A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party's historic seventh consecutive win in the Gujarat Assembly elections, Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav told NDTV the people of the state rejected the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress's "Revdi culture", and voted for the empowerment of the poor, which the BJP termed its poll promises, instead.
Amid a bitter war of words between the BJP and the AAP over "freebies", where the AAP has accused the ruling party of making similar promises to the people but slandering them for it, Mr Yadav sought to draw a distinction between what the PM in a jibe at the AAP had called "revdi", and "empowerment", the BJP's preferred term.
"If every village doesn't have power supply, and it's a requirement, then electrifying all villages is empowerment. But if one uses it for personal consumption, then you have to increase the capacity of the people. To do this, you have to generate more employment opportunities. Just throwing away public money for someone's personal gain to in turn get votes is "revdi culture," he said.
Citing the example of the Covid pandemic, he said if we provide health facilities to the people, it's empowerment.
"The Parliament is the best platform for public empowerment. When this issue is raised through the Parliament, then welfare schemes for the poor can be directed better," he added.
The BJP ideologically agrees with the Election commission that public money shouldn't be squandered, and we welcome further debate on what constitutes public empowerment, Mr Yadav said.