‘People want to know’: Kejriwal vs Gujarat BJP chief on civic election results
Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal continued his Twitter war of words with Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Gujarat unit president CR Paatil on Saturday, over the results of the recently-held municipal corporation elections in the western state, which is a BJP bastion.
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“People of Gujarat want to know why even after 25 years of BJP in Gujarat: electricity is so expensive, farmers are dying by suicide, government hospitals and schools are in ruins, how many government schools closed, and why you tweeted in the middle of the night? I wish you had shown this restlessness to solve all these issues of the people of Gujarat,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi on Saturday, responding to a tweet by Paatil in which the state BJP chief highlighted how Gujarat’s voters gave their mandate ‘loud and clear.’
Paatil’s tweet was in response to an earlier ‘suggestion’ by the Delhi chief minister to ‘kindly not mock and underestimate the power of common man.’
It all started on Friday when Paatil put out a tweet mocking Kejriwal, who held a road show in Surat to thank the voters of the ‘Diamond City.’ The AAP registered its most impressive performance in Surat, whose municipal corporation was among six for which elections took place on February 21. Of the 120 seats in the Surat Municipal Corporation, the AAP won 27 while the BJP bagged the remaining 93.
It was in this context that Paatil, the Lok Sabha MP from the state’s Navsari constituency, tweeted: “What Kejriwal Ji said-AAP got 27 seats in Surat municipal polls. What he didn’t share: 59 AAP candidates lost deposit in Surat, Every AAP candidate lost deposit in Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar, 44 out of 48 candidates in Jamnagar, 68 out of 72 in Rajkot lost deposit.” Kejriwal then responded by putting out the ‘do not mock and underestimate’ tweet, thus triggering the ongoing war of words.
Of the 576 seats across the six municipal corporations – Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara – the ruling BJP won 489, increasing its tally from 389 in 2015. The Congress, which is the principal opposition party, was reduced from 174 to 45. The AAP, meanwhile, is seeing its performance as major inroads in a BJP dominated state.
Assembly elections will take place in Gujarat in late 2022. In 2017, the BJP managed to eke out a slender majority in face of an impressive show by the Congress.