What is wrong with free education, healthcare: Kejriwal amid revadi debate

Taking on the criticism of political parties offering ‘freebies’, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday asked if his government did anything wrong by providing free education and healthcare facilities to the poor.

Kejriwal’s defense of welfare schemes in the states where his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rules — Delhi and Punjab — came in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently cautioning people against the “revadi culture” or distribution of freebies to get votes.

“They have waived Rs 11 lakh crore for their friends. I would like to ask you whether doing this is right, or providing free education to the children is right?” Kejriwal said without naming anyone at a meeting with a group of traders here.

The national convener of the AAP started his two-day visit to Gujarat, where Assembly polls are due by year-end, on Saturday.

More than 400 students from schools run by the Delhi government qualified for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and more than 400 passed National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET for medical courses, Kejriwal claimed.

Students of government schools in Delhi speak fluent English and these schools have recorded more than 99 per cent result in Board exams, he added.

“If I am providing free education in government schools, am I doing anything wrong? Shouldn’t students get free and quality education? It is a work of nation-building,” the Delhi chief minister said.

His government has improved the infrastructure at government hospitals and set up ‘mohalla clinics’, he said.

“We have made it a policy to offer free medical treatment to all, whether it costs Rs 10 lakh, Rs 40 lakh, or Rs 10….I do not ask whether you are rich or poor. We provide free healthcare service to two crore people, and they say Kejriwal is distributing free revadis,” he said.

Speaking about the schemes to provide free 200 units of electricity in Delhi and 300 units in Punjab, he said the cost was recovered by increasing the revenue.

The Punjab government’s first quarter revenue in April-June 2022 rose to Rs 21,000 crore against Rs 15,000 crore last year, he claimed.

“We have recovered the cost of providing free electricity,” he said.

Delhi has become a zero-debt state while BJP-ruled Gujarat has a debt of Rs 3.5 lakh crore, Kejriwal claimed.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button