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Days ahead of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s October 16 rally in Surat, banners carrying his photographs with Burhan Wani, Hafiz Saeed and Osama bin Laden, terming them “heroes of Pakistan”, appeared at different locations across the city on Thursday. While AAP blamed BJP, the saffron party denied it had anything to do with such banners.
Earlier in the day, AAP claimed that its posters for the rally were removed from different areas in the city. Kejriwal will be addressing a public meeting at Yogi chowk in Varachha area on October 16. Incidentally, the AAP leader will also be meeting Gujarat PAAS convenors during his visit to Ahmedabad and Surat. The next day, he will also meet leaders of different organisations in Surat city.
After getting information about the banners, AAP leaders reached the spot and removed them. Surat AAP spokesperson Yogesh Jadvani said, “The banners had been put up by BJP workers as they don’t want Kejriwal meeting to take place. We have removed eight such banners. We are expecting over one lakh people to attend Kejriwal’s public meeting. AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh will also accompany Kejriwal.”
He added, “Kejriwal will meet Gujarat PAAS spokesperson Varun Patel in Ahmedabad on October 15. We have extended the invitations to Surat PAAS co-convenors Dharmik Malaviya and Alpesh Katheriya and other PAAS members to meet Kejriwal in Surat .”
Surat city BJP president Nitin Bhajiyawala said, “We have told BJP workers that they should not oppose Kejriwal’s visit to Surat. I am sure no BJP worker will do this (put up such posters). A few days ago, a few banners featuring Kejriwal were blackened. They alleged that it was the BJP’s doing. But, later, it was found that AAP worker Ajit Tiwari of Surat was had done that. AAP leaders are resorting to such tactics to get publicity and, on the other hand, they are trying to defame us. We have nothing to do with these banners.”