Congress, BJP reacted similarly before 2015 assembly polls: Sisodia

New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Sunday that the Congress and BJP reactions now to AAP's assurance to end house tax in Delhi are similar when his party promised free water and cheap electricity before the 2015 assembly polls.

"Before the assembly elections, they said it is not legally possible to reduce electricity tariff. They said the Delhi Jal Board will go broke if we gave away free water. Now they are saying the same thing about doing away with the house tax," Sisodia told reporters here.

He said just like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fulfilled most of its poll promises, including slashing electricity tariff by half and providing free water to every household, after winning 67 of the 70 assembly seats in February 2015 polls, it would abolish tax on residential property if it came to power in the three municipal corporations.

The elections to Delhi's three Municipal Corporations from 272 wards are slated to be held on April 23.

"(Delhi Chief Minister Arvind) Kejriwal ji made the announcement only after detailed analysis. While the BJP backtracks from its promises and forgets about them after elections, we have either already fulfilled our promises or are working to fulfil them," the Aam Aadmi Party leader said.

Sisodia said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress were worried about the move as they were running a tax collection racket and would lose out on commissions if the AAP implemented the move, "which will benefit lakhs of people". 

On the opposition's claim that the house tax could be abolished only after the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, is amended in Parliament, Sisodia said the state government was empowered to make amendments.

"Before 1993, the amendments were made by Parliament. But thereafter, many amendments have been passed by the state assembly itself," he said.

Kejriwal on Saturday promised to abolish house tax if the AAP won the civic polls. He said tax on industrial and commercial premises will remain.

While BJP's Delhi unit President Manoj Tiwari termed the announcement "shameful", Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said the AAP has not yet fulfilled its promises of "free Wi-Fi and marshals in Delhi Transport Corporation buses". 

IANS