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Opposition term free ride scheme 'poll stunt' by AAP ahead of Assembly elections next year

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 29, 2019  | 20:11 IST

New Delhi, Oct 29 (PTI) The opposition BJP and the Congress on Tuesday questioned the timing of the free-ride scheme for women in DTC and cluster buses in the national capital rolled out by the AAP government, terming it a poll stunt ahead of the Assembly elections next year. The two parties, however, stopped short of criticising the scheme itself, saying other sections of people, including senior citizens and students, should also be brought under its ambit. Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said the Kejriwal government has "failed" to boost public transport fleet, otherwise it could have benefitted lakhs of people in the city. "The way it is implemented before polls, its nothing but a stunt. If the number of buses were raised to 12,000 which was not done by the AAP government in five years, lakhs of people, including senior citizens and students, could also have benefited," Tiwari said. Delhi Congress president Subhash Chopra also said the move was aimed at getting political mileage in the elections. "We welcome the move but what was Kejriwal government was doing earlier. Timing of the scheme is aimed at getting votes. I think students should also be provided free ride in public transport buses," he said. BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said free ride to women in DTC buses without improving its infrastructure during the last five years is an "election stunt". "With an eye on Assembly elections few months away, it has been timed to woo women voters," Gupta claimed. Most women commuters hailed the move, saying it will encourage them to take public transport, ensure their safety and help them save money at the same time. There was, however, a section of women commuters who questioned the sustainability of the scheme, saying it comes nearly three months ahead of the Delhi polls, and wondered whether the next government would continue this programme. The free-ride scheme for women on Delhi public buses might be extended to senior citizens and all students, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said as the initiative took off on Tuesday. This scheme will help in women empowerment by bridging the gender gap that exists in society, the chief minister said on his mobile application 'AK App' and added that it was a gift from their brother on 'Bhai Dooj'. PTI VIT IJT

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