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Arvind Kejriwal to visit state on Monday: ‘Gujarat will change, I’m coming’

In a post in Gujarati on Twitter, Kejriwal said, “Now Gujarat will change. Tomorrow I am coming to Gujarat, I will meet all brothers and sisters of Gujarat.”

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
June 13, 2021 11:19:29 pm
Arvind Kejriwal, Gujarat, Arvind Kejriwal visit to Gujarat, Gujarat AAP, AAP Delhi, AAP news, AAP, Gujarat latest news, Gujarat assembly elections, Gujarat news, india news, indian expressDelhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has written that L-G Anil Baijal needs to decide whether he agrees with the elected government's decision to drop the prefix "Mukhya Mantri" from the name of the proposed doorstep delivery of ration scheme, which was notified on February 20. (File Photo)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will arrive in Ahmedabad on Monday morning for a one-day visit to Gujarat ahead of the 2022 assembly elections, riding on the impressive debut performance of the Aam Aadmi Party in the recently held local body polls.

In a post in Gujarati on Twitter, Kejriwal said, “Now Gujarat will change. Tomorrow I am coming to Gujarat, I will meet all brothers and sisters of Gujarat.”

On Monday, Kejriwal is scheduled to inaugurate the new state office of AAP Gujarat on Ashram road in Ahmedabad where he will halt at Vallabh Sadan “to seek blessings of Lord Krishna”, as per a statement by the party.

This is Kejriwal’s second visit to Gujarat after his party won 27 out of 120 seats in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) elections in 2021, eating into the share of Gujarat’s main opposition party, Congress.

Kejriwal, who is also the national convener of AAP, will interact with party workers and discuss the plan for 2022 assembly elections in Gujarat where the newcomers will try to make it a three-way contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and AAP.

“Arvind Kejriwal will arrive at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport around 10.20 am on Monday and after a brief stay at the Circuit House, he will take blessings of Lord Krishna at Vallabh Sadan and then address a press conference. Later, he will also inaugurate the AAP Gujarat state office in Ahmedabad,” said Tuli Banerjee, state media incharge, AAP Gujarat.

Making inroads

The AAP has been trying to make inroads into Gujarat since its inception in 2013. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, AAP contested on all 26 constituencies and in the 2017 assembly elections, it fielded candidates on 29 out of 182 constituencies.

On both the occasions, the party failed to win a single seat and majority of the candidates lost their deposits. The maximum number of votes an AAP candidate received in 2017 assembly elections was 4,551 votes in Chhota Udepur district and in many seats, NOTA option received more votes than AAP.

In 2021, led by its Gujarat president Gopal Italia, AAP fielded 469 candidates for 576 seats in six municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar. While the party AAP couldn’t manage to win even a single seat in the remaining five corporations, it won 27 seats in Surat, replacing Congress as the opposition to the ruling BJP in the Surat Municipal Corporation.

Today, the party claims that it has over 6,000 office-bearers in Gujarat with a unit in each taluka panchayat and district of the state.

Two-party state

Gujarat has historically been a two-party state, where power oscillated between the Congress and the BJP, which has been in power since 1999. Apart from the two parties, the state assembly now has two MLAs from the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), one MLA from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and independent MLA Jignesh Mevani.

In 1990, then chief minister Chimanbhai Patel founded Janata Dal (Gujarat), after he split from the Janata Dal BJP alliance in Gujarat and remained as CM from 1990 to 1995 with the support of Congress. Later Janata Dal (Gujarat) was dissolved and merged with the Congress. Similarly, former CM Shankersinh Vaghela, once a BJP man, founded the Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP) and ruled as CM from 1996 to 1997. A year later, he merged RJP with the Congress.

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