With Arvind Kejriwal taking on Narendra Modi in Gujarat, Bharatiya Janata Party today hit out at the “cozy” relationship between Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, and said it will turn out to be “self-defeating” for both as AAP will eat into non-BJP space.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said Kejriwal has stopped speaking against the Centre as well as the “dynasty” running Congress, and was going hard against BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
“Congress is encouraging AAP but it is today stamping on Congress’ foot. BJP’s constituency is intact and expanding. Congress and AAP have a cozy relationship but by dividing the non-BJP space, they will develop a self defeating relationship,” he wrote on his blog.
Noting that the entire focus of Kejriwal’s national campaign is against BJP and Modi, Jaitley said AAP no longer criticises “scams” which happened under Congress and there is not even criticism of it for aligning with a convicted Lalu Prasad.
“AAP has softened the attack on Congress and is going hard against the BJP. This is the Congress-AAP strategy,” he said. Congress, he said, is running an insipid campaign and the entire focus of the media debate is the political struggle between BJP and AAP.
“Congress has a vote bank much bigger than AAP…. AAP may not even be a spoiler. Its tactics target maximum media publicity. Its presence in the media is higher than Congress’. In a particular section, it has started occupying media space much higher than Congress,” he said.
This tactic, he said, has not worked for Congress. Even though Congress may feel that the AAP is doing what it has failed to do, it has ended up scoring a “self-goal” as BJP remains a “comfortable front runner”.
AAP gains in media and vote at the cost of non-BJP space, and is competing with Congress, Left, BSP and SP for this, he said.
“AAP, by attempting to occupy non-BJP space, hurts the other non-BJP players more,” he said.