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Empty chairs welcome Kejriwal at AAP’s rally in Chandigarh

Seen as a show of support for new entrant and AAP’s Chandigarh nominee for the Lok Sabha elections, Harmohan Dhawan, the rally started one-and-a-half hours late.

chandigarh Updated: Feb 24, 2019 23:21 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Aam Aadmi Party, Kirron Kher,Arvind Kejriwal
Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal (centre), Harmohan Dhawan (right) and MP Bhagwant Mann during a rally in Chandigarh on Sunday. (Anil Dayal/HT)

Empty chairs and a tirade against local BJP MP Kirron Kher were the highlights of Sunday’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rally in Chandigarh as party national convener Arvind Kejriwal attacked Kher, calling her “a film actress who had to earn money... and became an MP just to enhance her status,” during a rushed 10-minute stop at the Sector 25 rally ground.

Seen as a show of support for new entrant and AAP’s Chandigarh nominee for the Lok Sabha elections, Harmohan Dhawan, the rally started one-and-a-half hours late.

Party leader Bhagwant Mann accompanied Kejriwal at the venue with rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha walking in later.

In his seven-minute address, Kejriwal, who had to leave in a hurry for another meeting at Palwal in Haryana, spoke about his party’s achievements in Delhi before attacking Kher.

“Does she even come to Chandigarh?” he asked while accusing her of being inaccessible to the local residents.

Calling her a “Mumbai actress”, who “has to do films and earn money”, Kejriwal asked for a show of hands by people who got to see much of Kher in the city. “What did people get here? Nothing,” he declared.

In his seven-minute address, Kejriwal, who had to leave in a hurry for another meeting at Palwal in Haryana, spoke about his party’s achievements in Delhi before attacking local BJP MP Kirron Kher ( Anil Dayal/HT )

‘Hardly attended Parliament sessions’

“Bhagwant Mann told me she hardly attended Parliament sessions. When she came, she hardly spoke or raised Chandigarh issues,” Kejriwal said.

Urging the crowds not to repeat the 2014 mistake of voting for her, Kejriwal batted for Dhawan, calling him a home grown politician. “He will always remain among his people here in Chandigarh,” the Delhi chief minister added.

“At least you can catch hold of him if he does not fulfil his promises. You can’t go to Mumbai to meet Kher,” he added.

The AAP leader also sold his Delhi model of development, adding, “I guarantee that the work we did in Delhi will be done here. If the AAP government there can give electricity at ₹1 per unit, it is possible here in Chandigarh too.”

Rally successful, claims Dhawan

After Kejriwal’s departure, Dhawan, known for his penchant for party hopping, moving from the BSP to BJP to AAP, claimed the rally was a success.

All the people he had invited had attended, he said, claiming, “people are with me.”

AAP had to hastily declare former Miss India and actor Gul Panag its candidate in the 2014 LS elections after another party nominee, actor and comedienne Savita Bhatti, stepped down after differences with other leaders. Panag had managed to garner over 1 lakh votes, coming third behind Kher and Congress’ Pawan Kumar Bansal, but making it a triangular contest after a long time.

Shatrughan Sinha takes dig at PM on Pulwama

Shatrughan Sinha severely criticised the Prime Minister for his ‘Tuglaki’ style of working, saying that his decision to announce demonetisation and implementing GST were major blows to the country.

On Pulwama attack, Sinha said as a CM, Modi used to attack the then honest prime minister Manmohan Singh on terrorism. “How will he (Modi) react when such things are happening in his tenure,” said Sinha, adding that the entire country was shocked how such a huge attack took place and he must answer on it.

First Published: Feb 24, 2019 22:44 IST