The war of words between AAP and BJP continued on Friday as the latter flayed the Arvind Kejriwal-led government over excessive expenditure on advertising.
Taking to Twitter, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya highlighted the huge difference between the benefits accrued from the Delhi Higher Education and Skill Development Guarantee Scheme and the amount spent on advertising it.
Announced in 2015 by Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, this scheme aims at providing up to Rs.10 lakh to students of class 10 or class 12 who wish to pursue higher education.
The moratorium period of the loan is the course period plus one year and the repayment period is 15 years. According to Malviya, only two students got the loan under the aegis of the Delhi Higher Education and Skill Development Guarantee Scheme in the financial year 2021-22 whereas Rs.46,22,685 and Rs.18,81,00,618 were spent on print and electronic media advertisements related to this scheme.
This assumes significance at a time when Kejriwal demanded a referendum on the use of taxpayers’ money.
Speaking at the inauguration of Bundelkhand Expressway in Uttar Pradesh on July 16, PM Modi opined that the ‘revdi culture’ would take India towards darkness. Hitting out at the opposition, he contended that some state governments are indulging in ‘revdi culture’ to win votes even as the double engine government was working to create new expressways and rail routes. He raised his concern about freebies on Wednesday as well stressing that announcing doles would hurt the interests of the honest taxpayers of the country.
This was perceived as a criticism of AAP which has made poll promises such as free electricity up to 300 units, a monthly allowance of Rs.3,000 to the unemployed youth, and a monthly allowance of Rs.1,000 for all women above the age of 18 years in various states including Gujarat. Countering the argument of the PM, Arvind Kejriwal asserted that providing quality services to the people can’t be considered freebies. Escalating the attack on the Centre in a press briefing on Thursday, the AAP supremo cast aspersion on the financial condition of the Union government.
Accusing the Centre of waiving off the loans of industrialists and burdening the poor people, Arvind Kejriwal stated, “They brought Agnipath Yojna because the Central government is not able to bear the pension for the Retd soldiers. No Government has ever said that they do not have money for national security. The Centre refused to pay for this year’s 8th Pay Commission. They are saying they don’t have money.”