Congress gives duck to AAP, says first year a failure

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) The Congress party on Saturday termed the first year of the Arvind Kejriwal government a “complete failure” and said the ruling party in Delhi has been “finding excuses not to work,” betraying those who elected it to office.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had scored “zero out of hundred” in its performance in the first year of its term, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken told reporters here.

“It is a complete failure. They could not fulfil their promises. The list is very long,” he said.

Maken, who was accompanied by other senior Congress leaders of Delhi, also released a booklet entitled ‘Kejriwal ek saal, Delhi behaal’ (One year of Kejriwal: Delhi in a bad shape) and said the party will go to the people to tell them about the “failures” of the government.

Kejriwal government will complete one year on Sunday, which the Congress is observing as “chhalawa divas” (the day of deception).

The booklet talks about the failures of the government in terms of governance, principles that AAP espoused, “politics of conflict”, “stagnation” in development, price rise, and the security of women.

“The biggest betrayal has been with people who trusted them. The past year has gone in the blame game and politics of conflict,” the Congress leader said.

The Janlokpal bill passed by the AAP government represented considerable dilution of what was promised to the people during the movement for anti-graft legislation, he said.

“It is toothless bill. Investigating Officers will be appointed with the consent of the government, which means government will have total control over the investigations,” he said.

Maken said AAP leaders had talked of not taking government bungalows and eschewing security, but Kejriwal has ended up occupying a huge bungalow in the Civil Lines area.

The booklet said that salary of MLAs had been hiked by 400 percent within 10 months of government coming to power while Kejriwal had said that he would only take honorarium. It said an MP from Delhi was getting less renumeration compared to a local MLA.

Maken also accused Kejriwal of nepotism, saying that rules had been flouted in some appointments while an “unprecedented” number of parliamentary secretaries had been appointed.

The Congress leader said several ministers had to resign in the wake of charges against them. “Which cabinet after Independence had so many cases,” he asked.

He said AAP government has “a budget of Rs 526 crore for “self-promotion” and “continues to pay Rs 2,000 crore subsidy from public exchequer to power distribution companies.”

Maken said the past year had seen several strikes during the AAP government and Delhi had turned into a “strike capital.”

He said that there had been more deaths due to dengue in 2015 compared to the previous two years.

The Congress gave successful government to Delhi for 15 years five of those years had BJP-led NDA government at the centre, he said.

“We also faced problems but we believed in dialogue. We delivered in the same (constitutional) framework; why this government cannot work?,” he asked.

Maken said that growth of revenue had declined under the Kejriwal government and there were questions about its ability to exhaust plan spending.

“From 21.2 percent in 2012-13, it has come down to 2.64 percent in 2014-15… The VAT collection is falling short by Rs 3,000 crore ,” he said.

Referring to the AAP government’s run-ins with the Lt governor, Maken said that despite tall demands about full statehood to Delhi, it had not even written a letter to the central government on the issue. He also accused the government of failing to tackle price rise.

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