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AAP’s ‘Dostwad model’ jibe in response to Nirmala Sitharaman’s attack

Updated on Aug 12, 2022 06:10 PM IST

The AAP and the BJP have been sparring over the “freebie culture” weeks after PM Modi's warning to youth.

Delhi's deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Friday slammed the BJP. (HT Archive)(HT_PRINT)
By, New Delhi

A day after finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman slammed the Aam Aadmi Party, saying it has given a “perverse” twist to “freebies”, Delhi deputy chief minister and AAP leader - Manish Sisodia - on Friday hit back at the BJP, citing "two governance models". Alleging crony capitalism, he said that businessmen were being benefitted due to centre's schemes.

“Today we are seeing fresh twist in politics where welfare schemes are being called revris. Yesterday, Sitharaman ji had put forth a very strong viewpoint. In a bid to scare the nation, it was said that if the public money was not spent on ‘so-called development’, and it was spent on welfare schemes, the country would be ruined," Sisodia said.

“I don’t know what her definition of development is," he added.

Saying that two governance models are being seen, the senior AAP leader further stepped up his attack, saying, “Under the dostwaad (friendship) model, loans worth crores are waived off, and it’s labeled as development.”

The second model, he further said, is to give “improved education facilities, healthcare and subsidised electricity.” “So this is the comparison between two models - where on one side - crores are being waived off. And on the other side, crores are being benefited with the tax money," the Delhi deputy chief minister said.

On Thursday, Sitharaman - lashing out at Kejriwal - said: "Delhi chief minister has given a perverse twist to the debate on freebies. Health and education have never been called freebies.”

The remark came weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi - during a launch event of a mega multi crore project in Uttar Pradesh - warned youth against those who dole out freebies, calling it “revris”. Arvind Kejriwal's AAP has replicated free electricity units model in Punjab too after it was welcomed in Delhi. The party has been promising free electricity in poll-bounded states amid the bid to expand its footprint.

Meanwhile, the AAP-BJP spat further deepened on Friday with the BJP’s Sambit Patra levelling multiple allegations on Arvind Kejriwal and his party. “In the financial year 2018-19,” Patra said, “ 6.63 lakh crore and in FY 2021-22 7.1 lakh crore corporate tax was collected despite the pandemic,” adding that the money was used for poor people.

Patra also alleged that the AAP government in Delhi spent 19 crore to advertise student loans of 20 lakhs.

Hours later, Sisodia countered the attacks with his remarks on the central government. “India is at the bottom of all the indexes in the world. The reason is the thinking of Modi Govt- Lakh Crore loans of friends should be waived but do not give benefits of Govt Scheme to lakhs of crore people. Fiscal Deficit of BJP states - UP: 81000 Cr. Gujarat: 36000 Cr. MP: 49000 crore. Where does this money go?” he asked, referring to the BJP-ruled states.

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