Stating that the Aam Aadmi Party will contest from all the seats in Gujarat in the upcoming Assembly elections, party’s national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that “Congress is finished” and “BJP is losing” in the state.
Kejriwal was addressing mediaperons in Ahmedabad during his two-day visit to the state.
Responding to a media query on Congress allegations of AAP not paying salaries in Punjab and is instead using the money to campaign in Gujarat, Kejriwal said, “Congress khatam ho gayi hai (Congress is finished). You should stop taking their questions. Public has no such questions on its mind.”
About BJP’s allegations that AAP plans to field Medha Patkar in Gujarat, Kejriwal responded, “BJP is losing. Sometimes they’ll bring Medha Patkar, sometimes someone else. Instead ask them what they have done in the past 27 years and what they plan to do in the next 5 years, the public wants to know.”
When asked if his visit on Monday to dine at an auto-rickshaw driver’s residence at Ghatlodia was strategically intentional given that the area falls under the constituency of CM Bhupendra Patel and is also part of the Lok Sabha constituency of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Kejriwal said, “It was not pre-planned, these leaders too should be visiting them.”
Additionally, addressing the kerfuffle on Kejriwal being briefly stopped by police owing to “security protocol” enroute to the residence of the driver – Vikram Dantani, Kejriwal said, “Can a state’s police say they won’t give security if I go in an auto? Their motive was not to give security or not, it was to stop me from going amid the public..Ultimately, I went and they gave security..”
Meanwhile, Kejriwal appealed to police personnel “to stop taking wrong orders” from the government.
“I saw this yesterday too when I was stopped (from going to Dantani’s residence in an auto)…the one who stopped me yesterday, it was not his fault, he was being ordered from the top, on the phone. I say, stop taking their wrong orders,” said Kejriwal while emphasising that he was the first one to raise the issue of pay grade of police personnel.
Videos circulated by AAP on social media showed Kejriwal refusing the Gujarat police security and asking the, to “protect your chief minister and your ministers”.
“This protocol is what is making Gujarat’s public miffed with its leaders. Ask your leaders to break protocol and go amid the public. We don’t want your security, why are you forcing us? You have kept us confined… I want to go amid the public. You give your security to the ministers, I’m the public’s man. You can’t arrest me. This is an arrest. You are not letting me go in an auto. You are confining me”, he was heard saying.
Meanwhile, making further promises, Kejriwal stated that if his party is elected to power in Gujarat, it will make door-step delivery of services, make the state “corruption-free” and allow for “fear-free administration”.
Exemplifying the prevalence of illicit businesses such as the recent hooch tragedy in Botad and Ahmedabad, Kejriwal further guaranteed that he will shut down illicit businesses, put an end to paper leaks and reopen cases from the past 10 years, probe them and send the “masterminds to jail”, recover money lost to scams and “invetigate scams during their (BJP) tenure and send the guilty to jail”.