BJP, Congress no longer ignore AAP as it makes attractive poll promises
Union minister Prahlad Joshi, who is the BJP’s in-charge of the elections, attacked Delhi’s chief minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for making “false” promises. He accused him of doing “nothing for development in Delhi” and accused him of trying to “befool people of Uttarakhand”
With Uttarakhand in poll mode ahead of the next assembly elections in 2022, both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Opposition Congress are no longer ignoring the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). As it is making poll-centric promises related to key issues such as electricity and employment, the BJP and Congress have been attacking the AAP.
Union minister Prahlad Joshi, who is the BJP’s in-charge of the elections, attacked Delhi’s chief minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for making “false” promises. He accused him of doing “nothing for development in Delhi” and accused him of trying to “befool people of Uttarakhand on same lines.”
Former chief minister Harish Rawat, who heads Congress’s election campaign committee, has also lashed out at the AAP.
Experts say the chances of AAP forming the government in 2022 seem to be almost nil, but the party has managed to mark its presence in the state and made the polls a tripartite contest. “The AAP was not considered a serious contender in 2022 till last year. But it has gathered steam with the recent announcements made by Kejriwal during his visits... both the BJP and Congress are wary,” said political commentator Jai Singh Rawat.
Kejriwal on Sunday announced if AAP is voted to power in Uttarakhand, it will give employment to a member of every household. He also promised ₹5,000 stipend till unemployed people get jobs. Kejriwal has announced AAP will provide 100,000 government jobs within six months of coming to power. He earlier promised 80% reservation for the people of Uttarakhand in jobs. On August 17, Kejriwal announced AAP will make Uttarakhand the spiritual capital for the Hindus. He promised in July 300 units of free electricity if AAP is voted to power.
Rawat said the announcements are well thought out. “They know that what will make them the talk of the town in the election year...they have succeeded. Now, whether they actually win the elections in 2022 to fulfil the promises is a different matter...but they have got the attention of the people...”
Another political analyst SMA Kazmi said Kejriwal’s announcements have made the people think because when it comes to providing free electricity, he has done that in Delhi.
The leadership of BJP and Congress claim in the public that AAP will fail “to get votes on false promises” but privately they acknowledge it cannot be taken lightly.
“We are taking it very seriously... At a recent core group meeting of the party chaired by ...Joshi, AAP was part of the agenda...,” said a BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.
A Congress leader said the AAP poses a challenge for the party. “With its entry in the polls, it is the Congress which will be impacted the most because the voters will have now a second significant option against the BJP. So, it is the Congress which will face a divide in its vote bank.”
BJP state president Madan Kaushik questioned AAP’s promises for jobs and free power and asked whether it has managed to do the same in Delhi. “No. In Delhi, where it is in power, it has made many areas electricity-free under the promise of free electricity. It will not be able to play the same card here because the people are smart.”
Congress state president Ganesh Godiyal accused the AAP of spreading lies and making unrealistic promises. “People of Uttarakhand are not going to fall for their lies.”