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Congress an aged party, Gujarat polls a fight between AAP, BJP: Raghav Chadha

On Saturday, Chadha claimed that Kejriwal was the only politician whom God has “given His blessings” to make such things happen.

AAP’s Raghav Chadha visits Kaba Gandhino Delo, the residence of Mahatma Gandhi in Rajkot, Saturday. (Express Photo)

The upcoming Assembly election in Gujarat will be a direct contest between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), AAP co-incharge for Gujarat, Raghav Chadha, said on Saturday, while dismissing Congress as an “aged” party that has failed to win any election in almost three decades.

Interacting with journalists after landing at Rajkot airport on Saturday, Chadha said, “Congress is that tired and defeated party which could not defeat BJP in 27 years. How the party, which couldn’t give a fight to BJP in 27 years, will do it now… voters of Gujarat no longer look up to it.”

Adding that the people of Gujarat are fed up with the almost three-decade rule of the BJP, he said, “There are only three things on the mind of people: change, change and change… It is time for Arvind Kejriwal model of governance in which the poorest of the poor get world class education, health facilities, operations and medicines free of cost… the way AAP is progressing, it is quite evident that the 2022 Gujarat election has effectively become an AAP versus BJP contest.”

AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been campaigning in Gujarat since July this year. On Saturday, Chadha claimed that Kejriwal was the only politician whom God has given His blessings to make such things happen.

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“I often say this: God has given His blessings to only Arvind Kejriwal for providing free electricity… for providing world class education to every child, be it son of the poorest of the poor or that of a judge or bureaucrat. This is the reason, people starting from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari and Guwahati to Gujarat want to try and adopt Arvind Kejriwal model,” he said.

A former minister in the Kejriwal government in Delhi, 33-year-old Chadha also served as AAP’s co-incharge for Punjab in the run up to the Assembly election in that state early this year where the AAP formed government. Months later, Chadha, who is a certified chartered accountant, was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Punjab unopposed. The party later appointed him as co-incharge for Gujarat where elections are due to be held in December.

Addressing a press conference later in the day, Chadha claimed the present BJP government has lost confidence of people and cited ongoing strikes by employees of various government department, farmers, maldharis (cattle-herders), etc., as proof.

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“Everywhere in Gujarat, people are unhappy with the government and are agitating, protesting against the BJP. Everyone now wants an alternative and from this platform, I want to tell them that if they want to have their all demands met, there is only one person and one party which can do it — Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party respectively,” Chadha said.

The AAP leader also asked the agitators not to trust promises of the BJP and warned that the ruling party will book agitating people and send them to jail if it retained power in Gujarat. “Therefore, with folded hands, I want to tell the agitators that Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party is with you and we will help you get justice,” Chadha said.

When asked what will be the party’s election strategy in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and in the backdrop of failure in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh elections, Chadha said, “In the entire country, there is only one party, which does what it promises and whose all leaders are honest… it is the only party that removes a minister from the council of ministers over allegations of corruption, it is the only party which can give people free electricity, education and good healthcare facilities,” he said.

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Chadha also said that the statement of Jagmal Vala, AAP’s candidate for Somnath Assembly constituency in Gujarat, on consuming alcohol was quoted out of context.

First published on: 24-09-2022 at 01:59:16 pm
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