Conspiracy being hatched to increase power, water rates: Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday claimed that with a view to hike electricity and water rates, a conspiracy was being hatched to transfer the Ppower and Water Departments to the municipal corporations if the BJP or the Congress came to power in the civic bodies.

He appealed to the people to give the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) a 2015 Delhi assembly election-like mandate in the civic polls too, so that the rates of electricity and water are not increased.

“A senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader told me that if Congress or BJP comes to power in municipal corporations, then the power and water departments of the Delhi government will be transferred to the corporations as was before 1998.

“This was being done to increase the rates of electricity and water in Delhi,” he said while addressing a public meeting in Burari area of north Delhi.

Seeking a huge mandate so that “corruption in municipal corporations could be abolished and Delhi could be cleaned”, he said: “If AAP comes to power in municipal corporations, it will not let the electricity and water rates increased even if both the departments are transferred to civic bodies.

“If AAP will be in power in MCD as well, then both the Delhi government and the civic bodies will work together to make Delhi clean and developed.”

Elections for 272 municipal wards in Delhi will be conducted on April 23 and the results will be declared on April 26.

Listing the achievements of the AAP government, Kejriwal said that his government reduced electricity rates and provided free water to every household as promised.

“We did whatever we promised. We will also abolish residential house tax if we come to power in municipal corporations. We will turn the civic bodies from loss-making and corrupt organisations to profit-making and corruption-free organisations,” he said to huge applause.

Kejriwal said that municipal corporations were one of the most corrupt departments and so much that their councillors, who used to commute on scooters, buy big houses and expensive cars by the end of their tenure.

“BJP-ruled MCDs turned the city into a garbage dump. We will eradicate corruption from the civic bodies and within one month, we will make Delhi a clean and tidy city, if we are voted to power,” Kejriwal promised.

Citing other achievements, Kejriwal said that the primary healthcare was strengthened by constructing Mohalla Clinics in the city and the standard of education was also improved at government schools.

“We did a lot in health and education sectors. We made all kinds of tests free at government and at most private hospitals. We raised minimum wages for the labourers in Delhi and also raised the amount of pensions for various segments,” he said.

He also challenged Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah to debate with him over works done by both the governments their respective states.

“No government did in 20 years whatever we did in two years. BJP’s government is in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat for a long time now… I challenge Amit Shah to debate over the works done by my government in Delhi and his government in other states,” he said.