New Delhi, Jan 30: Congress’ Romesh Sabharwal, who is contesting against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from New Delhi Assembly constituency, has pitched an emotional card of “outsider versus insider” and also accused him of misusing social media.
In a candid interaction with IANS, Sabharwal, who is the son of a retired government employee, said, “New Delhi is one of the most literate seats as this constituency has the most number of government employees here. And I am their son. Kejriwal is an outsider in this area and I am insider of this area,” he said.
Sabharwal said that for the last 70 years outsiders have been contesting from New Delhi and Kejriwal is one example of that.
“I am the son of a government clerk. Sonia Gandhi has given an opportunity to the son of this constituency to contest from here,” he said, adding that “earlier the government employees used to sit in front of the politicians and now Sonia Gandhi’s confidence in me has given me an opportunity to sit among the politicians.”
“And this is a matter of pride for the government employees and by giving a ticket to me Sonia Gandhi has given a message to the entire government employees across the country that Congress is standing with them,” he said.
Kejriwal had defeated three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from this high profile seat in 2013 Assembly seat and was once again elected in 2015 Assembly polls from the seat.
Slamming Kejriwal for not working for the New Delhi seat, Sabharwal said, “It was his second term and he has not done a single work in the New Delhi constituency. He has only misused social media.”
“Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehruji made IITs for the youths to learn and grow. But it seems that Kejriwal has taken a degree of Law Engineering from the IIT.”
He also accused the AAP leader of not opening a single mohalla clinic, not upgrading a single school and also did not work for the employment of a single youth from here.
Taking potshots at Kejriwal’s promise of cutting the electricity bills by half, Sabharwal said, “Electricity bills in the area have risen in the last five years under Kejriwal as he raised the rates of NDMC. And he brought the smart computerised meter bills for electricity which are running like the rockets of NASA.”
Highlighting the work of the Congress in the area, he said “even in the JJ colonies during the Congress regime we only charged only Rs 175 per connection for the poor families while Kejriwal has got the electricity meters installed and now they have to pay heavy bills.
The Congress leader also accused Kejriwal of not doing any work in the area and accused him of suppressing the people of the Valmiki community who are sanitation workers and the government employees. “He did not give any job to the people of the Valmiki community and only abused them. He also abused the government employees by calling them corrupt. Are government employees corrupt?” he questioned.
He opined that the way in which the Kejriwal government started a movement against the government employees, this time they (government employees) will give a befitting reply to the AAP leader in the election.
When questioned about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah campaigning in Delhi for the BJP, he said, “In New Delhi Assembly constituency, Congress is the best party for the government employees and this is known to them. For example sixth and seventh pay commission everything was brought by the Congress governments. What Modi and Kejriwal gave to them? They only gave biometric government to us. Did they ever marked their attendance through biometric system when they went to their offices? Does any senior IAS officer mark his attendance in the biometric system?” he asked.
He accused the BJP and the AAP of cheating the government employees and said “they are anti-government employee parties”.
“Kejriwal made a fool of people through his Lokpal Bill and Modi gave us biometric system and did not give the seventh pay commission benefits to the government employees. And now why should people waste their votes for the BJP?” he questioned.
From New Delhi seat, there are a total of 28 candidates in the fray. These candidates include a computer engineer, an educationist, a beef-ban proponent and a national-level hockey player. The BJP has fielded Sunil Yadav against Kejriwal.
The election for the 70-member Delhi Assembly is scheduled on February 8 and counting of votes will take place on February 11. The AAP had won 67 seats in the 2015 polls, while the BJP managed to win just three seats and the Congress drew a blank.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])