Arvind Kejriwal-led India Against Corruption (IAC) launched a scathing attack on the ruling Congress and the main opposition party BJP, accusing them of acting in the interest of Unilever and Emami Groups – manufacturers of Vaseline and Boroplus – and ignoring the interest of the nation.
“Today’s expose will show how some industrialists are involved with politicians and bureaucrats in selling beauty products in the name of cash transfer schemes and how the cash is transferred to politicians and not common man,” Kejriwal said as he started his press conference.
Sticking to his now familiar script of reading leading aloud snippets from documents in the public domain passionately in front of the media in a language accessible to the masses, Mr.Kejriwal read out a few lines from the article published in The Hindu over the failure of cash transfer projects for MGNREGA(Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme.
“Pilot cash transfer projects taken up in Jharkhand for MGNREGA wages have achieved little success due to a variety of problems. Of 4,791 active job-card holders in the two panchayats in Ramgarh block, only 469 received MGNREGA payments through Aadhar-Enabled Cash Transfers (AECTs). Fifty km away in Ratu block in Ranchi, of 8,231 active job-card holders in three panchayats, those paid through AECTs was even lower: 162,” he read out loud.
Then in a dramatic tone, he said, “fir se suniye. EK jagah 100 mein 10 logon ko paisa mila. Ek aur jagah to 100 mein sirf 2 logon ko paise mila.” With his nostrils flaring up, he exclaimed, “samajh rahe ho aap? 100 mein se 10 ya 2 logon ko sirf paisa mila. Sharm aani chahiye unko jo gareebon ke paise lootthe hain.”
After a brief pause to let TV audience digest the numbers and twitteratti to launch a thousand tweets, he launched a scathing attack on the political parties, saying, “Ab main poochna chahtha hoon ki har 100 logon mein se 90 se 98 logon ke paise kahan gaye? Kya who Congress ke jeb mein gaye? Kya BJP pe jeb mein gaye? Kya ye kisi corporate waalon ke jeb mein gaye? Kya ek ya do rupay CPM waalon ke jeb mein bhi gaye? Junta jaanna chahthi hai in corrupt politicians se.”
Arwind Kejriwal then read out some more parts of the article: “Dashay Bediya, a frail agricultural worker in a white shirt and dhoti, tries eight times, placing different fingers in the hope that one will work and then goes outside the office and scrubs his hands. He returns and tries five times more getting more anxious and disappointed each time. ‘Come after three to four days. Put Vaseline or Boroplus and rub your fingers before you go to sleep,’ banking correspondent Mr. Kumar instructs before sending him back.”
With his thick moustache quivering, a hyper-charged Kejriwal looked directly into the cameras and read the last line again: “Come after three to four days. Put Vaseline or Boroplus and rub your fingers before you go to sleep.”
“Suna aapne? Ye sab Vaseline, Boroplus aur Congress, BJP ka khel hai. Agar aap har din Vaseline ya Boroplus apne ungliyon pe nahin lagaoge to aapko apne paise nahin milenge. Inhon ne Aadhaar machine hi aise banaye hain. Sarkar ne hazaaron karod kharch kiye Aadhaar pe. Aam aadmi ke paise se bana jo Aadhaar aam aadmi ko hi nahin pehchaan paa raha hai,” he thundered.
Mocking the Government, Kejriwal continued, “Kuch din baad ye bolenge ki har din Fair&Lovely nahin lagaoge to aapke ration card nahin challenge. Head&Shoulders nahin lagaoge to driving license nahin challenge. Navratan tel nahin lagaoge to election card nahin challenge. Ye sarkar bik chuki hai. Saare political parties bik chuki hai. Sab mil kar aam aadmi ko bechna chahthe hain.”
Drawing attention to the UPA’s larger direct cash transfer scheme facilitating cash entitlement in a total of 34 schemes including MNREGA, Mr.Kejriwal said, “Congress sarkar direct cash transfer scheme ke bare mein bolti hai “aap ka paisa, aap ke haath”. Par ye sarasar jhooth hai. Is scheme ka matlab hai “aap ka paisa, Congress ke haath”. Meri baat maniye. Aap ko paisa nahin milne waala. Aapko na paisa milega na hi chawal, chini, kerosene, gas..kuch bhi nahin milega. Zindagi bhar Boroplus aur Zandu Balm lagate rahoge aap.”
Mr.Kejriwal demanded an independent investigation under a retired Supreme Court judge to probe into the corruption in the cash transfer scheme.
Reacting to the allegations, the Congress, BJP, Emami and Unilever issued a joint statement calling the allegations “baseless” and “motivated” and issued a collective “clean chit” to one another.