Shimla, April 15
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday accused the Jai Ram Government of trying to ape him in announcing major sops to the people on the occasion of 75th Himachal Day.
Kejriwal, while accusing the BJP regime of trying to copy his Delhi model of governance, demanded that all announcements made by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur should be extended to all BJP-ruled states, else people will consider them to be mere election gimmicks.
“If you will not extend these announcements to all other BJP-ruled states, then people will treat these sops as election gimmick, announced fearing the AAP,” he said, adding that people will treat these announcements as mere election stunt, which will be taken back after the election.
Kejriwal was reacting to the mega announcements made by Jai Ram Thakur on the occasion of Himachal Day at Chamba today. The CM said that women would get 50 per cent discount on travelling in state transport buses, no water bills for people in rural areas and zero bill for those consuming up to 125 units of power.
Both AAP and BJP have been hitting out at each other ever since AAP tried to make inroads into Himachal politics by holding a roadshow of Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann at Mandi, the home turf of CM Jai Ram, on April 6. AAP has now announced to hold a show of strength in Kangra, the biggest and politically most significant district, on April 23.
While Kejriwal and Mann claimed that their fight was only with BJP as Congress was nowhere in the contest, the saffron party hit back by effecting some major defections from AAP within a week of the Mandi rally. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur made the Himachal AAP president and state organisational secretary join BJP in Delhi.
Within the next two days, AAP state Mahila president, along with other office-bearers, joined the BJP in Delhi. A stunned AAP, meanwhile, announced the dissolution of its organisational bodies to prevent further defections, which had already caused much embarrassment. The AAP leadership also retaliated by making some BJP leaders, including one from Kasauli in Solan district, join their party.
The AAP’s previous attempts to make entry into Himachal did not succeed as all its candidate, barring one, not only lost the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but forfeited their security deposit. The AAP did not contest the 2017 Assembly polls but is now keen to try its electoral luck in the hill state.