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AAP won’t align with TMC in Goa, don’t believe in ‘jod-tod ki rajneeti’: Kejriwal

The AAP leader said if people vote for the Congress, those MLAs will eventually join the BJP. He added that former CM Manohar Parrikar's son Utpal Parrikar, who aspires for a BJP ticket, is welcome to join the AAP if he wishes.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Panaji |
Updated: January 17, 2022 3:57:19 pm
AAP, TMCArvind Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party national convener and Delhi Chief Minister, campaigning in Goa’s St Andre Assembly constituency on Saturday. (ANI)

After the Congress’s lukewarm response to the Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) call for Opposition unity in Goa, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal said Sunday that the AAP will not ally with the TMC as the people were not interested in “jod-tod ki rajneeti (politics of making and breaking).” Speaking at a hotel in Dona Paula on Sunday he, however, repeated that if the Legislative Assembly election in Goa throws up a fractured mandate, the AAP would think about forming a post-poll alliance with a non-BJP party.

“We don’t understand this jod-tod ki rajneeti. We are very simple and innocent people… this Opposition unity, we will all defeat one party together, we will defeat this leader… people have nothing to do with this. People want their lives to be better, their children to get good education, if someone is sick in the family, they should get good treatment. That is what we are ready to do. I know how to bring about development. For jod-tod they (other political parties) are all sitting there. They do this all night,” Kejriwal said.

About the possibility of an alliance with the TMC, the AAP leader said he wouldn’t go for it. “If people give such a (fractured) mandate that a post-election coalition becomes necessary, then we can think of forming a coalition with a non-BJP party after the election. I hope there will be no need for it,” he underlined.

Kejriwal’s statement comes in the backdrop of the TMC initiating talks between Opposition parties in Goa to unitedly defeat the BJP. TMC’s Goa state in-charge Mahua Moitra had earlier said that the party was willing to walk the “extra mile” to do what is necessary to defeat the BJP in Goa. “BJP is the biggest enemy and the enemy is not within us (Opposition parties). To defeat them, TMC will walk the last mile… Our ego will not stand in the way of anybody,” Moitra had said.

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Taking a swipe at the Congress, Kejriwal said, “Why will people vote for the Congress? Like we have given guarantees (of free electricity, etc), this is the Congress’s guarantee – you vote for them, they will go to the BJP. They had 17 MLAs and now they have two. Fifteen MLAs have left them,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, even as former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal Parrikar, who aspires for a BJP ticket from Panaji constituency, is still awaiting the party’s decision, Kejriwal said, “I respect Manohar Parrikarji. If he (Utpal) wants to join us, he is welcome.”

On Sunday, Kejriwal announced the AAP’s 13-point ‘Goa model’ which included his earlier promises of free electricity up to 300 units per family every month, Rs 1,000 for all women above 18, free tirth yatra, resumption of mining in six months of forming the government and new ones including resolving land rights and ownership issues in Goa in six months of coming to power, Delhi-style mohalla clinics in every ward, resolution of agricultural issues and conducive environment for business.

“If the AAP forms the government then every Goan family will get benefits worth Rs 10 lakh over five years,” he said.

“Assuming a family receives a Rs 500 electricity bill every month, which equates to a yearly bill of Rs 6,000. When AAP makes electricity free, this amount will be saved. With the AAP’s unemployment allowance of Rs 3,000 per month, a family will receive Rs 36,000 annually. AAP will provide Rs 1,000 per month to women over 18 years old. If there are two women in the family then they will receive Rs 24,000 per year. Our estimates suggest that each family spends approximately 40-50 thousand rupees on health-related issues. AAP aims to provide free health services in the state, so each family can save upward of Rs 40,000-50,000 each year. Similarly, we will also provide free education. If a family has two children and education costs 3,000 per month for a single child, once AAP comes to power, Rs 72,000 will be saved. If we calculate all this, each family will receive benefits of Rs two lakh rupees annually, which is equal to 10 lakh in five years,” he explained.

The Delhi chief minister said that when other political parties offer money for votes, this is what voters should remember: “I asked some young people yesterday what will you do this time when they come with money? Don’t they come to all of you? When they come with money, please remember that if you vote AAP, you will get benefits worth Rs 10 lakh. How much do they give per vote? Rs 2,000 or Rs 5,000? What is better? Taking Rs 2,000 or getting benefits of Rs 10 lakh?”

Meanwhile, the AAP chief, who arrived in Goa on Saturday, continued his door-to-door campaign in Cortalim Assembly constituency. The party has declared former BJP MLA Alina Saldanha as its candidate from the constituency situated in South Goa. Saldanha was the first sitting BJP MLA to quit the party last month. Three others left the BJP after her.

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