The Congress on Thursday launched a scathing attack on the Aam Aadmi Party over the alleged expenditure of Rs 45 crore on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s official residence, saying it was ”shameful” and it was like the party slapping its voters in the face.
The Opposition party also addressed queries about it reaching out to the Aam Aadmi Party on one hand and attacking it on the other, saying there was ”no good cop, bad cop” routine and both approaches can co-exist.
Asked about Congress leader Ajay Maken attacking Kejriwal on one hand and AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge reaching out to the party as part of Opposition unity efforts, party’s media department head Pawan Khera said Maken has said the right thing.
Hitting out at the AAP, Khera said, ”You call yourself an ‘aam aadmi (common man)’, it is a different matter that nobody considers you an ‘aam aadmi’ now. During Covid when people were suffering and there was shortage of oxygen then what were you doing –expenditure of Rs 45 crore on renovating your house, building a swimming pool, draping curtains worth lakhs and crores, fitting tiles, is this Aam Aadmi’s government?” ”These are astonishing facts. Some of you would be surprised but not us as we knew what the reality is. But we are still astonished that what kind Aam Aadmi government is this that used to trumpet about its honesty and simplicity,” the Congress spokesperson said.
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Khera said Maken has pointed to the affidavit that Kejriwal had given, stressing that he will not stay in official residence, not take security and not use a red beacon car.
”Are you looking at his security now, can even an MLA enter the CM’s house. Close to this place was Sheila Dikshit’s house when she was CM and in the mornings, the common man could go and meet her without an appointment, MLAs, workers could walk in anytime,” Khera said.
”You can look at the budget of renovation of houses of Sheila Dikshit and her ministers during the 15-year rule and compare it with Rs 45 crore being spent on the house of a chief minister. This is shameful. It is sad that in a way, they are slapping their voters in the face. It is nothing less than that,” he said.
Asked about Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge reaching out to the Aam Aadmi Party on one hand and the party attacking it on the other, Khera said, ”Kharge ji called the AAP which is a very good tradition and a good way to strengthen ties as we need to have good ties among each other for the fight we are fighting. But this does not mean that is such a mistake comes to the fore, no one comments on it.” ”There is no good cop bad cop, both can coexist,” he added.
In the wake of reports of spending Rs 45 crore for the ”beautification” of the Delhi chief minister’s official residence here, Maken has raised questions on Arvind Kejriwal’s right to remain in his position.
Maken alleged that Kejriwal spent Rs 45 crore of public funds on his luxurious bungalow, including on extravagant items like Dior polish, Vietnam marble, expensive curtains, and high-end carpets.
Maken had said Kejriwal promised not to use a car with a red beacon or request additional security beyond what is necessary for a common citizen and refuse a large bungalow and instead live in an ordinary house like a common man.