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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

AAP’s ‘Modi obsession’ must end, says Goa party colleague in piece addressed to Kejriwal

Oscar Rebello says Arvind Kejriwal cannot continue to pick fights with centre, but defends party against those accusing it to be unpatriotic

india Updated: Apr 28, 2017 18:29 IST
Nida Khan
Nida Khan
Hindustan Times, Panaji
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal addresses at a public meeting in Goa. The party was roundly beaten in the polls, where it made its maiden electoral foray.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal addresses at a public meeting in Goa. The party was roundly beaten in the polls, where it made its maiden electoral foray.(PTI FILE PHOTO)

Senior Goa Aam Aadmi Party leader Oscar Rebello hit out at his outfit’s ‘obsession’ with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the party’s criticism of the demonetisation exercise and the surgical strikes appeared to have had boomeranged.

The Delhi chief minister’s party was roundly beaten by PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in the capital’s civic elections this week, less than two months after its ambitious campaign to come to power in Goa and Punjab state assemblies failed.

Rebello, in a piece published in a daily here on Friday, said the party shouldn’t have criticised the November decision to scrap high-value currency notes and the surgical strikes on terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. “Our mistake was to criticise these moves. Both these events if did not yield utopian results did give a real knock to Pakistan and certainly sent the black economy into mad panic,” he wrote in the piece.

Rebello was the face of AAP in Goa before Elvis Gomes joined the party.

“The problem with us was that we went hammer and tong in every situation, be it demonetisation, surgical strike or anything. Who are we to decide whether the step of demonetisation was right or wrong? We should have left the economists to decide on it”, Rebello told HT on Friday.

Kejriwal, he said, cannot be combative all the time.

“He heads the government there, he cannot engage the party into conflicts with the Centre every time. As a chief minister he needs to keep his head on his shoulder and work accordingly”, he said.

In his piece, Rebello said the sacking of former party stalwarts Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan could have contributed to AAP’s poor show in recent elections.

“Bhushan and Yogendra cannot pretend to be angels, as they assiduously tried to sabotage AAP chances in Delhi in 2015. Their ugly public ejection horrified us and did far more damage to brand AK,” he said in the piece titled, ‘Oh Arvind, my Arvind’ — drawing on the 19th century .

But Rebello hit out at attempts by the sections of media to project Kejriwal and the party as “desh-drohis” (anti-nationals).

He said that party’s volunteers were “combative, committed and completely convinced” by the dream of a better India and were being led from the front by Kejriwal.

“Of course, he (Kejriwal) could be exasperating and short tempered, he could never suffer fools easily and perhaps suffered from a pinch of paranoia like any leader in the spotlight.

“But that was because he was human not evil, as the world now seems to suggest. Arvind, like any great leader, has sacrificed so much. Family and career, financial security, even his health,” Rebello said.

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 18:18 IST

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