Arvind Kejriwal on Friday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress for opposing the Aam Aadmi Party government’s decision to hoist the national flag across the city, reported PTI.
“Whenever we see the national flag, we are reminded of the soldier fighting at the borders,” the chief minister said. “I fail to understand why the BJP and the Congress have been opposing the decision.”
The Delhi government had announced on Tuesday to install the tricolour in 500 places in the national capital, according to The Indian Express. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also handles the finance portfolio, had said that Rs 45 crore was set aside in the Budget for the proposed flags.
On Friday, Kejriwal said that the opposition should support and appreciate the Delhi government’s move. “There should be no politics over patriotism,’ he said. “The country belongs to all… I want to ask the BJP will the tricolour be hoisted in Pakistan if not in India.”
Kejriwal also said that the opposition was mocking the AAP government for its announcement to bid for the 2048 Olympic Games and increase the per capita income to Singapore’s level by 2047. “We will achieve it… We will approach the Centre and the India Olympic Association to bid for Olympics,” he said. “We all will do it together.”
The chief minister also said Delhi was the only place to have a “surplus” budget while almost all states and the Centre presented “deficit” budget.
Rs 9 lakh to hoist one flag: Social media users talk priorities
Social media users spoke about priorities after the Delhi government announced the decision to hoist 500 flags.
Many users pointed out that the Kejriwal government was spending Rs 9 lakh to hoist one flag. “So going by this update, according to the Delhi government, it costs 9 lakhs to hoist 1 flag,” activist Saket Gokhale asked on Twitter, tagging a tweet by ThePrint journalist. “How different is this from blowing up public money on statues? Wonderful scheme for siphoning off 45 crores of taxpayer funds on tokenism.”
Another user spoke about priorities, saying that Rs 40,000 was allocated for the rehabilitation of a manual scavenger by the Delhi government.
“Delhi Government hasn’t released funds to 12 Delhi University colleges fully funded by it,” tweeted another user. “Teachers haven’t received their salaries since October 2020. CM Kejriwal has allocated 45 crores for flag hoisting though. A ‘deshbhakti budget’ [patriotic Budget] that forgets teachers entirely.”
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan also pointed out that the government was inclined towards patriotism instead of solving important matters.
“As Delhi schools remain shut for a year; no help for the millions of migrant workers who lost their jobs due to lockdown; no help for the riot affected; AAP promises free trips to the Ram Temple & 500 Deshbhakti flags for 45 Crores; and calls it Ram Rajya!” he tweeted.