Arvind Kejriwal ‘accepts’ challenge to take on Narendra Modi in Varanasi

The AAP leader said BJP had become desperate to win 272 seats and had joined hands with Yeddyurappa, Sriramulu and Paswan.

Varanasi | Updated: March 26, 2014 8:07 am

Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced his decision to take on Narendra Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in this temple city while appealing for support to defeat the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader made the announcement at a rally Varanasi this evening after a day-long roadshow around teh city during which an egg and ink was thrown at him at two places.

While declaring his candidature, he attacked Modi, accusing him of being an “agent” of industrial houses and said that a myth had been perpetuated about the development in Gujarat.

He also targeted Rahul Gandhi, saying the ‘shahenshah’ (emperor) of Congress was also like Modi.

Kejriwal, who had declared earlier that he would contest against Modi from wherever he is fielded, announced his decision after seeking the views of his supporters at the rally in his typical style.

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“I want to ask you whether I should contest from Varanasi against Narendra Modi. I am ready to accept this challenge,” the former Delhi Chief Minister announced after a day-long road show in this constituency of Uttar Pradesh.

“Why do I want to contest from Varanasi, it is because at a time when leaders look for safe seats to fight elections, I take on them to defeat them,” he added.

Attacking Modi, Kejriwal said that a myth about Modi having developed Gujarat was being perpetuated by a section of media while in reality the BJP leader was gifting away farmers’ land to industrialists and followed policies which were against small businessmen.

AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal taking holy dip in River Ganga at Rajghat in Varanasi on Tuesday. (PTI) AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal taking holy dip in River Ganga at Rajghat in Varanasi on Tuesday. (PTI)

Kejriwal appealed to people to ensure that Modi loses from Varanasi and Rahul Gandhi gets defeated from Amethi so that both the NDA and the UPA receive a jolt.

“These are both armies — one named UPA and another named NDA. While Rahul Gandhi is the ‘shahenshah’ (emperor) of the UPA, Modi is the same for NDA. If you defeat both Rahul and Modi, then these armies will automatically be crushed,” he said.

The AAP leader said a vote for Modi would mean that prices would rise manifold, farmers would lose their land leading to suicides, small and medium scale industries would shut down. He said he was saying this on the basis of what he had seen in Gujarat.

Attacking both Rahul and Modi, Kejriwal alleged that they fly in planes and helicopters provided by industrial houses like Ambani and Adani. He alleged that the election expenses of these leaders were also provided by them.

“Whosoever wins, the control is in Ambani’s hands,” Kejriwal alleged. He claimed that when he, as Delhi Chief Minister ordered an FIR against the industrialist Mukesh Ambani, the Congress and BJP opposed.

Hitting out at BJP for trying to project him as a “bhagoda” (escapist), he said he had quit the Delhi Chief Ministership because of principles.

Quoting examples of King Harishchandra and Lord Rama from Hindu mythology, Kejriwal said the BJP had no idea what sacrifice for the sake of principle is.

Suggesting that his resignation as Chief Minister on the issue of Lokpal would benefit AAP, he said the party will get up to 50 out of 70 seats when the next Assembly elections are held.

Kejriwal attacked the UPA, saying that during its ten-year tenure, it had looted the country more than even what the British had done in 200 years.

The AAP leader said that BJP had become desperate in its mission to win 272 seats and had joined hands with leaders like B S Yeddyurappa, Sriramulu and Ram Vilas Paswan.

Giving Modi a chance would essentially mean a chance for these politicians, he said.

He also questioned BJP over its understanding with Shiv Sena and MNS in Maharashtra and asked whether Modi would protect people from UP and Bihar in the state.

Kejriwal welcomed the Election Commission’s move to ask government to defer notifying doubling of price of the fuel produced by companies such as Reliance Industries till general elections are completed.

He said that if the people do not vote for the right people, they would themselves be responsible for the price rise.

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  1. G
    Mar 26, 2014 at 9:27 am
    Who had challenged him, he himself had told he would contest Modi to boost his resume. People of Varanasi are not fools to vote for AK. if AK wins he will be only an MP supporting congress. and for Modi would be the PM of India
    1. H
      Mar 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm
      Sick and tired of politicians using negative campaigning. Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, please focus on what changes are you going to bring to this country, state or region. What are your plans? How you are going to bring change? By putting everyone in jail you will not be able to accomplish anything. We the people of India are tired of the blaim game you politicians have been playing for years now. Before you it was BJP and Congress pointing fingers at each other. When you left Anna camp and jumped into politics we had some faith in you. But you are very similar to them. I haven't heard single productive speech from you where you talk about what you are going to do for this country other than prosecuting other politicians from different party.
      1. X
        Apr 15, 2014 at 5:06 am
        Blind people of BJP RSS supporters not understanding that there are educated pople watching all this drama... & sure now they are ready to vote for AAP
        1. S
          Mar 25, 2014 at 5:38 pm
          Is he again to cheat the people of Varanasi after he did for delhi.
          1. R.c. Vivek
            Mar 25, 2014 at 5:28 pm
            AAP Leader Kejriwal has given challange to Narender Modi in Varansi election of member of parliament ,hence Modi should not take lightly as Shiela Dik has taken lightly and finally she was defeated by Kejriwal ,hence it is serious question for Modi
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