Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader, attacked the BJP-led central government, saying on Sunday Gujarat does not want a “government with two engines” but a “new machine” government.
Speaking at a rally in the city of Bhavnagar in the election-bound state, Kejriwal said if the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) comes to power, it will prioritize withdrawing all “false cases” filed against people from different communities, groups and government officials Agitation has been registered by the BJP government over the past 27 years.
In a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s events in Gujarat, where he launched multi-million euro projects, Kejriwal said he could not announce such a huge package but would give households worth of benefits through his “guarantees”. Pledge 30,000 rupees.
“They say ‘double engine ki sarkaar’ (a twin engine government). This time, Gujarat does not want a double engine, but a “new engine”. The twin engine is very old, both engines are 40-50 years old. A new party, new faces, a new ideology, new energy and a new dawn. Try the new party, you lose nothing by trying,” he said. The phrase “dual engine” is used by BJP leaders to emphasize that development is accelerated when the same party is at the helm in the states and in the center.
“Try it once and give us a chance. I’m here to seek an opportunity. You gave these people 70 years. You have given Congress so many years and the BJP 27 years. Give Kejriwal a try. If I don’t perform, I will not be returning to seek votes,” said the AAP’s national convener. Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann left for a two-day campaign visit to Gujarat on Sunday.
Kejriwal said he had observed “major leaders” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) visiting Gujarat during the elections and announcing packages worth Rs 30,000 crore. “Friends, I don’t have 30,000 rupees. I can’t announce a package to you. But I can tell you if we win I will give your family a benefit of 30,000 rupees,” he said, echoing AAP’s “guarantees” of free and quality education, free treatment, free electricity, job creation and unemployment benefits etc He also promised to reduce inflation in Gujarat as in Delhi. Kejriwal cited a “centre-conducted survey” to claim that inflation in Gujarat is the highest in the country and twice that of Delhi. “This is due to the massive corruption in Gujarat,” he added.
“If you vote for an honest party, we will lower the price of everything in Gujarat like we did in Delhi,” he said. The AAP leader said the countdown to the election had begun and said his party would prioritize the withdrawal of cases registered against agitators. The Electoral Commission has not yet announced the Gujarat election program.
He said the BJP government has filed false charges against agitators from different communities like Patidars, Kshatriyas, Thakors, Dalits, Adivasis, Maldharis, as well as against farmers and policemen, ex-soldiers, etc. “The (vote) count will take place on December 8th. The (AAP) government will be formed by December 15th. When we form our government on December 15th, all cases registered by the (BJP) government in the last 27 years against various people for hate speech against them will be withdrawn by December 31st. All suspended government officials will be reinstated,” Kejriwal said. He said the AAP government’s second priority will be eliminating corruption.
“If you want hooliganism and corruption, go with it. 27 years have passed and another five years will pass. If you want to have schools built, vote for me. If you want hospitals, medicines and quality care for your family, then come to us. If you want to see a better road, then come and see us. We know how to do it,” he said. Kejriwal reiterated that several BJP workers and leaders want their party to lose in polls. “They are afraid to quit the party for fear of harassment. I urge all BJP leaders to stay with your party but work to defeat AAP,” he said.
Kejriwal said Congress would win fewer than 10 seats in Gujarat elections, according to an IB report. “This time there is a big change. Be part of the change. Don’t waste your vote in Congress. Ask everyone not to vote for Congress,” he said. “We have no money to fight the elections. I’m a poor person, my bank account is empty. I have been Chief Minister of Delhi for seven years and by now I should have gotten Rs 100-200 crores. My bank account is empty… We have no money, it’s for you, for your children, for the future of Gujarat,” he added.
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