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AAP to sponsor Ayodhya Ram temple visit if voted to power in Gujarat: Kejriwal

The AAP national convener asks voters in the western state to not vote for the Congress

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder Arvind Kejriwal (File)

On a day posters against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Arvind Kejriwal with reference to the conversion row came up in Gujarat, the party’s national convener promised “free visits to the Ayodhya Ram temple” to “all people from Gujarat” should AAP form a government after the Assembly elections.

Urging people to ensure that “not a single vote goes to the Congress”, Kejriwal added that both the BJP and the Congress were having “secret midnight meetings” to plan the “series of daily abuses” hurled at him, he said addressing a tribal gathering in Dahod.

Accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Maan, Kejriwal, who arrived late for the Dahod event Saturday, commented on the condition of roads in Gujarat, saying, “They (BJP) always claimed that the roads in Gujarat are good… But look at the pathetic condition of roads everywhere. A journey that should take one hour is now taking three hours… When AAP forms the government on December 1, we will first repair the important roads within six months and thereafter, within three years, we will repair every road in the state connecting villages.”

Without making references to the anonymous anti-AAP posters that have come up across the state Saturday–one of which even resulted in a clash between BJP and AAP party workers in Vadodara where Kejriwal and Maan are to hold a roadshow later in the day–the Delhi Chief Minister spoke of the “satisfying experience of visiting the Ram temple in Ayodhya”. “Ayodhya temple of Lord Shri Ram will be ready next year. In Delhi, we have started a scheme… I take devotees of Lord Ram for free to Ayodhya to worship Ramchandraji. A special train goes from Delhi filled with Ram bhakts. Right from taking you from your home to taking care of your stay, meals and your darshan at Ayodhya and dropping you off at home–everything is free. I personally see off the travellers at the station and also receive them when they return. When people arrive, they tell me it was the most satisfying experience of their lives… When we form the government in Gujarat, we will take you all to Ayodhya for free,” Kejriwal said.

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Stating that the BJP has been “sleepless” ever since a report from “a secret government agency” has indicated that the AAP will form the next government in Gujarat, Kejriwal said, “The report has said that AAP will win by a margin of two or three seats as it will win 94-95 seats… With barely 40-50 days to go for the polls, we need a little push so that we can break the record of Delhi and Punjab. AAP will form the government on December 1… A storm of change is blowing in Gujarat.”

Stating that the parties were “scared” that free incentives announced by the AAP would “finish the public treasury reserved for loot by the politicians”, Kejriwal said, “Someone told me that an MLA from Gujarat who had 4 acres five years ago has 1,000 acres today. They say the government is in debt… Why is it in debt? The Gujarat government spends Rs 2.5 lakh crore per year but have you seen a new school or a new road in your village? They make lands in the name of their wives, children and grandfathers. They send the money to Swiss banks. We will take each rupee back from them.”

Kejriwal assured that the AAP government would purchase five crops–wheat, rice, cotton, chana dal and groundnut–in Gujarat at MSP.

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Urging the people to ensure that the Congress does not get any votes, Kejriwal said, “The Congress will get less than 10 seats according to the survey… Don’t give a single vote to Congress. All Congress votes should come to AAP.”

Speaking a sentence in Gujarati that earned a loud cheer from the audience, Kejriwal reiterated the AAP guarantee of paying Rs 1,000 to every woman above 18 years of age. Calling himself a “brother” and “son” in the same speech, Kejriwal said, “If you (women) don’t have bank accounts, please open them right now because we are going to give women Rs 1,000 per month. If girls get Rs 1000 per month on their own, would they not be able to complete their studies? Now you do not need to worry. Your brother is here… I have made calculations, we will make 20,000 mohalla clinics in Gujarat. If anyone is sick in your family, don’t worry, your son will take care of you.”

Kejriwal said the AAP government will “not tolerate” any exam paper leaks and “the guilty will be imprisoned for 10 years”. He also promised a compensation of Rs 50,000 per hectare to farmers for crop damage and also lay an irrigation network for farmers.

First published on: 08-10-2022 at 17:55 IST
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