Sharing the stage with five others who won the Lok Sabha polls in the capital, BJP’s East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir Saturday fired a salvo at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over a pamphlet that had carried malicious falsehoods about AAP leader Atishi. After the pamphlet had surfaced in certain areas of East Delhi, Kejriwal had accused Gambhir of being behind the smear campaign — an allegation the cricketer-turned-politician vehemently denied.
“The Chief Minister should know that elections will come and go. If you lose your conscience and integrity to win elections, you lose everything. If you can falsely accuse someone of such heinous charges to win a seat, then I have nothing to say to you,” Gambhir said.
“Accusing me of other things and asking for my nomination to be cancelled was understandable, but when you accuse me of this, I will say that elections will come and go but you should not lose your conscience,” he said. The AAP had also targeted Gambhir by claiming that he has two voter IDs and that his nomination should be cancelled.
Gambhir was joined by five other BJP MPs from the capital — Manoj Tiwari, Parvesh Sahib Singh, Hans Raj Hans, Ramesh Bidhuri and Harsh Vardhan — at a press conference at the party headquarters.
Gambhir said he was thankful to the BJP and party workers who toiled hard to ensure his win. He also thanked voters for bestowing faith in him, saying that campaigning “was fun, but the real work would begin now”.
“I joined politics to serve the people of Delhi and India. I thank my party for giving me the opportunity, and the people of East Delhi for reposing faith in me. The elections are over, but the real work begins now and will continue for years to come… we will have to prove ourselves,” he said.
“I will not make false promises of transforming Delhi into Paris or London. I will ensure Delhi becomes the best version of itself where women are safe. Ensuring clean water and cleaner air will be my priority,” he said.
Gambhir emerged victorious from the East Delhi seat with over 7 lakh votes. Congress’s Arvinder Singh Lovely came second with a little over 3 lakh votes, while Atishi secured 2.2 lakh votes.
In a statement later, AAP took a dig at Gambhir, saying he should meet the people on dusty roads and not “cheat them” by sending a “duplicate” as he did during the campaigning period. AAP had criticised Gambhir during the campaign after photos emerged of his friend, dressed like him, atop his campaign vehicle.
Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said that the mandate shows Delhi believes in Narendra Modi, just like the rest of India. He added that in the next eight months, the party will ensure that AAP is finished to put an end to negative politics in the country.
Chandni Chowk MP Harsh Vardhan said that despite announcing its candidates nine months in advance, AAP fared poorly, which points to people rejecting their negative politics.