Even as he continues his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over various issues, and accuses him of “imposing Emergency” in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is set to visit Modi’s home state Gujarat, where elections are scheduled to be held in 2017.
AAP had recently announced that after Punjab and Goa, it will also contest assembly elections in Gujarat. Sources in the party claimed “it was no coincidence” that an FIR was registered against Kejriwal — over the alleged water tanker scam — soon after AAP announced its decision to contest elections in Gujarat.
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According to party sources, the CM will make two stops on his Gujarat trip.
He will visit Rajkot on July 9 and Surat on July 10. Sources said Kejriwal’s visit will begin in Saurashtra, the Patel bastion and home of AAP’s Gujarat leader Kanubhai Kalsariya. He is also expected to visit the Somnath temple and hold a meeting with local farmers.
Earlier this month, in a video released by AAP’s Gujarat unit, Kejriwal had expressed support for the Patidar agitation and jailed leader Hardik Patel.
In the video clip, Kejriwal had said, “What crime has Hardik Patel committed, for which a case of sedition has been slapped against him and he has been languishing in jail for the last eight months? He only raised his voice for the rights of his community… Hardik never helped the forces trying to break the nation.”
In his second stop in Surat, Kejriwal will meet jewellers from the city, among others, said party sources. “We have always supported jewellers in their protest against the levy of 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery by the Centre. We have formed a bond with the community since then. So, we will meet jewellers and the business community in Surat,” said a source in AAP.
In the run-up to his Gujarat visit, AAP’s Ahmedabad zone team had met Kejriwal on June 20. While the AAP government has locked horns with the BJP at the Centre over issues ranging from turf wars, bureaucratic appointments and control of Delhi Police, Kejriwal has repeatedly accused the Prime Minister of “creating roadblocks” in the affairs of the Delhi government.