New Delhi, February 3: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday slammed his Delhi counterpart and AAP leader, Arvind Kejriwal, on his tall claims on providing cheap power to Delhites and said that the latter was a shifty character, who had mastered the art of deceit and lies to mislead the people. The Chief Minister also accused the BJP of converting the entire country into Shaheen Bagh and using it to polarise elections in Delhi and, in the process, destroying India’s foundations.

Taking on Kejriwal, Captain Amarinder said that the AAP leader had done nothing exceptional by providing cheap power and setting up mohalla clinics, as all Chief Ministers of Congress ruled states were doing so. “Some people will surely be happy with these freebies but what has he really done for the development and progress of Delhi? What has he done for creating jobs for your children,” he said, while questioning Kejriwal on how many jobs had AAP given to youth in Delhi.

Captain Amarinder, who was addressing a public meeting in Hari Nagar in favour of Congress candidate Surinder Setia, said that there had been virtually no progress in Delhi in the last five years. “In Punjab we have given jobs to 11 lakh youths,” he said adding that what Delhi needed was economic and industrial development. He however, regretted that both AAP and the BJP had sacrificed the interests of Delhites in their turf war and the city, which saw lots of progress under the Congress regime, had been deprived of any development over the past 5 years. He said only Congress could ensure Delhi’s development and work for strengthening and uniting India.

Castigating the BJP, the chief minister said, “they are attempting to polarise the elections here with Shaheen Bagh but they will not succeed, as people have seen through their game”. He said the entire country had in fact become Shaheen Bagh with protests against CAA and NRC happening across the nation.

“There is unrest in universities. Students are on the streets across the country, and are being shot at”, he said, adding that this was not the India for which so many had sacrificed themselves. In contrast to the divisive politics of the BJP, which had weakened the nation, the Congress had always worked towards strengthening India, he added.

Captain Amarinder said in Assam, the names of 19 lakh people had been included in the NRC. “Will they put them all in detention camps that they have built,” asking where will all those people, who are being brand as non-citizens, go?

In an informal chat with newsmen later, the Chief Minister said, “Kejriwal is giving subsidy on power to only a section of residential consumers and spending Rs 1,600 to Rs 1,700 crores on it, while my government spends Rs 9,000 to Rs 10,000 crores on electricity subsidy to all sections of the society. He is subsidising power only to a section of residential customer and making commercial & industrial consumers in Delhi pay through their nose by cross subsidising them. “

The chief minister said that the Delhi government had been subsidising residential consumers to the tune of Rs 1,700 crores and this amount had been raised to about Rs 2,600 crores only recently with an eye on the polls. He said even this amount was only one-fourth of the subsidy being given by his government. “In Punjab, we subsidies power to 21 lakhs domestic consumers belonging to SC/BC & BPL Category, 14 lakh agriculture and 1.50 lakh Industrial consumers and spending Rs 9,000 to Rs 10,000 crores every year,” he said adding that electricity rates of commercial & industrial consumers in Delhi are 1.5 times more than Punjab.

The chief minister said that while commercial consumers in Delhi pay Rs. 11 to Rs. 12 per unit in Punjab they are charged Rs 7-8 per unit only. Similarly, Industrial Consumers in Delhi were paying Rs. 10-11 per unit, as compared to Rs. 5-7 per unit in Punjab, he pointed out.

While Captain Amarinder refused to predict how many seats Congress will win in Delhi, he said that the party was in a strong position. He said the claims of an AAP wave in Delhi were a myth, as it was in Punjab in 2017, where they managed to win only 20 seats despite the hype. He expressed confidence that Setia would win from Hari Nagar.

In her address at the public rally, AICC general secretary, Asha Kumari, said that Delhi had become an orphan in the tussle between the BJP and AAP. She said neither of these parties are bothered about Delhi and have their own vested interests in mind. Unlike Sheila Dixit, who led Delhi from the front, both AAP and the BJP have destroyed it, she added.

Others who spoke at the public meeting included Punjab MLAs Raja Warring and Kulbir Singh Zira.

Captain Amarinder Singh later held a road show in Kalkaji in favour of party candidate, Shivani Chopra, to an enthusiastic response from the local people of the area.

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