Kejriwal begins campaign in UP; targets Cong, BJP

Taking the poll battle to Uttar Pradesh, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday kick-started his three-day road show in the politically significant state.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2014 19:42 IST
Brajesh Kumar
Brajesh Kumar
Hindustan Times

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday began his three-day whistle-stop election tour of Uttar Pradesh and said the country was run by Mukesh Ambani and not the Congress or BJP.

"If BJP comes to power, things will remain as they are. Corruption will stay in the country, price rise will continue. Our enemies are corruption, price rise and communalism," Kejriwal told reporters while embarking on the tour from the AAP office in Kaushambi, Ghaziabad.

Kejriwal's journey will cover 15 Lok Sabha seats in the state, which sends the highest (80) number of lawmakers to Parliament. This is his second major campaign after a rally in Haryana last week.

After a brief rule in Delhi, AAP dived into national politics and has decided to contest 300 Lok Sabha seats. On March 8, Kejriwal is slated to campaign in BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's home turf, Gujarat.

Kejriwal's first halt was in Pilukhwa, where he told a gathering that "this country is run by Mukesh Ambani and not the BJP or Congress".

Read: Advantage AAP in high-profile New Delhi seat

In Hapur, he garlanded former Prime Minister and farmer leader Chaudhary Charan Singh's statue and claimed corruption was curbed significantly during AAP's brief rule.

In Moradabad, where people are upset with the sitting Congress MP Mohammad Azharuddin they rarely get to see, Kejriwal was back to attacking Ambani, Robert Vadra, Modi and Rahul.

Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia, who accompanied Kejriwal, said the party wants to replace the politics of caste and religion in UP with the politics of development.

Sanjay Singh, the party's leader in charge of the state, said AAP's target would be "corruption, dynastic politics, electricity shortage and criminalisation of politics".

While enthusiasm was high among the people who listened to his speeches, many complained that Kejriwal did not touch specific local issues, such as sugarcane farmers' complaints.

Read: Kejriwal to campaign in Modi's home turf on March 8

In Moradabad, Raghubir Sharma, a shopkeeper, asked why the AAP ignored its internal opposition to the candidature of its Lok Sabha candidate Khalid Parveiz, believed to have several cases against him.

The party has decided to take on political heavy-weights like Samajwadi supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Union ministers Salman Khurshid and Ajit Singh in UP.

On Sunday, Kejriwal's tour will start from Hardoi and proceed to Unnao and then to Kanpur, where he is scheduled to address a rally.

On March 3, the rally would head to Delhi covering Auraiya, Etawah, Firozabad, Agra, Mathura and Palwal.

First Published: Mar 01, 2014 10:33 IST