Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal addressed a gathering of autorickshaw drivers on Monday at Ahmedabad in Gujarat, where elections are scheduled for later this year. Kejriwal urged them to help AAP win in Gujarat by promoting the party’s campaign among their passengers, the way they helped his party in Delhi.
After his address, an auto driver in the audience requested him to have dinner at his home — an invitation that the Delhi CM immediately accepted.
A video of the auto driver inviting AAP’s national convener to dinner was posted on Twitter by the party’s official account. The auto driver, who called himself Vikram Dantani, said he had heard of Kejriwal sharing a meal with a Punjab driver.
“I’m a big fan of yours, and I saw a video on social media of you having dinner with an auto driver in Punjab. Would you like to have dinner with me as well?” he says. In response to his plea, Kejriwal assures him that he and two other members of his party would attend the dinner.
Kerjriwal asked him with a smile, “What time should we come? Will you come to my hotel tonight to pick me up in your auto?”
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) September 12, 2022
CM Kejriwal claimed that his government in Delhi had paid Rs 5,000 to over 1.5 lakh drivers twice during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“In Delhi, you do not need to go to the RTO (Regional Transport Office) for works like renewal of licence, change of ownership, permit, or hypothecation. We have given a phone number. Give a call and a Delhi government officer will come to your doorstep. You will get your licence renewed in the same way you order a pizza on phone,” PTI quoted Kejriwal as saying.
According to Kejriwal, this will end bribes. He said that the money used to bribe police officers and other government officials would be saved.
“You will not be required to pay any bribe. But for that you will have to form AAP’s government,” he said.
Some of the auto-rickshaw drivers present at the event claimed they were harassed by police under Indian Penal Code Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
“This (Section) 188 was also used for harassment in Delhi,” said Kejriwal. “I know what this Section 188 is all about. They would make bogus cases, whether one was accused or not. They’d treat them as if they were murderers. I freed them from (Section) 188, and I will do the same in Gujarat,” Kejriwal said.
He added that the auto-rickshaw drivers would also benefit from the free and high-quality education and healthcare services that the AAP has promised in Gujarat if it comes to power.
Free electricity up to 300 units as promised by the party will also help the auto-rickshaw drivers save money and help them deal with inflation, the AAP leader said.