Panaji: An unemployment allowance of ₹ 3,000 (Rs 5,000 in some cases) and 80 per cent quota in private sector jobs for locals were among seven assurances given by Arvind Kejriwal today in Goa, where the Aam Aadmi Party chief and his party are prepping to contest next year’s Assembly election.
Mr Kejriwal – who made identical promises to Uttarakhand voters on Sunday – said the AAP, if voted in, would fight corruption and ensure at least one unemployed person from each household found a job.
“Goa is a beautiful state… the people are nice… and God has given everything to Goa, but politicians and parties have looted. We need to stop this loot (and) have made an elaborate plan,” he began.
The Delhi Chief Minister highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s finances – Goa relies on tourism revenue – and said unemployment allowances for affected people, as well as those whose jobs had been lost to restrictions and bans on the mining industry – would be ₹ 5,000 per month.
Mr Kejriwal also took a swipe at Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and the ruling BJP, pointing out their new schemes – free water (for 60 per cent of residents) and doorstep delivery – have been running in Delhi for several years.
“I heard (Pramod) Sawant has made water free in Goa… this is good news (but) we did it four years ago in Delhi. I also heard Sawant has started doorstep delivery… we did it three years back in Delhi.”
“Sawant is copying the ‘Delhi model’ in Goa… When the original (referring to the Aam Aadmi Party) is available… what is the need for a duplicate?” he asked.
Mr Kejriwal also offered 300 units of electricity free (promises made to Uttarakhand and Punjab voters as well, and in line with what Delhi residents already have) and said the state’s famers’ power bills would be fully paid for by the government. He also promised voters 24-hour electricity supply.
In August Mr Sawant also offered free electricity – at an estimated ₹ 120 crore cost to the state.
Mr Kejriwal hit out at critics who have questioned how the AAP intends to offset the huge financial burden of such generous subsidies and promises, pointing out “… we stopped corruption (and) we saved money… this is how we proved ourselves in Delhi (and) will do the same in Goa.”
“Main joh kehta hoon, karta hoon. Main neta nahi hu, main rajneeti nahi karta. Main aam admi ka dard samajta hoon (I do what I say will do. I am a public servant… don’t play politics. I understand the pain of the ‘common man’),” Mr Kejriwal said.
That particular statement, perhaps, was a response to new Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi’s attempt, yesterday, to wrest the ‘aam aadmi (common man)’ tag from the party.