In a show of strength ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, AAP convener and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday asked party workers to go door to door and ensure the BJP does not secure even a single seat in the capital.
Taking on both the BJP and the Congress, Kejriwal asked workers to look forward to a day when an AAP government, which had become one of the youngest national parties in the country already, would be in power at the Centre. In response, the BJP said the only aspect that AAP had succeeded in becoming the fastest-growing at was corruption.
Earlier this month, Kejriwal had been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its probe into the alleged Delhi excise policy scam. The CM, however, skipped the summons saying it was “vague, motivated and unsustainable in law”. He went to poll-bound Madhya Pradesh instead, where, addressing his supporters in Singrauli, he had asserted that he was “not afraid of going to jail”.
On Friday, Kejriwal exhorted party workers to ‘unmask the truth and reality of Narendra Modi’ and accused the Prime Minister of seeking to derail the party and forcibly form a government in the city by putting its senior leadership, including him, behind bars.
“… Mein jail andar rahu ya bahar… is baar ek bhi Lok Sabha seat BJP ki nahi aani chahiye… Mei ek baar 15 din reh kar aaya toh… Andar thik thaak intezam hota hai, aaplog chinta nahi karna agar chale gaye toh,” he said addressing volunteers, party workers, councillors and MLAs at Tyagraj Stadium.
The CM also asked workers to go from house to house and hold corner meetings to seek public opinion on whether he should resign or run the government from jail if such a situation arose.
“… If (Satyendar) Jain and (Manish) Sisodia can be in jail for a year and nine months, I don’t care about going to jail… I keep my resignation on the tip of my shoe… Mere ko Mukhyamantri ki kursi ka lalach nahi hai…,” he said.
“… So, should I resign? Should I run the government from jail… today I am giving you this task to ask the people of Delhi… they have given us a lot of love, we will not do anything without their permission…,” he said.
Taking aim at the PM, Kejriwal said “big conspiracies” were hatched against the party since the AAP was the only party in the world to grow so fast in just 10 years. The alleged vendetta against the AAP, he added, was also a result of successive defeats meted out by it to the BJP in 2014, 2015, 2020, and the MCD polls.
“… They hatched a conspiracy by concocting this fake liquor scam…. Is the liquor scam happening in Delhi…? It is happening in Gujarat. Hundreds of people have died after drinking spurious alcohol…,” he alleged.
Alleging that agencies such as the CBI and ED had no evidence against AAP leaders in the excise case, Kejriwal said AAP leaders such as Sanjay Singh, Sisodia, Jain and Vijay Nair had been arrested in a “fake case and now they are going to arrest me”.
“… their agenda is to destroy and disperse the AAP and the government… by arresting its top leaders in fake cases… I want to tell Modi ji, you cannot defeat AAP in Delhi, not at least in this life… You might have to be born again to defeat AAP…,” he declared.
He also accused the PM of hatching a “new conspiracy” to arrest regional opposition leaders such as Mamata Banerjee, Tejaswi Yadav and Hemant Soren.
Responding to the speech, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva termed it “hilarious” and said: “There is no doubt Kejriwal has already left all parties far behind in corruption and nepotism. AAP has become the first party whose state government ministers from Delhi and one from Punjab are in jail for their involvement in corruption,” he alleged.
“The way Kejriwal is saying he will run the government from jail every other day, it seems he is convinced that the evidence with investigation agencies inquiring into the liquor scam is strong enough to put him behind bars,” he added.