Kejriwal promises free pilgrimage to Ayodhya and other religious spots if AAP forms government in Goa

06:11 PM Nov 01, 2021 | PTI |

Panaji: AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Monday promised free pilgrimage to various religious centres, including Ayodhya and Ajmer Sharif, if his party is voted to power in Goa in the Assembly polls due in next February, which he said is a “third guarantee” being given by AAP to Goans.


Addressing a press conference here, Kejriwal alleged the BJP was trying to protect Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant despite allegations of corruption being levelled against him by former governor Satya Pal Malik.

“When we announce the poll guarantees, people ask me from where will I get funds. Former governor Satya Pal Malik has given a reply to it,” the Delhi chief minister said.

The governor has said that during his one-year tenure (in Goa), he saw a largescale corruption, Kejriwal said while referring to Malik’s recent interview to a news channel.

“If this was said by any Opposition parties then it was understood, but BJP’s governor is making these allegations against his (Goa) government. In the last 75 years of free India, this is for the first time that any governor has made such allegation against his government,” he said.


Kejriwal said Malik weighs his words before speaking.

“The allegations levelled by Malik are serious. But unfortunately, BJP is trying to save its chief minister. This means that BJP is publicly protecting a corrupt CM.

“Malik has also made an allegation against the Central leadership. He has made the statement that when he informed about the corruption to the central leadership, they removed him from the post of Governor,” he added.

The BJP had denied these allegations.

Kejriwal announced a “third guarantee”- a free pilgrimage to various religious spots, including Ayodhya, if his party is voted to power in Goa.

He said if AAP forms government in Goa, we will provide a free pilgrimage trip to Ayodhya, Shirdi, Velankanni and Ajmer Sharif.

Velankanni is the home to one of the most visited Roman Catholic Latin Rite shrines called the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, located in Tamil Nadu.

Ajmer Sharif Dargah is a Sufi tomb of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, located at Ajmer, Rajasthan.

“There is unemployment in Goa due to the wrong policies of the Congress and BJP. Both the parties have not done anything to employ the people,” he said.

In one of the two guarantees, the AAP had earlier promised that at least one member of a family would be given employment after AAP comes to power in Goa and will be given unemployment allowance till then, Kejriwal said.

“We had also promised that considering the worst situation of the tourism and mining industry, we will give Rs 5,000 per month for each family,” the Delhi CM said recalling the second guarantee.

He said 1.12 lakh families have registered themselves in the employment guarantee programme of the AAP.

“I would like to assure to all that ‘Kejriwal ki guarantee hai, puri karke hi rahenge’,” he said.

During one of his previous visits to Goa, Kejriwal had promised that AAP would provide 300 units of electricity free per family per month in Goa and an uninterrupted power supply.

In this programme too, 2.75 lakh people have registered, he said.

“People are asking me from where funds will come (for implementing these assurances). Then it struck to my mind during my recent visit to Ayodhya that people should also benefit from such pilgrimage.

“That is why I want to announce today that once our government is formed, we will provide free pilgrimage to certain destinations. We can add to the list later,” he said.

The Delhi chief minister said free pilgrimage is not a new thing because his government has introduced “CM Tirthyatra Yojna” in Delhi.

“In the first two years, more than 35,000 people were benefitted from this Yojna. We take the people (to pilgrimage spots) in air-conditioned trains. We look after all their needs including meals,” he said.

Kejriwal iterated that Congress and BJP are partners in corruption.

“This is the reason not a single Congress minister has been booked for corruption during the tenure of BJP,” he said.

Kejriwal said the AAP will provide “honest government for the first time in Goa”. “There is no scarcity of revenue. We will fulfil all the guarantees promised by me,” he added.

In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, the AAP had drawn a blank.

The Congress had then won the highest 17 seats in the 40-member House in Goa restricting the BJP to 13.

However, the BJP allied with regional parties and came to power under the leadership of senior leader Manohar Parrikar, now deceased. Congress had accused the BJP of “stealing the mandate”.


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