New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said though other parties are “copying” the AAP’s agenda and are talking about giving guarantees and free electricity, they are not keen on improving education.
Besides the AAP, no other party is interested in providing quality education to children of poor families, Kejriwal claimed after paying homage to Dr B R Ambedkar on his death anniversary at the party’s headquarters here. He did not name any party.
The AAP is in power in Delhi and in Punjab, and its rivals include the BJP, the Congress, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener also mentioned names of party leaders such as Manish Sisodia who are in jail and said there are attempts to not only create obstacles in the works being done by the AAP in Delhi but also snatch power from it.
“It is unfortunate for our country that Baba Saheb left us. If he had lived for another 10-15 years, he would have improved all government schools in the country. In the 75 years, since our independence, political parties together have neglected government schools. Education is not a priority on their agenda,” he said.
“Our nation has produced great leaders, but Baba Saheb is the only one who stressed on education the most. Nobody else discussed education as he did. Other parties are copying the AAP’s entire welfare schemes,” the chief minister said.
Kejriwal claimed that he was the first to come up with public welfare “guarantees” and ensure these are implemented. “Now, all political parties are making assurances. They are now discussing free electricity, but none of them are discussing on bringing improvement in government schools. The AAP has done immense work in the field of education,” he said.
“If we didn’t work in hospitals or schools, provide free travel for women on buses and free electricity and water, no one would have created obstacles (in the AAP government’s work)”, the chief minister said.
“But today, they (AAP’s rivals) know that due to these works, no one can take Delhi away from the AAP,” he said and added that people love his party.
He, however, noted that during the time of the Covid pandemic, all parties had come to together and worked for the people.
Mentioning the works done by his government and hitting out at the AAP’s rivals, Kejriwal said this why there are people who are creating obstacles and attempting to snatch Delhi from the AAP.
However, “the more obstacles they create, the happier you should be because we are succeeding, and we’ve disturbed their sleep”, Kejriwal said and added that “we will all have to surpass these obstacles and serve”.
“We have to serve everyone, whether they are supporters of the BJP or the Congress,” he said and asked his party members to work and also make efforts to win the hearts of BJP and Congress supporters.
“There will be a day when the 2.5 crore people of Delhi will be members of the AAP, and there will be a day when 140 crore people of the country will be members of the AAP. For me, the AAP means the nation. We have to work for India. If tomorrow you have to choose between the country and the AAP, kick out the AAP and choose the country,” he said.
Kejriwal mentioned that a majority of AAP MLAs are not the children of politicians and they understand the problems of the common people.
“That’s why we all understand the importance of education. If children receive good education, many problems, including poverty, would be resolved. If children don’t get good education, future generations will remain behind. It seems to me that deliberately, for the past 75 years, the people of this country were kept illiterate,” he said.
If the Delhi government under the AAP can provide excellent education to two crore people in Delhi in five to seven years, then in 75 years, the country’s 140 crore people could have also received good education, but deliberately, people were kept uneducated, he alleged.
“When the AAP got 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi, we thought our struggle was over, and now we would serve the people. However, these people troubled us, didn’t let us work, created so many obstacles, and one after another brought laws to strip us of all our power,” he said.
“Our entire life is a struggle, and we have to live within that struggle. Today, these people continuously block our work. They are firmly adamant not to let us work, but we are resolved to continue working,” Kejrwal said.
Some AAP leaders are in jail, he said and if today they bow down and join the BJP, within “two days they will be out of jail”. But they won’t bow down, he asserted.
“Manish Sisodia’s wife is severely ill, their son is in Canada, and there’s no one to take care of their family. He has been in jail for nearly 10 months. If Sisodia aligns with the BJP, he can live a good life. But he is a disciple of Baba Saheb and Bhagat Singh, he may die but won’t bow down,” he said.
He recalled the Covid pandemic and said people from all three parties — AAP, BJP and Congress — came together and worked very well.
“We always need to keep that feeling. We are not enemies, we are people of the same country. I don’t understand why we have filled so much poison against each other,” he said.