Indian Express

Modi vs him: Arvind Kejriwal to wait for Varanasi’s voice

Kejriwal's public declaration comes a day after the BJP announced that Modi would be fielded from Varanasi. Tweet This
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Kejriwal said his party wanted him to contest against Modi and he accepts the challenge to face the Gujarat CM. Kejriwal said his party wanted him to contest against Modi and he accepts the challenge to face the Gujarat CM.

Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal Sunday said he was ready to take on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from the Varanasi constituency in the Lok Sabha polls, but would let the “people decide”.

“I will hold a rally in Varanasi on March 23. If the people of Varanasi give me a ticket, I will contest against Modi,” the former Delhi chief minister said.

Speaking at an AAP rally at Freedom Park here, Kejriwal said he “accepts the challenge” to contest against Modi but would finalise his candidature only after March 23. “The party has decided that I will contest against Modi. But I am a small man. This will be the people’s fight, I will only be their face,” said the AAP leader.

Kejriwal also referred to talk of Modi contesting from another seat besides Varanasi. “People of this country want a brave PM, not one who wants to contest from a safe seat. People of this country will question his intentions,” he said.

Doubting Modi’s resolve to fight corruption in the light of the BJP backing tainted Karnataka leaders like B S Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu, Kejriwal said: “I hear that Yedduyarappa will be telecom minister like A Raja and Sriramalu mining minister if Modi becomes PM.”

Raising the gas pricing issue and attacking Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, he said: “I think (Gujarat minister) Saurabh Patel will be the next Union oil minister.”

Warning the public about the kind of government they would have if Modi was voted to power, Kejriwal added: “Amit Shah will be the home minister. I wonder how many women will be under surveillance if this government comes.”

“I have heard that leaders from Karnataka were caught watching porn in the Assembly. Will Modiji make them the women and child development ministers?”

Accusing the Modi government in Gujarat of corruption, Kejriwal added: “Everything in Modi’s Gujarat is very transparent, everything has a fixed amount for getting work done… Will the media dare show such realities?”

He also questioned the induction of D K Shivakumar and Roshan Baig into the Congress’s government in Karnataka. AAP would fight for “the rights of journalists” who were recently arrested for conducting a sting operation on Shivakumar, he said.

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