Gujarat polls: Cong has lost relevance, fight between AAP, BJP, says Kejriwal
Hitting out at the BJP over the recent hooch tragedy in Botad and Ahmedabad districts in which 43 people have died so far, AAP boss Arvind Kejriwal said liquor is sold in the open despite the prohibition law in the state.
The upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat will be a direct contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday, adding that the Congress has lost its relevance and there was no point voting for that party as its leaders end up joining the ruling BJP.
“This election is a contest between AAP and BJP. AAP means an honest, patriotic party with new politics, new faces, new ideas, enthusiasm, energy etc. Whereas the BJP means spurious liquor and corruption,” Kejriwal told a gathering at Bodeli in Chhota Udaipur district.
Taking a swipe at the Congress, he said: “Many Congress leaders have already joined BJP and many more will join before the elections. Those who are left behind will join BJP after the elections. It looks like Gujarat Congress is soon going to merge with the Gujarat BJP. However, their love story politics is about to end because people’s politics is about to begin.”
The AAP president is on a two-day visit to the state where elections are due in December this year.
Hitting out at the BJP over the recent hooch tragedy in Botad and Ahmedabad districts in which 43 people have died so far, Kejriwal said liquor is sold in the open despite the prohibition law in the state.
“Liquor is found everywhere in Gujarat, and it is sold in the open, in villages, streets, and cities. And they say there is a prohibition in Gujarat. Then who sells liquor worth thousands of crores of rupees? Who runs this business, who makes money?” he said.
The BJP will make their children drink liquor if people vote for them, Kejriwal said. “They will make your children drink spurious liquor. If you vote for them this business of illegal liquor will continue to run,” he said.
On one hand, there are 27 years of corruption, misgovernance and spurious liquor while on the other, there is youth, energy, fresh faces, clean politics and new hope, he said.
“I have come here to talk about issues that affect you. I don’t know politics. I only know how to bring progress. I am also a common man. No one knew about Kejriwal in this country 10 years ago. That’s why I understand the problem of a common man,” he said.
“It is very hard for a common man to earn money and look after their family. Inflation is at an all-time high. When I make guarantees of providing free electricity, education and public healthcare services, I get a lot of abuses. They accuse me of looting money and distributing freebies. I don’t have a Swiss Bank account and I am not going to deposit any money there because it is public money,” he added.
Kejriwal also reached out to tribal voters, who form 15% of the electorate, as he promised to enforce the fifth Schedule of the Constitution (dealing with provisions related to administration and control of scheduled areas and Scheduled Tribes) and Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (to ensure self- governance for people living in scheduled areas) in tribal regions if the AAP is voted to power.
“Adivasi society has different cultures. Their customs are different, and they are more backward than all other societies. That’s why our Constitution has made different arrangements for the tribal society but no government is ready to implement them,” he alleged.
He promised that the AAP would appoint a tribal person to head the state’s tribal advisory committee – instead of the chief minister, as has been the case in Gujarat – if the party is voted to power.
Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi did not respond to phone calls for a comment on Kejriwal’s remarks. HT also tried to reach out to BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas for a comment but could not get one immediately.