BJP can put Kejriwal behind bars, cannot imprison his ideas: Bhagwant Mann

PTI, Apr 12, 2024, 8:45 PM IST

Source: PTI / File

Digboi: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday asserted that the BJP can put his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal behind bars, but cannot imprison the latter’s ideas and the “change” he and his Aam Aadmi Party has brought about.

The idea with which the AAP works has been witnessed in Delhi and Punjab and “they (the BJP) can arrest one Kejriwal, but there are thousands across the country who are following the party principles of giving to the people what they need the most”, Mann said at an election rally here.

“They thought that if Kejriwal is sent to jail, AAP will be finished. But, how will they imprison his ideas?” the Punjab CM said, while campaigning for his party candidate Manoj Dhanowar for the Dibrugarh Parliamentary constituency.

Kejriwal has been arrested by the ED in the money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped 2021-22 Delhi excise policy. He is in judicial custody till April 15 and is currently lodged in Tihar jail.

The BJP has been telling “jhoot pe jhoot” (lie upon lie), but people have realised that this cannot go on, Mann claimed.

In 2015, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had declared the then Congress minister Himanta Biswa Sarma “was the most corrupt person in Assam”, he said.

“Sarma (the Assam CM), however, is now clean as he has entered the BJP washing machine, but how long will they fool people?” Mann, who is on a two-day visit to the state, said.

Sarma was the education and health minister of Assam during the Congress rule but “what stopped him from coming up with quality schools and hospitals”, the AAP leader said.

“I have been told 8,000 government schools have been closed down in Assam as there were no students. Why are the children not going to government schools – because the parents have lost their trust due to its poor conditions,” he alleged.

Mann claimed that the AAP government in Delhi and Punjab have built quality school infrastructure and “now parents are withdrawing their children from private schools and admitting them to government schools. The same will happen in Assam if the AAP candidates are elected”.

The Punjab CM also alleged that the BJP did not keep its promise of raising the daily wage of tea garden workers in Assam to Rs 350 from the existing Rs 250. “AAP will ensure that tea garden workers are paid Rs 450 as wages, and we will not promise more than that, as Kejriwal is very clear that we should only announce what we can fulfill,” Mann said.

The workers do not have land rights, too, but “we will ensure that they get the ‘pattas’ as it is their right”, he said.

Mann said the BJP government had also promised Scheduled Tribe status to six Assam communities – Adivasis, Tai Ahoms, Moran, Muttock, Chutias and Koch Rajbongshis – “but they again failed to keep their promise”.

‘We will, however, fulfill this genuine demand of the indigenous people of the state,” he said.

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