The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has decided to contest all 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2022, on Thursday promised that if voted to power, its government will provide 300 units of electricity free of cost to all domestic consumers, waive outstanding bills of 38 lakh families and ensure 24-hour power supply. The party has made similar promises in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa where assembly polls will be held early next year. In an interview with News18, AAP leader and Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia underscored his party’s priorities, possibilities of alliances, aversion to communal politics and the feasibility of its promises. Edited excerpts:
Should your power announcement be seen as a big jump in UP’s political battle?
AAP does pro-people politics. It is our commitment to people that drives our politics. After a detailed study, we feel the power sector reform and relief can easily be given to the people of UP. If voted to power, within 24 hours we will ensure 300 units of free electricity for domestic consumption and orders for free supply to farmers will be given.
Is it not a populist announcement?
Politicians who don’t want to work for the people say so. If Delhi can do it in a budget of Rs 50,009 crore, why not UP with Rs 5 lakh 50 thousand crore?
What stops you from making tall claims when you’re really not in the race to form the government?
The power woes are bringing us to power in UP. People committed suicide because of high power tariffs. It is the common people who will put us in the race. Parties are spreading canards against us that we are not in the race for power in UP.
Are alliance possibilities closed?
We are not looking for an alliance. We will contest on all 400 seats. We are working with a vision.
Is any discussion going on or has any discussion happened with Akhilesh Yadav?
We do politics of work. Health, power, employment are our issues. We find no party working on these lines and so they are not appropriate for us. There were rumours going on about a possible alliance. We let people continue with speculation.
As the election approaches, there is a debate on ‘Abba Jaan and Chacha Jaan’. Communal politics is on the rise. The Prime Minister recently, when in Aligarh, reminded people of how bad things were before 2017.
Yahaan logon ki jaan ja rahi hai (here people are dying) and these parties will be stuck with ‘Abba Jaan and Chacha Jaan’. Those who have not worked for the people for the past four and a half years are now worried about their ‘Abba Jaans and Chacha Jaans’. AAP is concerned about the lives of the common people.
When will Arvind Kejriwal get active in UP?
Very soon. His schedules are being worked out.