With pollsters predicting a “difficult” election for the ruling Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), it seems, sees the BJP as its competition and has decided to take the Lok Sabha fight to the citadel of the saffron party’s PM candidate Narendra Modi.
Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal (L) and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
AAP chief and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a two-day road show in Gujarat in the second week of March. Party sources gave March 8 and 9 as the tentative dates for Kejriwal’s visit.
AAP leaders are of the view that since the electoral graph of the Congress is on a downslide and will hit “rock bottom” as polls near, their main opponent will be Modi.
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The assessment, sources said, was based on the findings of various opinion polls predicting worst-ever performance by the Congress in this summer’s elections. The polls have projected more than 200 seats for the BJP and less than 100 for the Congress.
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AAP has already made its intentions clear. Kejriwal has been consistently attacking Modi on the “funding of his rallies and helicopter rides” from the day he resigned as Delhi chief minister.
“From where does Modi get so much money for his rallies? Who is paying for his helicopters?” he asked at a rally in Rohtak on Sunday.
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In Gujarat, Kejriwal is likely to raise this issue and that of lokayukta. The western state was without the anti-corruption watchdog for a long time.
It appointed the lokayukta only after judicial intervention -- something Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, too, has been pointing to. AAP leaders maintain that the present lokayukta was not “just very weak but also highly dangerous”.
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Though born out of an anti-corruption movement, AAP looks set to make communalism a poll issue as well to corner Modi. Speaking at a gathering of Muslim intelligentsia in the Capital on Monday, Kejriwal described communalism as a bigger problem than corruption. “Corruption is a slow killer, but communalism kills instantly,” another AAP leader said.
AAP, sources said, would continue to attack the Congress on the issue of corruption.
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