Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday dismissed the criticism that the AAP government was doling out freebies, asking why can’t common people get free power and healthcare when similar benefits are extended to elected representatives.
Launching 80 more Aam Aadmi Clinics with his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, he said these health facilities have helped the government in preparing a database of diseases prevalent in Punjab and combating them effectively. More than 25.60 lakh people have benefited from these clinics, he added.
Mann said opponents target AAP for giving free power, free treatment and free education to people.
”We say when leaders get free power, when exchequer bears all their medical expenses, why cannot it be done for the common people too,” he said.
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With the launch of the new clinics, the total number of these health facilities in Punjab has reached 580. Speaking at the event, Kejriwal said an ”honest government” in Punjab is making opponents jittery.
”We have been in power for just one year in Punjab but work is being done at a great pace,” he said.
”Punjab is making quick progress. For 75 years, people only saw loot and for the first time the state is touching heights of development,” the AAP national convener said, alleging previous governments only signed MoUs during investments summits but no investments came and no jobs were generated.
Mann, however, took pains and brought Rs 40,000 crore worth investments to Punjab, Kejriwal said.
The Mann government has already given 29,000 government jobs to people, he claimed.
Kejriwal said like Delhi, parents in Punjab too will remove their children from private schools and send them to government institutions.
Mentioning the arrest of former Punjab minister Sunder Sham Arora in October last year, Mann said his government is going after those who have ”looted” Punjab.
”We arrested the former industry minister. When his house was searched, sofa sets worth Rs 10 lakh, bath fittings worth Rs 15 lakh, costly fans, other expensive items were found,” he said.
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau arrested Arora for allegedly offering a bribe of Rs 50 lakh to its officer to settle cases against him.
Taking on former chief minister Amarinder Singh, Mann said the BJP leader says Bhagwant Mann lacks experience.
”I want to tell Amarinder Singh that people were fed up with experienced leaders like you. When he became CM, he remained inaccessible to people and what people later did was to confine him in his palace and oust him (from power),” said Mann.