Soon after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced free metro rides and bus rides for women in the capital, the BJP slammed the populist move saying that the CM was trying to deceive the people.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said Kejriwal was trying to mislead the people by proposing such a plan.
“He (Kejriwal) promised to deploy Marshals for the safety of women and panic buttons in buses, but it seems he himself is now panicking. He can’t understand what new tactic to use to mislead the people of Delhi,” Manoj Tiwari said.
He further questioned how such a major plan could be executed in merely six months when something like that could not even be started in 52 months. The BJP, however, asserted that it was not opposing the idea.
Kejriwal’s proposal comes just months ahead of next year’s Assembly elections.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Kejriwal said, “On all DTC buses, cluster buses and metro trains women will be allowed to travel free of cost so that they have safe travel experience and can access modes of transport which they were not able to, due to high prices.”
He, however, said that the scheme is voluntary and women can choose to pay for the travel.
At least 8.4 lakh women travel in buses and 7.5 lakh women take the Metro daily.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said the rule will be implemented in the next 2-3 months.
At a public meeting in New Delhi on Sunday, Kejriwal had said that the move is aimed at encouraging them to use public transport in view of their safety.
According to reports, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has already taken meetings to discuss various aspects of fare-waiver to women in all public transport buses and Delhi Metro.
While implementing free travel for women in buses run by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Delhi Integrated Multi Modal System (DIMTS) is not a challenge, it will be difficult to do so in Delhi Metro.
The Delhi government and the Centre are 50:50 equity partners in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
Kejriwal said the Delhi government will bear the expenses and will not have to take the approval of the Centre for this.