‘AAP’s growing influence pushed BJP to change CM in Gujarat’: Raghav Chadha on Vijay Rupani’s resignation
“The influence of AAP is growing in Gujarat. AAP is the big reason that BJP needs to change the chief minister in Gujarat," AAP MLA Raghav Chadha said.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and national spokesperson Raghav Chadha on Sunday said that his party’s growing influence in Gujarat has forced the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to change their chief minister in the state. Chadha’s remarks follow the resignation of Vijay Rupani as Gujarat CM earlier on Saturday and the ensuing episode on Sunday, when Ghatlodia MLA Bhupendra Patel was elected unanimously for the state’s top post during the BJP’s legislature party meeting.
“Be it Uttarakhand or Gujarat where the AAP has entered BJP had to change the chief ministers. They changed the chief minister in Uttarakhand several times. Now is the time for Gujarat. The influence of AAP is growing in Gujarat. AAP is the big reason that BJP needs to change the chief minister in Gujarat,” news agency ANI quoted Chadha as saying.
Also read | Work to better society, not for posts: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Further, he also slammed the opposition Indian National Congress (INC) party and called it a “compromised opposition” and said only AAP has challenged the BJP. “There was no one who challenged the non-performing chief minister or the government in the state. Congress does not have that ability as it is a compromised Opposition. It is AAP that has challenged the BJP. It came under pressure. AAP made BJP understand: either perform or perish,” he further said.
However, this was not the first time Chadha has made such a claim. After Rupani’s resignation on Saturday, Chadha tweeted “AAP breaches BJP's citadel, wins 27 seats in Surat, captures the space of opposition in Gujarat dislodging ineffective Congress. BJP forced to remove its CM,” sharing a news clipping about the resignation. He referred to the elections to the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) earlier in February this year, where the AAP won 27 out of the 120 seats and the BJP won the remaining 93. Congress, which held 36 seats earlier, won no seats in SMC.
The AAP has made its national ambitions clear and has tried to project itself as the alternative for the two national parties, BJP and the Congress, in many states. The party has announced its decision to contest in the state assembly elections to be held in Uttar Pradesh (UP), Uttarakhand, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, all set to go to polls in 2022, drawing major inspiration from their performance in the local body elections.
Senior AAP leader and party’s UP incharge Sanjay Singh said that the party would contest from all seats in UP, where it had previously tried its luck in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections from some seats without any gains. Similar to Chadha, Singh also pointed to the party’s performance in the UP panchayat polls where it won more than the Congress. “Our party is stronger than the Congress in the state. While the Congress won 40 seats in panchayat polls, we scored a victory in 83 panchayats. AAP got over 40 lakh votes in these polls, where 1600 party candidates contested,” news agency PTI on Sunday quoted him as saying.
With the state elections due next year, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was re-elected as the party’s national convenor for the third time, in the party’s national council meeting. The newly elected 34-member executive council met for the first time on Sunday via video-conferencing.