In a veritable copy-paste of Delhi’s election promise, Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday “guaranteed” free electricity to all consumers in Gujarat up to 300 units a month if voted to power in the State that goes to the polls this year.
The Delhi Chief Minister subsequently clarified on Twitter that since the electricity bill in Gujarat is issued every two months, this would mean free power for up to 600 units every two months.
Free electricity, better education and health facilities are among the major poll planks in Gujarat, though he called free power the first guarantee from his party.
Addressing people at a town hall meeting in Surat, Kejriwal added that Gujarat would also get an uninterrupted power supply without any cuts.
"I am giving you this guarantee. If you find us faltering on this, you may choose not to vote for the AAP in the next election. We will fulfil all the guarantees once we come to power in the state," he said.
Kejriwal also announced that all pending electricity bills issued before December 31, 2021, and were still unsettled would be waived.
The AAP leader arrived in Surat late Wednesday night on his second visit to the state this month and sixth since April. He had assured during his previous tour that in a few weeks, the AAP would share with the people of Gujarat its agenda for the State once given an opportunity to rule.
He asserted that the people of Gujarat were fed up with 27 years of the BJP rule and wanted a change.
Kejriwal last visited Gujarat on 3 July, when he held a town hall on the issue of free electricity in Ahmedabad. Presenting the "Delhi model," he had said free electricity is possible in Gujarat if corruption is eliminated.
Before he reached Gujarat, State Bharatiya Janata Party's president C R Patil warned people that they should not get misguided by the "revadi culture" of freebies as it could eventually turn the state and India into Sri Lanka, which is currently going through a severe economic crisis.
Though Patil did not name anyone, he was apparently targeting the AAP for promising free electricity – a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated this at a public function in Uttar Pradesh.