Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday challenged BJP president Amit Shah to a public debate, following a heated exchange of words that ended up turning into a comparison between the Modi government at the centre and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) administration in New Delhi.
Addressing a BJP rally at Ramlila Maidan early in the day, Mr Shah had accused the AAP leader of stalling the development of New Delhi during his three-and-a-half-year rule. "Kejriwal's only mantra is to tell lies, repeatedly and forcefully," he said.
An upset Mr Kejriwal denied the claims on the social media.
"Amit Shahji, our government has done 10 times more than what Modiji has done in the last four years. Look at the anti-people and wrong deeds of Modiji, we have not indulged in a single act of this kind," the Delhi Chief Minister said in the first of many tweets to be posted in the hours that followed.
He also questioned the extent of funds provided by the centre to the national capital in the 14th Finance Commission. "Merely Rs 325 crore? People of Poorvanchal reside in Delhi also. Why did your government not provide money for their development? Why this discrimination against Poorvanchalis living in Delhi?" he asked.
This was a reference to an accusation by Mr Shah that the Congress had cold-shouldered the eastern region of India -- including parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand -- during its rule.
Although the BJP chief claimed that the Modi government had released Rs 13.8 crore to Delhi over the last four years, Mr Kejriwal pointed at the "deteriorating" sanitation levels and law-and-order situation in the city. While sanitation in Delhi comes under BJP-controlled civic bodies, its police force is controlled by the central government.
"The people of Delhi had entrusted you with merely two duties -- policing and sanitation -- and you have worsened both. You have neither been able to keep Delhi clean nor perform policing functions properly," the Chief Minister tweeted.
"On the other hand, we were given the responsibility of electricity, water, education and health by the people of Delhi, and our performance in these sectors is being lauded the world over," he added.
Mr Kejriwal signed off with a dare. "I challenge you, come let's have a public debate at Ramlila Maidan before the people of Delhi," he tweeted.
(With inputs from PTI)
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