Ahead of 2020 Assembly elections in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, June 3, announced free rides on public transport, including Delhi Metro and DTC buses, for women. The development came almost 10 days after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was wiped out in all seven Lok Sabha seats in the recently concluded general election.
Addressing a press conference, Arvind Kejriwal said that the expense of the free ride scheme will be borne by the Delhi government which will be around Rs 1200 crore. "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," Kejriwal said.
The Delhi CM said that the security of women is of utmost importance for his party. "We have taken two important decisions — first is installing CCTV cameras across Delhi, while the other is free public transport for women," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal also clarified that subsidy will not be imposed on anyone as the free ride scheme is optional. "There are several women who can afford these modes of transport. Those who can afford can purchase tickets, they needn't take subsidy. We encourage those, who can afford, to buy tickets and not take subsidy so that others could benefit," the Delhi CM said.
The move by the Delhi government is yet to be cleared by the centre.
The AAP contested in 40 Lok Sabha seats in nine states and Union Territories out of which it won in one. The poll results came as a shock to the party as it builds up for the assembly elections in Delhi in 2020.