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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Kejriwal accuses BJP of terrorising Varanasi

Pawan Dixit, Hindustan Times  Varanasi, April 29, 2014
First Published: 13:03 IST(29/4/2014) | Last Updated: 21:05 IST(29/4/2014)

A day after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers were attacked allegedly by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Varanasi, Arvind Kejriwal came down heavily on the saffron party, blaming it for triggering an "atmosphere of terror" and asking whether it had any tacit pre-poll understanding with the Congress.

Addressing a press conference, the AAP convenor on Tuesday batted for deployment of central forces at sensitive places in Varanasi on polling day (May 12) and said the BJP's "hooligans" had resorted to attacking common men, vandalism and tearing the rookie party's posters due to the fear of a defeat.

With Varanasi hogging the spotlight for a big-ticket fight between BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and Kejriwal, the AAP leader said his party was also concentrating on defeating Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi.  

Raking up the Vadra controversy and the snoopgate scandal, Kejriwal once again asked whether the Congress and the BJP had some sort of an agreement.

Building his case, the former Delhi chief minister enquired why the BJP government in Rajasthan was not registering an FIR against Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Vadra at a time when the saffron brigade had launched an offensive on him over land deals.

Read: AAP alleges volunteers attacked by BJP workers

"We registered five FIRs against (former Delhi CM) Sheila Dikshit in 49 days. Why can't the BJP in Rajasthan register an FIR against Vadra?"

Kejriwal had earlier accused the Congress and the BJP of joining hands to bring down his government in Delhi that lasted 49 days over a controversial anti-graft legislation.

In Varanasi, Kejriwal said the Centre could have arrested Modi over the snoopgate controversy.

He, however, alleged the Congress-led Union government would not act against Modi, while the BJP government in Rajasthan would spare Vadra.

Like Vadra's land deals, the snoopgate scandal has also kicked up a storm in the high-voltage Elections 2014.

The snooping controversy had surfaced in the run-up to the assembly elections late last year after two investigative news websites made public tapes in which Modi's aide Amit Shah was purportedly heard directing the police to put a young woman and a senior IAS officer under surveillance in 2009.

Training guns on the big two of Indian politics, Kejriwal asked why Sonia and Modi avoided campaigning in each other's constituencies. 

"The nation wants to know what the setting between Modiji and Gandhi family is."

While Sonia is in the fray from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Modi is contesting two seats — Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in UP.

Despite vicious attacks and heated verbal duels this election season, top leaders have avoided visiting each other's seats for campaigning.

Stressing the importance of the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, Kejriwal said he had spent a lot of time there to mobilise voters.

In Amethi, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas will take on Rahul and BJP's Smriti Irani, an actor-turned-politician.

Kejriwal claimed that Rahul would lose the elections. He added, "I am confident that Narendra Modi will lose in Varanasi and it will be a historic defeat."

Terming Rahul and Modi the 'symbols of corruption', he said the AAP was concentrating on defeating them to deliver a huge blow to their parties.


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