New Delhi [India], August 12 (ANI): Amid the attacks and counter-attacks regarding the 'Revdi politics' on freebies, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia slammed the Centre on their 'quid pro quo' approach and said that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should take note of the examples from all over the world where education and health services are free of cost.
"Politics is being done to make fun of welfare schemes by calling them 'free ki revdi'. Yesterday, FM Nirmala Sitharaman tried to scare the country and said that the country would be ruined. Madam Finance Minister google and see that all the developed countries of the world believe in free education for their children," said Sisodia.
He also highlighted that 39 countries around the world provide free education and countries like Canada, UK, and Brazil provide free health facilities to their people while drinking water is free in many countries.
He also questioned why were the facilities being called "free revdi" and listed that the AAP-led Delhi government was in surplus for 7 years even after providing free facilities to people.
"These governments believe in free investment on their citizens. Our country is at the bottom of every index. Madam Finance Minister look at the BJP governments, the physical deficit in UP is Rs 81,000 crore and that of Gujarat is Rs 36,000 crore. Whereas for 7 years, the Delhi government is running in surplus despite investment in education, health etc," he added.
He also called out the Centre for free waivers and supporting its "friends" and said, "Two models of direct governance are visible in the country. There is a model in which people in power help friends, that is the model of friendship. Taxes worth lakhs of crores of friends are waived and that is called development. The second model is public tax money is being used for schools, and hospitals, free electricity, free bus travel for women, and pension is being given to the elderly."Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday hit out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying he had given a "perverse twist" to the debate on freebies as health and education were never considered giveaways and no Indian government has ever denied them to the people.
Sitharaman said that by classifying education and health as freebies, Kejriwal was trying to instil fear in minds of the poor.
There should be a genuine debate on this matter, she said. The Finance Minister was responding to questions raised by the Delhi Chief Minister on freebies.
Earlier, the BJP had also criticised Kejriwal saying that the culture of 'revdis' being promoted by AAP was more focused on advertising but weak on governance.
"I am here to expose the free education model of Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal's mantra is Vigyapan par zor, Vyavastha me kamjor (Focus on advertisements, weak on governance). Kejriwal's revdi model means that of the 500 schools and 20 colleges promised, none have been delivered. This is the revdi culture we caution against," said BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla addressing a press conference.
A government source said Kejriwal was deliberately framing the argument in a wrong manner.
"Nobody is saying that free benefits to the poor are wrong. But it is also wrong to classify the loan write-offs as being freebies, or to say that corporate tax rate cut was designed to benefit corporates," the source said.
According to a source, the central government is perhaps the first one to be giving free food over and above the highly subsidised food provided under the National Food Security Act. The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana provides 5 kg of free foodgrain to 80 crore people every month, and at the end of September 2022 it would have been running for 2.5 years.
"We have seen many political parties promise free television sets, kitchenware, gold jewellery, free mobile phones for all ration card holders, free electricity up to certain units to every household, gold as marriage assistance, laptops, washing machines, sarees, free Internet connections, bicycles, etc to lure the voters," added the source. (ANI)