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Nov 21, 2019-Thursday



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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Pink tickets for free bus rides to women will have also have CM message

cities Updated: Oct 21, 2019 21:55 IST

New Delhi: The pink bus tickets that will be issued to women from October 29, as part of the Delhi government’s free ride scheme, will have a message from chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, besides his photograph.

The approved design of the ticket, as seen by Hindustan Times, quotes Kejriwal saying, “Main chahta hoon ki aap aur aapka parivaar khoob tarakki kare. Jab mahilaye aage badhengi, tabhi desh aagey badhega” (I wish that you and your family prosper. When women move forward, they take the country forward). This is printed in the reverse of the ticket, the front of which will have the serial number and other travel related details.

As on Monday, the proposed tickets will also have the face of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal printed on them.

Leader of opposition in the Delhi assembly, Vijender Gupta, said he and three other MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party will meet lieutenant governor Anil Baijal at 10am Tuesday to complain about the issue.

“This is sheer misuse of power. As if putting pictures of the chief minister, who is also the Aam Aadmi Party’ chief, was not enough, now they are printing a personal message from the CM as well. Assembly elections are due in Delhi in January or February and this is nothing but surrogate advertisement to garner votes,” Gupta said.

With the assembly elections expected to be scheduled for early 2020, the model code of conduct, too, could be brought into play, he said.

Senior government officials said orders for printing pink tickets have been placed by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). “The ticket does not promote any party or its symbol. It merely carries a message from the chief minister,” an official said.

The approval for the design was taken during a meeting chaired by transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Saturday. He reviewed the preparation of various stakeholders for the free ride scheme and also for the odd-even road rationing drive. While the free ride for women scheme will be launched on October 29, the odd-even drive will be enforced in Delhi from November 4-15.

From October 29, the government will also deploy around 12,200 marshals on all state-run 5,500 buses in the city. A government official said around 3,200 marshals are already deployed on buses.

“Of the remaining 9,000 marshals, around 5,000 will be from the Home Guards. The remaining will comprise ex-servicemen and civil defence volunteers,” an official said.