Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday visited the Ghazipur landfill and remarked that the upcoming civic polls in the city will be fought on the subject of the cleaning of garbage.
He compared himself to Shravan Kumar, a character from the Hindu epic Ramayana known for having taken his parents to pilgrimage sites.
“Like Shravan Kumar, I had arranged pilgrimages for you [senior citizens],” he said, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia standing alongside him. “Today, they [Bharatiya Janata Party leaders] are hurling abuses at your son. I want to ask Delhi’s women and senior citizens, will you tolerate this?”
Kejriwal claimed that BJP leaders tried to stop him and other Aam Aadmi Party leaders from visiting the landfill, and said this showed that even they were ashamed of their work. “We are not ashamed of our work,” he asserted. “They can see our schools and our hospitals.”
Earlier in the day, visuals by ANI showed workers of the BJP and AAP raising slogans against each other at Ghazipur, as police personnel attempted to move them away from each other.
Kejriwal claimed that a day will come when all BJP leaders would leave the party and join the AAP. “A day will come when even [BJP spokesperson] Sambit Patra will say that the BJP is a very bad party and the AAP is good,” he asserted.
The chief minister urged BJP supporters to “vote for the nation” and claimed that the saffron party had given nothing but garbage to the national capital.
“To those who are opposing me, you can can continue to do so,” he said. “But I will ensure education for your children. If someone in your family becomes ill, no BJP leader will care about you, Kejriwal will arrange for your medicines.”
On the other hand, BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla claimed that the Delhi government had blocked funds of Rs 40,000 crore to civic bodies in Delhi. He also claimed that the height of the landfills at Ghazipur and Bhalswa has reduced by 15-20 metres.
“Now please tell us why did you fail to clean Yamuna in 8 years?” Poonawalla asked. He added that cleaning the river was the responsibility of the Delhi government and the municipal corporation had no role to play in it.
BJP MP Parvesh Verma also said that the “dirty foam” of Kejriwal’s lies and shamelessness had come to the fore in the form of pollution in the Yamuna river. “Kejriwal blew away thousands of crores of rupees in advertisements in seven, but pollution in the Yamuna is increasing instead of decreasing,” Verma added.
The tenures of the municipal councillors elected in the 2017 civic elections in Delhi ended on May 8. The AAP has been alleging that the BJP introduced a Bill to unify the three civic bodies in the city in April in order to delay elections.
The elections are likely to be held late this year or early next year.