Kejriwal hits back, responds to PM's 'Naxal' retort

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 15, 2015 13:12 IST

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Maoist barb saying his Bharatiya Janata Party should stop talking about his muffler and sandals and pick up issues instead.

"Do I look like a Naxal? It is not right to say such things. I urge them to focus on issues," Kejriwal told NDTV's Barkha Dutt in an interview.

In an oblique reference, PM Modi on Saturday had asked Kejriwal to join the Maoists if he wanted to be an "anarchist".

"Have you ever seen a political leader calling himself an anarchist? If so, join the Naxals. Naxalism cannot be brought to Delhi. Delhi can't be surrendered to anarchy," Modi had said during his 30-minute maiden poll address in Delhi as the PM.

Kejriwal once again pitched his party as the BJP's main rival this election saying former chief minister Sheila Dikshit has conceded that her party is losing.

"I appeal to the people of Delhi not to waste their votes on the Congress. The contest is between the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party," he said.

He said he is confident that his party will get between 45-50 seats in the upcoming elections. The AAP had managed to get 28 seats in the last assembly elections in 2013 and formed the government with the outside support of the Congress. The BJP, which made its debut in Delhi in the polls, emerged as the largest party with 31 MLAs.

"Last time we faced the disadvantage of being a new party. We had to tell people that we too are in the field. People doubted us. This time people know that there are only two parties in the race."

He accused the saffron party of doing nothing despite being in power for seven months saying his government had achieved much more in just 49 days.

A resurgent BJP is looking to replicate its winning streak in states like Haryana and Maharashtra in the Capital.

Kejriwal said that comparing Haryana and Maharashtra to Delhi is "like comparing apples and oranges".

"In those states the people had no option but to choose between BJP and Congress. In Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party has a presence. People of Delhi have accepted our apology."

"People know that Narendra Modi won't become chief minister. People want a strong chief minister."

The AAP chief reiterated his position on allegations of corruption against Delhi state BJP president Satish Upadhyay. He said the BJP made Upadhyay its office bearer despite the knowledge that he had links with power firms pointing to the "conflict of interest."

"I will submit proof against the Delhi BJP chief today," he told the news channel.

He also talked about high profile leaders deserting the party and said Shazia Ilmi was the only central AAP leader who left.

"Many members left us for the reason of tickets or post. Those who come for a post or a ticket should leave today. Such people should not join the Aam Aadmi Party," he said.

"I don't want to get into why she quit. I respect her. I'm really fond of Shazia, I really like her. She should be happy wherever she is going. If she is going to the BJP, let her be happy," he added.

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