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More than 3,500 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) posters on auto-rickshaws that project Jagdish Mukhi as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate has rankled the latter enough to contemplate legal action against the AAP. For more than two months now, the AAP posters have projected Mukhi as the BJP’s CM candidate against former Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.
Mukhi, on Monday, termed the campaign “childish”. “I do not understand what they are up to. They have no right to use my photograph in their ad campaigns, which are frankly childish. People are laughing at Kejriwal and the AAP,” Mukhi said. He also said he would soon seek legal opinion on whether the AAP can be taken to court.
According to Mukhi, the BJP had clarified weeks ago that the Delhi campaign will rely on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “In the recently concluded Haryana and Maharashtra elections, the BJP won based on the work of PM Modi.
This is what we will do in Delhi as well. As campaign head in Haryana, the PM was gracious enough to address 11 rallies and I hope he will give Delhi the same consideration. There will be no CM candidate in Delhi,” Mukhi reiterated.
But for the AAP, their campaign hinges on “delinking” the Delhi elections from Modi. “Why should an election for a state concern the PM? What matters in Delhi is the chief minister. If Modi is so interested he should have contested state elections,” a senior leader said.
Sources in the AAP also said the ad campaign was aimed at holding the BJP to a higher standard. “For every election till date in Delhi, they have contested elections after naming a CM candidate but not this time. With this campaign either Mukhi would be named or the BJP would be forced to deny this and name somebody else,” the leader said.
Mukhi also questioned the AAP’s intentions. “If they project a battle between Kejriwal and me, then why does the AAP not name him as the candidate from Janakpuri, where I contest. Instead they have named the same candidate who lost in 2013,” Mukhi said.
According to the AAP, they zeroed in on Mukhi after the parliament elections in May.
“There were rumours that the BJP would form government after they won the LS elections. Then Mukhi claimed he could form government in Delhi within 72 hours. A month later, there was a social media campaign to name him the CM candidate. Also, when Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung sought views of parties before the Assembly was dissolved, Mukhi was authorised to speak on behalf of the Delhi BJP,” a senior AAP leader said.