Arvind Kejriwal shocks, says 'leave alone Narendra Modi, even god can't save Bharatiya Janata Party'

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 19 2013, 20:18pm hrs
Bharatiya Janata PartyGod can't save Bharatiya Janata Party in Delhi, what could Modi do: Arvind Kejriwal PTI photo
The Narendra Modi factor will hardly help Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) fortunes in Delhi, believes Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal who said that "even God can't save" the saffron party as it seeks to wrest power here.

"BJP ko Delhi mein Bhagwan bhi nahi bacha sakte, toh Modi kya bachapayenge (God can't save BJP in Delhi, what could Modi do)" Kejriwal said during a press interaction here.

And, as the political atmosphere hots up in Delhi ahead of the December 4 Assembly elections, Kejriwal responded to comments by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that he had no experience of governance saying that neither did she have any prior experience of running a state before coming to power.

But the AAP leader noted that Congress acknowledges he was a "honhar" (capable) candidate.

"Congress has acknowledged that our intentions are clear and that I am 'honhar' (talented).

"Dikshit has said I am 'honhar' and, during one of their programmes, Congress MP Dipender Hooda accepted that our intentions were clear," Kejriwal said.

Dikshit had yesterday said at a rally in the city that although Kejriwal was "honhar", he "lacked experience" of governance.

Meanwhile, talking about trade and commerce in the national capital, Kejriwal alleged that faulty VAT rules here was the reason why some businessmen were moving out of Delhi even as he stressed that business and trade policies should be simplified to ensure growth and employment generation.

"I have been told that Delhi is the biggest wholesale market but, due to complicated VAT policies, many traders have moved out of the city.

"VAT is an extremely complicated issue, it needs to be simplified, only then will businesses grow and employment rise," he said.

He slammed Delhi government for "extortionist" policies which did not favour traders and were aimed instead at taking money from them.

Emphasising the need for decentralisation to ensure greater participation by common man in governance, he said, "political decentralisation in our manifesto will make us different from other parties. We would be passing Law of Swaraj in Delhi after winning to ensure this."

Kejriwal reiterated AAP's stand of not supporting any party if voters here returned a split verdict following the elections.

"We will neither take support from nor extend support to any party in case there is a hung Assembly," he said.

Referring to reports of empty seats at Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi's rally in the city yesterday, Kejriwal said "it shows people are fed up".

Replying to queries on funds and donations, Kejriwal said his party had on its website disclosed the source of every single rupee received by it, although other political parties have taken refuge in the Income Tax Act which allows them to not declare donations of less than Rs 20,000.

"So, today, around 80 per cent of the donations to Congress and BJP are from unknown sources," he said.

Asked about the AAP campaign missing Anna Hazare, Kejriwal said that if the anti-corruption crusader had been with him, he would have been a "thousand times stronger".

He also accused BJP and Congress of following his party on issue like hike in power tariff, water bills and others.

"There are numerous examples to show that what AAP does in Delhi, Congress and BJP follow later," he said.

Asked about election expenses, Arvind Kejriwal said the threshold for it fixed by Election Commission was too high with large sums being spent by political parties on non-promotional activities.

"In my constituency, political leaders are hiring people for Rs 5,000 per week for campaigning... I will try to expose this soon," he said.