Taking a cue from the existing model in Delhi and Punjab, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal announced sops for the people of Gujarat ahead of the assembly elections on Thursday, including round-the-clock free electricity up to 300 (kWh) units per month for household consumers if his party is elected.
At a town hall meeting in Surat, Kejriwal stated that one of the most important problems facing Gujarat right now is inflation. As a first step to easing the burden on the general public, his party will offer free electricity within three months of taking office.
“We have kept our promise of providing free electricity in Delhi and Punjab, where the party only came to power on March 16 this year. People in Gujarat are dealing with high electricity bills. We will not only provide up to 300 units of free power, but we will also ensure 24 hours of uninterrupted power. We will put this in place within three months of being elected. If the bill is within 300 units, you will have to pay nothing,” Kejriwal said.
He stated that the AAP is looking into the issue of providing free electricity to the agricultural sector as well and that a solution will be found soon.
“I understand the enchantment of providing free electricity to the people.” It is a divine blessing. Nobody else knows about it or can perform it. So, even if someone else makes such a promise to you, do not believe them. “Only I can deliver on the promise of free electricity,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, adding that consumers who use more than 300 units of electricity will have to pay the entire bill.
Kejriwal mentioned that his party will present its election agenda to Gujaratis in the coming weeks.
Before his arrival in Gujarat, CR Paatil, the Gujarat unit chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), warned that people should not be misled by ‘revadi,’ a popular sweet often distributed during festivals, as a metaphor for freebies offered by political parties.
Without naming anyone, Paatil stated that the culture of handing out freebies could eventually turn the state and India into Sri Lanka, which is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis.
In his response, Kejriwal stated, “Revadi is offered as prasad in temples and should be accepted with full respect.” So, if providing free electricity or education is regarded as ‘revadi,’ it is like a blessing from the gods.”
The AAP has made free electricity a major poll plank in Gujarat, where polls are due in December.