Updated: May 1, 2022 10:23:09 pm
In his first public rally since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) formed a government in Punjab, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday urged the people of Gujarat to “break the arrogance of the BJP” by voting AAP to power. He also lashed out at the BJP for “creating a world record in paper leaks” as he enlisted the “derelict condition of schools and hospitals” in Gujarat.
Kejriwal was addressing a tribal gathering in Chanderia village in Valia taluka of Bharuch district on Sunday, where the party announced an alliance with Chhotubhai Vasava’s Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP).
Flanked by AAP leaders Gopal Italia, Isudan Gadhvi and Indranil Rajyaguru along with BTP supremo Chhotubhai and his son and party president Mahesh Vasava who is the Dediapada MLA, Kejriwal said, “I have heard speculations that Gujarat elections will happen early because they (BJP) are scared of AAP… We have formed two governments in Delhi, and recently in Punjab and now it is the turn of Gujarat… They (BJP) feel if they give us time till December, Gujarat will turn towards AAP. But… I am a fakkad (poor happy person), I only have the hand of God and the support of people… You (BJP) can conduct elections now or six months later, I will defeat you.”
The AAP leader also narrated his encounter with a BJP leader on his flight from New Delhi to Surat, Kejriwal told the audience — mostly tribal people from Bharuch and Narmada districts, “I met a BJP leader on flight, I asked him why they didn’t work in Gujarat for 27 years. He said ‘why do we need to work, people are giving us the votes anyway’. He told me that the Congress leaders here are in the pocket of the BJP and they (BJP) don’t even need to fight elections… I want to tell Gujarat voters… Give us just one chance only to break their arrogance and you can throw us out the next time…”
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The Dehli CM also mocked the education sector in Gujarat, enlisting the alleged exam paper leak incidents since year 2017 and said, “I have heard that the Guinness Book Record officials held a meeting yesterday and they are going to add the BJP’s name in the list of maximum paper leaks… There is even a paper leak of Class 7 in this list.”
Kejriwal added that the AAP government changed the fortunes of the government schools in Delhi in seven years such that four lakh students have enrolled in government schools in the current academic year.
“The BJP government, which has been here for 27 years, has shut 6,000 government schools in the name of mergers. The government schools are in a dilapidated condition… some have no teachers or one teacher for eight classes… AAP can change this… We have done this in Delhi and restored the glory of the
schools…,” he said adding, “Delhi schools have recorded 99.7% result this year — the best in the country.”
Inviting Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel to visit New Delhi for a guided tour of government schools and hospitals, Kejriwal said, “The BJP started spreading viral messages that Kejriwal’s schools are in a run-down condition… But I am inviting Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel to come and see our schools, hospitals, and clinics… Find facts before spreading lies…”
“People in Delhi love me a lot… I have heard that the people of Gujarat are emotional and think through their hearts… If they (Gujaratis) love someone, they love them for their entire life. Kejriwal is also a similar person… I have come here to a forge relationship of hearts. I don’t know to steal, forge, indulge in corruption… because I am an educated person, who can only work,” he added.
Speaking about the “injustice” that tribals faced, Kejriwal said, “First the British exploited tribals then our own people oppressed them… The irony is that two of the country’s richest people come from Gujarat and the poorest tribals also come from Gujarat from Dahod, Chhota Udepur, Aravalli and Dang districts… The BJP and Congress are standing with the rich and making them richer… But the AAP, Kejriwal, and Chhotubhai are standing with the poor, with you.”
Lashing out at the BJP for maligning AAP’s image, the Delhi CM said, “Today, the costliest power is being supplied in Gujarat but in Delhi, the electricity is free. How is Delhi getting free electricity? Because Delhi has a corruption-free government….”
Taking pot shots at the Gujarat BJP for choosing its party president CR Paatil from Maharashtra, Kejriwal said, Is it not an insult to 6.5 crore Gujarati people that the BJP needed a leader from Maharashtra to run this party in the state? The voters must avenge this insult… I am appealing to the good leaders of Congress to shift to AAP and we will work together… The good BJP leaders, please come over to AAP… Those who have vested interests, please stay where you are.”
Earlier, Kejriwal arrived at the venue to chants of Bharat Mata ki Jai, Inquilab Zindabad, and Birsa Munda Zindabad. With the Vasavas and other AAP leaders, Kejriwal garlanded a statue of Birsa Munda and dressed up in a tribal jacket and shawl as part of his on-dais felicitation.
In his address, Chhotubhai Vasava said, “The AAP has come to support us tribals for our fight for good governance…. what is the need to re-elect a government that has wiped off education from the state… keep your vote safe and elect AAP. The BJP and Congress are out to wipe out the identity of the tribal population… Only if we get power, we will be able to survive… So we have given Arvindji a list of 14 important issues and he has promised to look into them.”
Expressing confidence that AAP-BTP combine will form a government in Gujarat, Mahesh Vasava said, “Despite having thousands of dams that displaced tribal populations, the tribal belt from Ambaji to Umargaon does not receive a single drop of drinking water… What happened in Punjab, should happen in Gujarat… BJP has ruled for 27 years and there is so much pain among us…”
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