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With Quick Wit, Arvind Kejriwal Battles Amit Shah's Delhi Rally Charges, Explains Economics Behind Freebies

File photo of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia during a roadshow in the capital. (Photo: PTI)

File photo of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia during a roadshow in the capital. (Photo: PTI)

From verbal duel over schools and CCTVs to wi-fi, the two leaders have been hitting out at each other's parties over development issues in Delhi.

New Delhi: Ahead of the February 8 assembly elections, a war of words has broken out between Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Home minister Amit Shah who are busy campaigning on Delhi streets.

From verbal duel on schools and CCTVs to wi-fi, the two leaders have been hitting out at each other's parties over developmental issues in Delhi.

On Friday, Shah asked the Delhi CM about the number of schools he had built in the last five years and how many CCTV cameras were installed. The home minister said that the Aam Aadmi Party had promised 15 lakh cameras but only a few were spotted on roads.

Kejriwal, whose Twitter account has recently turned witty, was quick with his response: "I'm glad you saw 'some' CCTV cameras. A few days ago, you said that no camera was installed. Take some time out, will show you the school too. I am very happy that the people of Delhi have changed the politics. Now, the BJP has to ask for votes on CCTV, schools and unauthorised colonies here."

Replying to another question by Shah on wi-fi, the Delhi chief minister said, "Sir, we have also arranged free battery charging along with free wi-fi. Delhi has 200 units of electricity free of cost."

Kejriwal's quick-witted reply came when the home minister claimed that his cellphone battery got discharged but he couldn't find wi-fi on the roads.

The AAP leader also tweeted on freebies, saying: "Freebies, in limited dose, are good for economy. It makes more money available to poor, hence boosts demand. However, it shud be done in such limits so that no extra taxes have to be imposed and it does not lead to budget deficits." Kejriwal has recently been under attack for doling out subsidies.

Opposition parties have been attacking the AAP-led Delhi government for giving "freebies" ahead of polls after it announced schemes like free bus rides for women and 200 units of free electricity.

The election is likely to witness a three-cornered contest involving the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, the BJP and the Congress. In the 2015 polls, Arvind Kejriwal had led the AAP to a unprecedented victory with his party bagging 67 seats, leaving just three seats for the BJP.

first published:January 24, 2020, 11:24 IST