The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday gave a glimpse of its game plan for the Lok Sabha elections, strategically hinting that Arvind Kejriwal would contest against BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
AAP leader Manish Sisodia indicated that Kejriwal might contest from Varanasi if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fields Modi from the seat.
There has been a buzz around this possible Kejriwal versus Modi fight for some time now, but both leaders have been silent on the issue. The BJP has so far not said where Modi will contest from in the Lok Sabha polls due in less than 100 days.
Strengthening the buzz, AAP leader Sanjay Singh appealed to Kejriwal to contest against Modi.
The fresh development came on a day when Kejriwal kept up his attack on India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, trying to make him a poll issue even as he accused the Congress and the BJP of having a "setting" with the businessman.
The word "setting" used in this context by Kejriwal is a typical Indianism for unholy nexus or an understanding on the sly.
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Kejriwal has been targeting Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and its chairperson Ambani over gas pricing, which he said was being tweaked to benefit the businessman. He has also accused Ambani of stashing money in illegitimate accounts aboard.
Addressing a rally in Kanpur, Kejriwal questioned Gujarat's model of development and its chief minister Modi.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on his way to Kanpur rally in Unnao. (PTI photo)
"We have heard a lot about the supposed development of Gujarat... We will visit Gujarat from March 5 to 8 to see the development claimed there," he said.
"I want to learn about the development. But if there is no development, then it should be exposed."
Kejriwal blamed politicians of fomenting communal violence in the country.
"All the riots are engineered by politicians but Muslims go and sit on the laps of the Samajwadi Party and hold the hands of the Congress while Hindus go to the BJP. "This time, don't get trapped by them," he said, looking at the crowds.
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Kejriwal particularly targeted Modi, who also spoke Sunday in Lucknow. "It is said he (Modi) was a tea seller. How come a tea seller has helicopters to travel?
"Have you ever heard of Modiji speak against (Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law) Robert Vadra? Is there a setting with Vadra?" he asked, pointing out that it was he who had exposed Vadra's dubious land dealings in Haryana.
Kejriwal said the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress joined hands to challenge a first information report his AAP government in Delhi filed against industrialist Mukesh Ambani.
The AAP leader also listed the achievements of his 49-day-old government in Delhi that was formed on December 28 but collapsed on February 14.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal addresses a rally in Kanpur. (HT photo/Arvind Yadav)
Leading his party's charge in Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats, the highest among states in the country, Kejriwal said, "The government at the Centre will not be made without AAP support."
On Day 2 of his three-day road show in UP, Kejriwal added he had a feeling the AAP would win 100 seats on its national debut and form the government at the Centre.
"No matter how many seats the AAP gets, they will be more than the Congress."
(With inputs from agencies)