Setting the tone for AAP’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, a message from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attacking PM Narendra Modi, and his “open insult” of Delhi’s voters, has been circulated on social media. The document also features a message “from the people of Delhi” for the PM, asking him to “keep his promise” of complete statehood for the capital and to “not interfere” in Kejriwal’s work. For this plea, AAP workers will begin a door-to-door campaign next week, distributing the document and seeking 10 lakh signatures.
Although AAP has been gearing up to take on the seven incumbent BJP MPs from Delhi during the 2019 polls, it is yet to announce candidates. Senior leaders said this “was part of the strategy”.
Earlier this month, AAP had announced Lok Sabha in-charges (Pankaj Gupta for Chandni Chowk, Dilip Kumar Pandey for northeast Delhi, Raghav Chadha for south Delhi, Atishi Marlena for east Delhi and Guggan Singh Ranga for northwest Delhi) to “strengthen the party at the booth level”. An AAP leader said, “These are not the final candidates, but the frontrunners. They are working in the area to understand the issues.”
Meanwhile, AAP leaders said that Kejriwal’s direct attack on the PM and the emphasis on the “unkept promise on statehood”, along with the larger issue of “the breakdown of federal structure” would be a major campaign plank.
Kejriwal’s message cites government schemes such as mohalla clinics, land for schools, and development of unauthorised colonies that have led to tussles with the L-G: “Not even the British had exploited us this way. Every year, they take Rs 1,30,000 crore in taxes, but only return Rs 325 crore for Delhi’s development. If this money is given to us (Delhi government), 30% can be used for building houses for everyone in Delhi.” He also said that if Delhi is given statehood, “we will have 85% reservation for children of Delhi voters”.
On the promises made by the CM in his message, a senior leader said, “We have done a lot for Delhi with our hands tied. We want to communicate this to people…”