Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday criticised the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed Nationwide Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC), in significant remarks ahead of the Delhi assembly elections. "The CAA-NRC is not the right decision at the time. We are facing an economic crisis and the focus must be on resolving that," the CM said. Kejriwal's remarks came during an exclusive interview with India TV's Senior Executive Editor Saurav Sharma at Dilli Haat, Pitampura.
"It is a move of the central government. We have expressed our reservations from time to time on different fora, including in Parliament," he said.
Commenting on the ongoing sit-in protest against the CAA-NRC in New Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, the CM said that the Union Home Minister Amit Shah must try to resolve the impasse by holding talks with the demonstrators.
On free electricity
The CM dispelled rumours that the decision to provide free electricity to households consuming less than 200 units was just a poll gimmick, as he assured the Delhi voters that they would continue to receive free electricity till he was the CM.
"Some opposition parties are spreading rumours that the scheme will be discontinued after March 31, once we win the election. I would like to state through your channel that these rumours are entirely inaccurate. Delhi will continue to get free electricity till I am the CM," he said.
"I have tried my level best to fulfil the promises in my manifesto, like an elder son of a family, would," Kejriwal said, as he held up his recently released 10-point "guarantee card."
"In the next five years, we would like to take our work to the next level," the CM added.
On women's safety
Spelling out the other achievements of the AAP government during its five-year tenure, Kejriwal said that his government had installed five lakh CCTV cameras across the city towards improving the law and order situation. The bureaucrat-turned-CM said that his poll promise of appointing mohalla marshalls would also be another step in ensuring women's safety in the Capital.
"Women's safety will be the focus of our government in the next five years, should we win the election," he said.
He said that the government's decision to make travel on buses free for all women was also a step in the same direction.
'Our health scheme better than Ayushman Bharat'
Confronting allegations that the Delhi government was deliberately stonewalling the implementation of Centre's Ayushman Bharat scheme in the city, Kejriwal retorted that the Delhi government's own health scheme was "way better" than Ayushman Bharat.
"Ayushman Bharat caps the limit of medical expenditure at Rs 5 lakh a family. Our scheme, on the other hand, doesn't put any limits on medical expenditure. We are providing free treatment to all the two crore residents of Delhi," Kejriwal said.
'We are managing Delhi's economy better than the BJP govt is managing the country's economy'
The Delhi CM said during the conversation that the Capital's was the only government in the country whose budget was in surplus.
"At a time when the country is going through an economic crisis, we have managed to deliver a surplus of Rs 30,000 crore. We are helping the country's economy in a way," said the two-time CM.
The election to the 70-seat Delhi assembly will be held on Feb 8 in a single phase and the counting will take place on Feb 11.