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Jaitley sees space for Kejriwal party

Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Jan. 10: For the first time since the Aam Aadmi Party’s debut in the Delhi elections, the BJP acknowledged that nobody could deny there was “space in several parts of the country” for Arvind Kejriwal’s party.

But it also downplayed the potential enormity of the AAP challenge and claimed that the BJP was endowed with enough positives to take it on comfortably.

In a statement, Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Arun Jaitley noted that the AAP had emerged as a “new challenger”. “In the last one month, the AAP has occupied a large part of media and mind space. It is a party born out of a reaction. Political hopefuls who have in the past contested elections without a party platform have queued up to join the new party…. Today, they have found a platform for their aspirations,” he said.

His answer to the AAP “challenge” was that the BJP should evolve a “specific and clear agenda” and throw up “big” ideas that could potentially “eclipse a new party that has a narrow focus only on petty corruption”.

Jaitley stressed the BJP must get down to “consolidating its gains” by ensuring its candidates (for the Lok Sabha polls) and organisation structures inspired “confidence through credibility”, increasing its pace of activity and penetrating every home and coalescing the “Modi for PM” campaign with an “agenda for India”.

“That agenda must necessarily be specific, clear and comprise of big ideas. The big ideas have an ability to eclipse a new party which has a narrow focus only on petty corruption,” he said. Jaitley recognised that unveiling a future agenda was the immediate task at hand if the BJP is to defeat the Congress in the general election.