Pakistan strife will hurt BJP: Kejriwal

The AAP chief said his party’s sustained campaign for full statehood for Delhi would ensure victory for candidates

  • Published 13.03.19, 3:23 AM
  • Updated 13.03.19, 3:23 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses the media in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the “BJP’s conduct” during the recent strife with Pakistan was harming the party’s poll prospects, claiming that an internal survey had shown that people had seen through the game plan.

The Aam Aadmi Party national convener also said that surveys conducted by the AAP had shown that his party would win all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and that “Hindus” would not vote for the Congress.

The comments came a day after Rahul Gandhi asked Congress booth workers to “ensure” the party’s victory in all the seven seats in the capital.

The Congress chief, however, did not attack the AAP, keeping alive the speculation about a possible tie-up.

“The conduct of the BJP during the India-Pakistan tension is going negatively rather than positively for them…. We asked a question in one of our daily surveys: Will the BJP gain or lose from this? Fifty-six per cent said the BJP is losing out on this,” Kejriwal told reporters, addressing his first media conference at the AAP headquarters, three years after its inauguration.

“People had suspected for the last two years that before the polls, ya tho yeh log mandir ka lafda karaenge ya tho Bharat aur Pak ka lafda karaenge (either they will arrange a conflict over the temple, or between India and Pakistan).”

Kejriwal said his party’s sustained campaign for full statehood for Delhi would ensure victory for AAP nominees in all the seven constituencies.

Delhi’s status at present is that of a Union territory where police report to the lieutenant-governor, the central government’s representative, and not to the state home minister.

The AAP has promised to create two lakh government jobs and set up universities and colleges and said it would reserve 85 per cent of government posts and seats in education for local people.

“We will create a Delhi where even if a girl goes out of her home at 11pm, no one will dare touch her. Like how we fixed hospitals and schools, we will fix law and order…,” the AAP boss said.

“Like Telangana, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand had fought and achieved statehood, Delhi residents will also agitate and achieve statehood.”

The AAP has announced that Kejriwal and other party leaders would burn the BJP’s 2014 election manifesto for Delhi that had promised statehood for the capital. Over the past weekend, AAP workers had demonstrated in front of the Congress and BJP offices in protest against their vacillation over granting statehood.

Citing the internal survey, which the AAP has not publicly released, Kejriwal said: “The Congress did not keep the country before them and declared that they will not align (with the AAP). Until now the situation was that any Hindu was not voting for the Congress. There was confusion among Muslims. But after this stand of the Congress, Muslims are also coming en masse towards the AAP.”

Kejriwal, however, hinted that the AAP’s doors were still open for talks. “The country is important. No party is important, no leader is important. Everyone is small before the country,” he said.

“There are two kinds of people in the country today. Modi bhakts, and those who want to defeat Modi. The bhakts are fewer than those who want to defeat Modi. The duo of Modiji and (BJP chief) Amit Shah is dangerous for the country. All people of the country have to unite and defeat them this time. In that direction, we will do whatever we have to do.”

AAP “call centres”

The AAP candidates for East and South Delhi, Atishi and Raghav Chadha, met Delhi police officials on Tuesday to protest against the questioning of call centre executives who have been calling up Delhi voters on behalf of the AAP to warn them that their names have been deleted from the voters’ list.

BJP MLA Manjinder Sirsa had complained to police against repeated calls even to those whose names are on the voters’ list.

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