government really wants to get black money back, it should bring Vijay Mallya back and seize his property worth Rs 7,000 crore. The government should not harass small traders and businessmen in the name of income tax raids,” he added.
“I feel the government cannot generate revenue by raids as it only fills pocket of inspectors who never deposit the money in the government treasury,” he said.
“I appeal to the Union government to immediately stop raids in the name of income tax collection like we did in Delhi,” Kejriwal added.
He said after coming to power in Punjab, the biggest challenge for the AAP government would be to curb drug menace. “We would ensure jobs for them so they don’t fall in the drug trap again,” he said.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Aggarwal community demanded assembly tickets for their candidates. “Vote vi saadi, note vi saade, par seat saadi ni. Is vaar saanu vi seat chahidi (Our vote, our money, but no seat for us. This time, we want a seat too),” community representatives said during their speeches in Kejriwal’s presence.
Senior AAP leaders, including Sanjay Singh, Bhagwant Mann and state convener Gurpreet Ghuggi also attended the event.
Former Budhlada MLA Mangat Ram Bansal also attended the programme and addressed gathering. Bansal, who is trying his re-entry into the Congress, exhorted the gathering to vote for candidates belonging to the Aggarwal community. Bansal joined the Akali Dal after it retained power in Punjab, but had to quit in 2015.
Meanwhile, Mahila Congress workers staged a protest against Kejriwal outside the venue.