Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of deliberately pitting 'weak candidate' Smriti Irani, an actor-turned-politician, against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. Kumar Vishwas is the AAP nominee for the seat.
BJP candidate Smriti Irani files her nomination papers for Lok Sabha polls in Amethi. (PTI Photo)
Kejriwal himself will take on BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi in Varanasi on May 12. With Kejriwal and Vishwas challenging Modi and Rahul, respectively, against the backdrop of the AAP's stunning debut in the Delhi assembly elections last year, all eyes are on the big-ticket fights in Hindu holy city Varanasi and Congress' traditional stronghold Amethi.
"The BJP has deliberately fielded weak candidate Smriti Irani here. But the strategy would prove futile. Amethi's people will teach both the Congress and the BJP a lesson and end dynasty politics here and everywhere else," Kejriwal said at a road show in Teekarmafi area.
After his government resigned within 49 days of coming to power, former Delhi chief minister Kejriwal had on several occasions accused the BJP and the Congress of joining hands in the assembly to trigger a logjam over a controversial anti-graft legislation.
Kejriwal said United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi visiting Amethi for campaigning was a proof that the AAP has made the party jittery. "Soniaji came here after ten years. This shows that she is worried."
In an emotional appeal, Sonia had recently said in Amethi, "I had handed over my son to Amethi in 2004 in the same manner in which Indira Gandhi once gave her son Rajiv Gandhi to this constituency."
The AAP convenor also accused the Congress party of helping Robert Vadra, Priyanka Gandhi's husband and Sonia's son-in-law, to grab farmers' land in Haryana and Rajasthan.
He appealed to the people to start a 'revolution' in the Congress stronghold and ensure Vishwas's win against Rahul, who had got 72% of the total votes cast in 2009.
Kejriwal also said the people in Varanasi would defeat Modi. "People are tired of the Congress and the BJP. These parties will be finished in this election."
Accompanied by Vishwas, Kejriwal offered prayers at two local temples before kick-starting his road show.