Ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal addressed the party’s ‘Tiranga Yatra’, in a massive roadshow in Mehsana, Gujarat. During the rally on Monday, he asserted that his party members have interacted with thousands of people in the past few days, who “are fed up with the BJP and its sister Congress”.
Furthermore, Kejriwal said that the people of Gujarat want change, and that “AAP has emerged as a ray of hope” for them. He went on to claim that there was an atmosphere of fear in the state, urging people to leave all their fears aside with the AAP. He claimed that his party is the only “cure for BJP”.
The Delhi CM also questioned the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gujarat president CR Paatil’s speech on Youtube. “Recently, I watched Paatil’s speech on YouTube where he said that one person has come from Delhi and he is a maha thug. Paatil sahib, why don’t you say straightforward that Kejriwal is the thug,” Kejriwal said.
Addressing the people of Gujarat, the AAP leader asked, “Do I look like a thug to you? I want to give world-class education to your children. Does that make me a thug? I want to provide the best healthcare facilities, give free electricity and water and improve your lives. What right do they have to call me a thug?”
Kejriwal went on to say that the BJP is scared of the AAP because it is a “patriotic and honest” party. He also alleged that CR Paatil is the “real chief minister”, as opposed to the incumbent Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel, alleging that he is the chief minister only in name. In response, Gujarat BJP spokesperson Yagnesh Dave said, “The way in which Kejriwal spoke today clearly shows that he is afraid of Paatil.”
The AAP’s ‘Tiranga Yatra’ was merged with the party’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’, which was an outreach campaign that started on May 15, and covered all 182 constituencies of Gujarat from six different directions, for 20 days. While addressing people at the roadshow, the Delhi CM also referred to a protest organised by ex-servicemen at the state capital Gandhinagar, and appealed that the Gujarat government fulfil their demands.
Additionally, Kejriwal suggested that they increase compensation and pay Rs 1 crore to the families of the soldiers that sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, as it is being done by the Delhi government. Furthermore, Kejriwal also criticised the BJP for the increased incidents of ‘targeted killings’ in Jammu and Kashmir, terming it a “massacre of Kashmiri Pandits”.
“The massacre that is happening with Kashmiri Pandits is not right. In the last 30 years, Kashmiri Pandits had to migrate twice, and both happened when BJP was in power,” said the Delhi CM, while appealing for taking additional steps and providing them with security. Earlier this week, he also asserted, “(The) BJP is incapable of handling Kashmir”.
The BJP has been in power in Gujarat for almost three decades. Notably, this was the AAP leader’s fourth visit to the state in the last two months. The state assembly election in Gujarat is set to be conducted in December, later this year. Meanwhile, earlier this year, in April, AAP had claimed that its internal survey indicated that they are likely to win at least 58 seats, with most votes from rural areas, as well as lower and middle-class segments of urban Gujarat.