Lucknow: Hours after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Aam Aadmi Party's intention to contest the next assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the UP government called him an inefficient administrator and a "habitual liar".
The barbs from Uttar Pradesh minister and government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh on Tuesday were in reaction to the AAP leader's criticism of the BJP government in UP while announcing his party's plans for 2022.
"He is a habitual liar while his inefficient administration skills have been exposed thoroughly, especially during the COVID-19 crisis,'' the minister said, claiming that the AAP government in Delhi has been an "abject failure".
Singh also reminded Kejriwal of his defeat in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency, and called his Uttar Pradesh plans just daydreams -- "Kejriwal ke Haseen Sapne' "It seems that you have forgotten 2014, remember what happened with you in Varanasi," the BJP leader said. Modi won the seat by a huge margin of 3.37 lakh votes.
The UP minister also recalled the exodus of migrant labourers from Delhi during the lockdown after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is hard to imagine how he turned out the hapless people of UP, Bihar and Jharkhand from Delhi during the trying times of coronavirus," Singh said.
"It was for the Yogi government to receive them, provide them free rations, give them a sustenance allowance and get them tested for coronavirus for free," he added.
Singh said it is surprising that the Delhi CM has something to comment on the UP government despite having "failed" Delhi on more than one occasion.
He said UP has conducted more than two crore tests for coronavirus, compared to 72 lakh in Delhi.
He said Delhi has recorded 6.08 lakh cases of the virus while the figure for UP, which is several times bigger, is 5.66 lakh.
The minister also referred to a Delhi High Court observation on the handling of pandemic in the national capital.
Singh said Kejriwal owed an apology for "insulting" people from Purvanchal by saying that they come to Delhi on a Rs-500 ticket to get medical treatment worth Rs 5 lakh, depriving Delhi's citizens of the facilities.
"Don't you forget that even Purvanchal has enough facilities to match the standard of your hospitals,'' Singh said.
The minister also took a dig at Kejriwal over his claim on providing oximeters to COVID-19 patients recovering at home.
"I would suggest you to kindly get your oxygen level checked with an oximeter," he said.
Singh said the Yogi Adityanath government has cleared UP sugarcane farmers' dues of about Rs 1.12 lakh crore, claiming that this amount alone was more than the Delhi government's entire budget.
"Yet another political foray of Kejriwal into UP is like 'Mungerilal ke Haseen Sapne' which will change to 'Kejriwal ke Haseen Sapne' after 2022," he said, in an apparent reference to an old TV serial and the Delhi CM's 2014 Lok Sabha defeat.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal said UP is being held back by its "dirty politics" and "corrupt leaders" and compared medical and other facilities there with those in Delhi.
"Why do the people of UP travel to Delhi for every major and minor facility? If a family living in Kanpur has to send their child to a good college, they have to send her to Delhi. If a person living in Gorakhpur has to get good medical treatment for his parents, they have to come to Delhi. Why?" he had said.