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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Country's freedom, Constitution, democracy in danger: Arvind Kejriwal targets BJP

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said the people of Punjab played a big role in the country's freedom movement

PTI Chandigarh Published 26.05.24, 06:15 PM
Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal File photo

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday attacked the BJP, saying the country's freedom, Constitution and democracy are in danger and called upon Punjabis to once again be at the forefront to save the nation.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said the people of Punjab played a big role in the country's freedom movement.

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"So many sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom. Today, our country's freedom, Constitution and democracy is in danger," Kejriwal said during a townhall programme with the traders and industrialists in Ferozepur.

Kejriwal, who is on interim bail until June 1 in the Delhi excise policy case, sought support of the people of Punjab and said that they need to come forward and be at forefront in the fight to save the Constitution, democracy and freedom in this country.

Referring to his arrest, Kejriwal said, "On March 16, the general elections were announced and they arrested me on March 21. They arrested me, my party leaders Sanjay Singh, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, and then Modi says in Delhi let's fight election." Targeting the BJP-led Centre, the AAP leader said that several opposition leaders have been jailed and "then they say, let's fight election".

"In Maharashtra, Modi ji broke the NCP into two parts, snatched its party and its symbol, divided the Shiv Sena into two parts, snatched its symbol, arrested Hemant Soren (ex-Jharkhand chief minister) before the polls and then he says let's fight election," said Kejriwal.

"Like in Pakistan, they arrested Imran Khan, snatched his party, symbol and after what they did to his party they then held elections and won. Had Imran been out (not jailed), his party would have won, everyone knows.

In Bangladesh, (PM) Sheikh Hasina put all opposition leaders in jail and then held elections and won," he added citing more examples.

Escalating his attack on the BJP regime, Kejriwal said, "Hamare desh k andar bhee ab tanashahi ho rahi hai (Dictatorship is now taking place in our country too)...If at this juncture we do not defeat Modi, then democracy, Constitution will not be saved." "I have not come for myself. I have come here to appeal to save the country," he added.

Referring to Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Kejriwal said despite the AAP having overwhelming majority "if he can stop the bills passed by the assembly then it is an attack on democracy".

"You have to raise voice against this," he said.

The AAP leader said the "country is moving towards dictatorship". "We can eat only one meal, but we cannot tolerate dictatorship," he added.

Kejriwal slammed the BJP over the party's Puri Lok Sabha candidate Sambit Patra's 'Lord Jagannath' remark.

"Their leader Sambit Patra says Lord Jagannath is Modi's 'bhakt'. 'Ye apne aap ko bhagwan say bhi bada manney lag gaye' (now they are thinking they are bigger than God). Now they are openly saying God is Modi's 'bhakt' (devotee)," he said.

Patra had later clarified that it was a slip of tongue and he wanted to mean that the prime minister was an ardent 'bhakt' (devotee) of Lord Jagannath.

"What is their slogan 'jo ram ko layee hai, hum unko layenge'?" Kejriwal asked.

Attacking the BJP, he alleged they treat common people like cats and dogs.

"If they come to power for the third term, they will change the Constitution and first of all end reservation," alleged Kejriwal.

Referring to the Lok Sabha polls, where the AAP is contesting all 13 seats, he said, "If you give all 13 seats to the AAP, it will strengthen our hands and all issues will be resolved." Notably, in Punjab, the AAP and the Congress, part of the INDIA bloc, are fighting the Lok Sabha polls separately.

Referring to the governor, Kejriwal said, "In Punjab, you elected our government, but the governor here creates impediments and stops the bills passed by the state assembly. If you give us 13 seats in Punjab, the governor will not have courage to stop these bills. All 13 MPs will sit on a hunger strike outside the governor's house." The AAP leader also accused the Centre of stopping "Rs 5,500 rural development funds".

"They also stopped funds under the National Health Mission, with which more mohalla clinics were to be opened. If you give us 13 seats, the Centre will not have courage to interfere in state's affairs," he said.

Kejriwal said Punjab has its coal mine in Odisha and added the state wanted to bring coal from there to the state for thermal power plant.

"The Centre said we can bring it via Sri Lanka to Gujarat and then Punjab. Is this justified. This is 'dadagiri, goondagardi' (bullying, hooliganism)," he said.

Kejriwal said Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had to fight with the Centre, adding they have now given permission and the coal reaches directly by train.

Addressing the gathering, Kejriwal said the AAP government treats traders as backbone of Punjab's economy.

"Modi calls traders, 'arhtiyas' (commission agents) middlemen, we treat you as backbone of Punjab's economy. If there will be no traders.. our country cannot run," he said.

Kejriwal said that Punjab's industry was in a bad shape before the AAP came to power in the state.

"They were shifting to many neighbouring states. This trend has stopped during the past two years and the industrialists are coming to the state for investment," he said.

The AAP leader said Rs 56,000 crore worth investments has materialised in Punjab on ground during two years.

"Tata Steel's biggest plant after Jamshedpur is being set up in Punjab. Several other industries are setting up shop here," he said.

Kejriwal said there is improvement in the law and order front in Punjab. There is peace, which helps provide conducive atmosphere for the industry to flourish, he added.

Voting for 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab is going to be held in the seventh and last phase of elections on June 1.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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