Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has come up with a unique idea to enhance safety and security of women – letting them travel in state-run buses and metro free of cost in the national capital.
The chief minister on Monday said that this would ensure a safe travel experience to women and help those who are not able to access the facility due to high prices. He also said that those who afford to buy tickets can do so.
The plan, which is yet to be cleared by the Centre, would cost about Rs 800 crore to the exchequer this year. Kejriwal intends to launch it in three months. He said he has asked the authorities concerned to prepare a detailed proposal, which would be then taken up by his Cabinet.
The freebee offer comes after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was routed in Delhi in the recent Lok Sabha elections. As the Union Territory is going to the polls for Assembly in 2020, the move is viewed as a poll gimmick to recapture the voter’s favour.
In 2015, AAP swept the elections winning 67 of 70 Assembly seats. However, ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal made several failed attempts to strike an alliance with the Congress Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. At the end AAP ended up winning just one seat in Punjab.
Apart from free ride for women in Metro and buses, the APP government is reportedly mulling to bring down electricity charges for consumers.
A couple of days ahead of the polling date in Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party’s star candidate Atishi is engaged in pamphlet war with her opponent and BJP candidate in the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat Gautam Gambhir. On April 9, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Atishi held a press conference over the offensive pamphlet, which they alleged Gautam was circulating in the constituency. Atishi also broke down during the presser over the derogatory content, targeting her in the pamphlet.
The cricketer-turned politician, though, responded with a defamation notice against the trio for linking him to the pamphlet. He demanded apology from them for making baseless allegations against him and warned them of a defamation case if they failed to do so.
Earlier he had expressed his disgust over the matter. “I abhor your act of outraging a woman’s modesty @ArvindKejriwal and that too your own colleague. And all this for winning elections? U r filth Mr CM and someone needs ur very own jadu to clean ur dirty mind.”
Then he had challenged Arvind Kejriwal with this tweet: “I declare that if it’s proven that I did it, I will withdraw my candidature right now. If not, will u quit politics?”
In response to the notice, Atishi approached the Delhi Commission for Women with a complaint against Gambhir and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari.
In the meanwhile, cricketing greats and former teammates of Gambhir, Harbajan Singh and VVS Laxman have expressed their shock at the allegation levelled against him and asserted that Gambhir could never talk ill of any woman.
Shocked to hear about yesterday's developments. Having known @GautamGambhir for nearly 2 decades, I can vouch for his integrity, character and the respect he has for women.
Incidentally, the pamphlet row comes a few days after a man slapped Arvind Kejriwal during his road show in the national capital. Later, visuals showing the man, identified as Suresh, hobnobbing with AAP leaders had emerged. The BJP claimed that the AAP had staged the act to garner sympathy ahead of polls. Is the dirty pamphlet another ploy by AAP to turn women voters’ mind?
The seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi go to the polls on May 12.