Aam Aadmi Party plans to take on Modi in Gujarat

The fledgling party, which has been bracing up for the Lok Sabha ballot-box battle with plans to contest all 26 seats in the state.

By Mahesh Trivedi

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Published: Fri 28 Feb 2014, 8:52 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:44 AM

The recent resignations of four Congress legislators to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat ahead of the Lok Sabha polls have come as a blessing in disguise for Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The fledgling party, which has been bracing up for the Lok Sabha ballot-box battle with plans to contest all 26 seats in the state, has suddenly decided to fight even the six by-elections to the Gujarat state assembly to be held around the same time during April-May.

Kejriwal himself is arriving in Gujarat next week for two days to finalize candidates for the bypolls necessitated by the Congress political chameleons’ decision to don saffrons.

Many prominent personalities who have joined the AAP in the recent past include world-famous classical dancer Mallika Sarabhai, Krishnakant Vakharia, president of the Vishwa Gujarati Samaj, an influential body of non-resident Indians; former BJP rebel lawmakers like Kanu Kalsaria, retired bureaucrats, besides hundreds of doctors, lawyers, professors, social workers and even journalists.

Gujarat AAP convener Sukhdev Patel told Khaleej Times that the party would emerge as the third alternative in the state where only two parties--the Congress and the BJP--had dominated the politics for the past several years.

He said that once the election dates were announced, Kejriwal would be taken round the poll battle-fields for campaigning, adding that the party had already enrolled 600,000 members and set up units in 25 of Gujarat’s 32 districts. The AAP, which had launched a five-day jhadu yatra (broom march) in the state two months ago to connect to voters and highlight the ‘anti-people and pro-corporate stand’ of the Narendra Modi government, has now vowed to hit the campaign trail with evidences exposing the selfish agendas of the Congress and the BJP.

According to Patel, during his Gujarat visit — probably on March 8 and 9--Kejriwal will attack Modi primarily on twin issues of corruption and communalism while addressing a series of public meetings planned for him in Ahmedabad.

Admitting that the BJP was the AAP’s main challenger, he said that while the 2002 communal riots continued to haunt Modi, absence of an anti-graft ombudsman for more than 10 years had shattered the image of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate to the smithereens.

mahesh@khaleejtimes.com


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