Arvind Kejriwal, who resigned as Delhi’s Chief Minister Friday, may contest the Lok Sabha elections against the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi if Modi chooses a constituency outside Gujarat to enter Parliament, sources in his Aam Aadmi Party said.
A senior AAP leader Saturday said that many in the party had endorsed the move. Senior party leaders believe the move would not only enthuse the AAP cadre across the country but also underline the party’s intent to challenge power.
“When he openly declared that he would contest against Sheila Dikshit from wherever she contests, it boosted the cadre’s morale. Everybody said he would lose against a three-time CM and he defeated her by more than 25,000 votes. This also sent a message
across the party and Delhi that he was a candidate to be reckoned with,” a senior party leader said.
Party sources maintained that Kejriwal could contest against Modi only in a constituency outside Gujarat. In the days leading to his resignation, Kejriwal has consistently taken on Modi and his campaign financing and has even linked him with Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.
However, Kejriwal was tightlipped on this when questioned by TV channels on Saturday. “Do we even know if Modi is contesting elections this time? Let them decide first,” he said.
But a party source said, “There have been reports that Modi might contest from Uttar Pradesh. Arvind Kejriwal may contest against him in such a scenario.”
AAP is also banking on support from minority communities in their bid to foil Modi’s campaign.
“Minorities, particularly Muslims, do not support Modi and considering the work we have done in Delhi, we hope to garner their endorsement. There have been BJP and Congress governments at the Centre and in the state, but only the AAP has formed an SIT to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. We do have immense goodwill,” a senior leader said.
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.