Come August, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) commander-in-chief Arvind Kejriwal will launch a blitzkrieg campaign in Gujarat, the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. The onslaught of charges by central agencies against two of his close lieutenants — Manish Sisodia and Satyendra Jain — seems only to have whetted Kejriwal’s resolve to storm the lion’s den and pitchfork the party’s prospects in the high-stakes battle.
With the Singapore trip aborted, as Kejriwal failed to get timely clearance from Delhi Lieutenant Governor, the AAP chief will instead hit the ground in Gujarat on August 1, 4, 7 and 10, beginning with a public rally in Somnath and subsequently visit Rajkot and then Bhavnagar, the epicentre of the Gujarat liquor tragedy.
Sources say more ‘Kejriwal Guarantees’ are expected to be announced, while the focus will be on Bhavnagar.
In a first, with the AAP’s entry, the Gujarat assembly elections 2022 may become a triangular contest, instead of the traditional bipolar battle that the state has been witness to.
The AAP, facing a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe on its excise policy in Delhi, has left no stone unturned to highlight the scourge of scores of deaths due to consumption of illicit liquor in Batod, Bhavnagar in dry Gujarat.
Not only did Kejriwal visit Bhavnagar and demand compensation for the kin of those who have lost their lives and those undergoing treatment, AAP MPs Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and Sandeep Pathak sought the attention of the House raising placards, shouting slogans in the well of the House, which resulted in their expulsion. AAP workers have also taken to the streets in Delhi and Gujarat, demanding accountability and also the resignation of chief minister CR Patil.
The signature campaign of the AAP, with the staggered release of ‘Kejriwal’s Guarantees’, has already taken off on July 21, with the AAP chief announcing 300 units of free electricity every month, uninterrupted power supply and a waiver of dues pending till December 31, in Surat.
Party sources say the response of people to the free electricity campaign has been “phenomenal”.
A week ago, on July 26, Kejriwal visited the iconic Somnath Temple to offer prayers, proceeded to Rajkot for a packed ‘town hall’ with traders, where he announced five guarantees, including refund of VAT within six months and simplification of goods and services tax.
ભાજપે એવો માહોલ ઊભો કર્યું છે કે વેપારી ચોર છે,
જ્યારે હકીકતમાં વેપારીઓ ઇમાનદારીથી ટેક્સ ભરવા માગે છે
2015 માં દિલ્હીનું બજેટ 30,000 કરોડ હતું, 7 વર્ષ પછી તે 75,000 કરોડ થયું છે
— AAP Gujarat । Mission2022 (@AAPGujarat) July 26, 2022
In the coming days, expect the AAP to reach out to traders, believed to be the core supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party, more intensely.
With inputs from News18