Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced free pilgrimage to the Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya for senior citizens when it will be ready. Speaking in the assembly, Kejriwal invoked Lord Hanuman, Lord Ram, and the idea of Ram Rajya to present 10 principles for governance in Delhi including those related to access to food, quality education, shelter, water, electricity, and employment.
“Lord Ram is revered by all. I am a devotee of Hanuman and Lord Ram. Ram Rajya [the rule of Lord Ram] is considered an ideal welfare state. If we can take inspiration from Ram Rajya to achieve an ideal welfare state in Delhi, our lives will be successful. In Delhi, we are now trying to do that. Therefore, we have made 10 principles based on Ram Rajya, which my government will follow,” Kejriwal said.
The first principle, which he said will be followed, is to ensure nobody is left hungry in normal times or in a Covid-19 pandemic-like situation. He added the remaining principles will ensure quality education for every child, universal access to good medical services, clean water, electricity, respect of senior citizens, shelter, the safety of women, equality for all irrespective of religion, caste, economic status. Kejriwal said the excuse that the Delhi police is not under the state government for ensuring the safety of women will not do.
Kejriwal highlighted how his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government installed CCTV cameras across the city and now plans to set up mohalla clinics exclusively for women.
“Delhi cannot progress if it does not respect the senior citizens living in the city. For them, we launched the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana, which allows them to visit various places of worship across the country free of cost. Everything from their travel, accommodation, and food is taken care of by the Delhi government under the scheme,” he said.
“Now, the grand Ram temple is being built in Ayodhya. Once the temple is ready, the Delhi government will include Ayodhya’s Ram temple also to its free pilgrimage scheme,” Kejriwal said.
He took a swipe at his Uttar Pradesh counterpart, Yogi Adityanath, for “staging” a government school inspection in what he called “Manish Sisodia style”. Sisodia is the deputy chief minister and education minister of Delhi, who recently challenged the Uttar Pradesh government for a debate on the condition of government schools in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state as compared to those in Delhi under the AAP government.
“It was evidently a set-up location for the video. But I am happy that ministers are now focusing on such aspects of governance… The work done on the education front in Delhi by the AAP government in the last 5-6 years is a revolution. But why did it not happen in the last 70 years?” he asked. “The two main political parties that ruled this country for decades seem to have deliberately kept its people uneducated so they could serve as crowds at their rallies and public events… would never question their policies effectively. The two parties deliberately kept people uneducated to create their vote banks, so the rich could get cheap labour. If the people of this country get access to good education, then these parties will be routed just like the Congress got wiped from Delhi,” Kejriwal said.