Bolstered by AAP’s impressive show in the recently-held local body elections in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, the party’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched his statewide campaign in poll-bound Gujarat today. With barely three months to go for the Assembly elections, Kejriwal is set to lock horns with the BJP in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s home state. While addressing a public rally in Somnath today, Kejriwal said that if elected to power, he will ensure that every person in the state gets a job. “I give a guarantee of employment to the people of Gujarat. Every jobless person in state will be given a job. All those, who do not get jobs will be given Rs 3,000 per month,” said Kejriwal.
Referring to the hooch tragedy, Kejriwal further stated that people have already informed him that alcohol is easily available in Gujarat, even though it is prohibited in the state. “Who is earning thousands of crores from the illegal sale of alcohol in the state for years?,” asked Kejriwal, to which the supporters present shouted, “BJP.”
“At present, people of Gujarat have 2 options, either they’ll get spurious liquor if they’ll vote for them (BJP) or they’ll get employment, if they vote for us. Electricity, school, jobs will be the issues now. Spurious liquor is being sold openly in the state,” Kejriwal told reporters upon landing in Gujarat.
With the Congress on the backfoot since the firebrand Patidar leader and former state party unit working President Hardik Patel joined BJP earlier this year, AAP has been trying to make inroads in PM Modi’s home turf. After being turned down by Delhi Lieutenant Governor to visit Singapore, Kejriwal will be using this time to conduct rallies across the state, starting with Somnath. Kejriwal will be conducting several public rallies on August 1, 6, 7 and 10. After Somnath, the Delhi CM will visit Rajkot and then Bhavnagar, where at least 42 have been killed after the recent hooch tragedy in a state where liquor is prohibited.
The AAP has tried to corner the BJP in the illicit liquor row with Kejriwal demanding compensation from the state government for the kin of the victims and those who are hospitalised. The party had even raised this issue in the Parliament last week, demanding a discussion on the availability of illicit liquor in a dry state. AAP MPs Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and Sandeep Pathak were suspended from the Rajya Sabha for ‘unruly behaviour.’
Kejriwal will also be implementing his tried and tested formula while campaigning in Punjab and Delhi, that of providing free electricity among several other promises. The AAP launched ‘Kejriwal’s Guarantees’ campaign on July 21 in Surat where the Delhi CM announced 300 units of free electricity every month. The five guarantees also include making GST simpler and ensuring the refund of VAT in six months as a bid to reach out to the state’s traders, who form a major chunk of the BJP’s votebank.