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U’khand assembly polls: After free power, AAP to announce more populist schemes

The announcement about free power, which was made by Delhi chief minister and AAP president Arvind Kejriwal about a week ago in Dehradun, started a debate on political parties promising freebies in elections
PUBLISHED ON JUL 19, 2021 06:10 PM IST
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal along with Uttarakhand AAP in-charge Dinesh Mohaniya (left) and Colonel Ajay Kothiyal (right) during a press conference in Dehradun on July 11. (PTI)

With months left for the next state assembly elections to be held in 2022, the Uttarakhand unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to announce more populist schemes after promising free power up to 300 units to each household in the state if it comes to power .

The announcement about free power, which was made by Delhi chief minister and AAP president Arvind Kejriwal about a week ago in Dehradun, started a debate on political parties promising freebies in elections, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and main Opposition Congress trying to play the announcement down by terming AAP irrelevant in Uttarakhand politics.

AAP has now decided to come up with similar promises each month regarding education, water, health and other basic amenities.

Also Read | Free 300 power units promise: AAP launches ‘Kejriwal Muft Bijli Guarantee Card’ in Uttarakhand

AAP state president SS Kaler on the said, “The free power promise ahead of next assembly elections has surely rattled both the BJP and Congress as they didn’t anticipate this. Our party president Arvind Kejriwal will now visit Uttarakhand each month and make similar announcements about other basic amenities.”


“They will include water, education, health and other basic amenities for the public which are necessary for any state. These won’t be mere announcements but promises which will be fulfilled if AAP wins the 2022 elections.”

He said that AAP is the first party in Uttarakhand which is “working for the people”.

“The existing parties, both BJP and Congress, have just taken turns to loot the state and do nothing for the people. We will change this by winning the elections in 2022 and work on actual development,” said Kaler.

AAP state in-charge Dinesh Mohaniya, meanwhile, said that after the party’s announcement of free power, “Both Congress and BJP are after us.”

“They are clearly rattled and calling it impractical. But we have already done that in Delhi and will show them how to do that here too. Not just power, but will work with similar initiatives in other domains also,” he said.

Earlier on Saturday, the party’s state unit launched “Kejriwal Muft Bijli Guarantee Card” under which party’s 10,000 workers would visit households in all the 70 assembly seats and urge the people to register for the free electricity service in lieu of which they would be given this card as a symbol of “guarantee that if the party comes to power, it will fulfil the promise.”

The card was launched by Mohaniya in the presence of Kaler and senior party leader Col Ajay Kothiyal (retd) during an event in Dehradun.

The BJP and Congress, however, termed AAP irrelevant in Uttarakhand politics and said “none of their gimmicks will work in the state.”

BJP state media in-charge Manveer Singh Chauhan said, “It is the modus operandi of AAP to make false promises which they can’t fulfil. They are doing the same in Uttarakhand too but they won’t succeed as people are here are aware of their despicable tactics.”

The Congress termed such announcements a political gimmick.

“They know that they have no political ground in Uttarakhand. Hence they are making such promises months before the elections to garner some votes. But, the people of Uttarakhand are smart enough to not fall in their trap,” said party state spokesperson Garima Dasauni.

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