The Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign in its debut elections in Gujarat was one that made the maximum noise. Each day in AAP’s Gujarat campaign in the poll run-up was filled with claims and promises of transformation, of a change that the state had long desired.
Arvind Kejriwal, the party’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister, led from the front. From releasing AAP’s candidate lists to addressing press conferences, and dishing out dreams and promises, Kejriwal took centrestage for the AAP in Gujarat, and how!
Freebies, allegations and counter-allegations aside, one thing that captured the people’s imagination through the latter half of the campaign was the claims that Kejriwal made – in writing! “Likh ke de raha hoon (I am giving it to you in writing),” Kejriwal said on multiple occasions before borrowing a piece of paper and making a prophecy in writing, presumably to suggest that he could be held accountable for it. None of it appears to have worked though.
As per the election results declared on Thursday, the AAP failed to make any significant dent in Gujarat’s electoral landscape, managing to win just 5 seats and shoring up a vote share of around 13 per cent.
As the dust settles on the election results, here is a quick reality check of Kejriwal’s prophecies — only the ones he gave in writing:
- “AAP will form government in Gujarat” – Nov 27, 2022
Addressing a press conference in Surat, Arvind Kejriwal made a written assertion that AAP was going to form a government in the state after the Assembly elections. “Many people say that my predictions in politics come true….Even today, I am going to make a prediction in writing in front of you all… Note down the prediction that the Aam Aadmi Party is going to form a government in Gujarat. After 27 years of misgovernance, the citizens of Gujarat will get relief from these people (BJP),” he added before writing it on a piece of paper and flashing it to the media.
Unfortunately, Kejriwal’s prediction did not turn into reality.
- “AAP will win 7-8 seats in Surat” – November 28
Kejriwal made another written prediction about the Gujarat election results and claimed that AAP will win seven to eight out of 12 seats in ‘diamond city’ Surat. “AAP will get seven to eight seats in Surat,” he said in Surat and gave it in writing.
As per EC data, BJP bagged all 16 assembly seats in Surat. Kejriwal’s claim fell flat again.
- “Gopal Italia is winning by a huge margin” – November 28
In another prediction, again given in writing, Kejriwal had claimed that AAP’s Gujarat unit president Gopal Italia will win the assembly election by a huge margin. The AAP had fielded Italia from Katargam constituency.
Contrary to Kejriwal’s prediction, Italia lost to BJP’s Vinodbhai Amarshibhai Moradiya by a margin of 65,000 votes.
- “AAP’s CM candidate Isudan Gadhvi will win by a huge margin” – November 28
Kejriwal had also claimed that AAP’s chief ministerial face Isudan Gadhvi would emerge victorious in the elections. A former TV journalist, Gadhvi was picked as the CM face by AAP following a crowd-sourcing campaign. Kejriwal had given this prediction in writing as well.
In the results declared by the Election Commission on Thursday, Gadhvi secured 58,467 votes, around 19,000 votes less than BJP candidate Ayar Mulubhai Hardasbhai Bera.
- “Congress won’t even get 5 seats in Gujarat”
In an interaction with India Today, Kejriwal scoffed at the Congress, saying nobody takes them seriously. “Congress will get less than 5 seats in Gujarat elections,” Kejriwal said and gave it in writing when asked to do so. “Isko zaroor chalaiyega (Make sure you run this),” Kejriwal said when warned that the hard evidence he was producing in writing could be used in any manner on December 8 when the results are declared.
While the AAP did manage to deal a significant blow to Congress, mopping up almost 13 per cent of its vote share, Kejriwal’s prophecy failed yet again. As per the EC data, the Congress had managed to secure 17 seats, its lowest tally ever, but still higher than the 5 seats predicted by the Delhi CM.