Congress is finished, AAP to contest all seats in Gujarat: Kejriwal

Claims visit to autorickshaw driver’s residence at Ghatlodia (Ahmedabad), which falls in the constituency of Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel, was not planned

Arvind Kejriwal, AAP chief, Delhi Budget, AAP, Narendra Modi, Delhi government, Arvind Kejriwal
Speaking at an event on Monday, Kejriwal had accused the Centre of resorting to "gundagardi" and said it was the first time in the country’s history that the budget of a government was put on hold. File photo

Declaring that the Congress was “finished,” Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday said that AAP would be contesting “all seats” in Gujarat in the upcoming Assembly elections. Kejriwal, who was in Ahmedabad to address a town hall with sanitation workers, was responding to a reporter’s query seeking his response to the allegations by a Congress leader that the AAP government in Punjab was on the brink of bankruptcy, but was still spending crores on electioneering in Gujarat.

When the reporter asked him about the allegation levelled by the Congress that AAP was not paying salaries in Punjab, Kejriwal said, ”Congress khatam ho gayi hai (Congress is finished). You should stop taking their questions. The public has no such questions on its mind.” Asked whether his dinner at an autorickshaw driver’s residence at Ghatlodia on Monday was intentional, given that the area falls under the constituency of Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and is also part of the Lok Sabha constituency of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Delhi CM said, “It was not planned, these leaders too should be visiting them.”

Also read: Kejriwal promises ‘corruption-free, fear-free’ govt in Gujarat if AAP comes to power

There was some confusion regarding the Delhi CM’s “security protocol” when Kejriwal travelled in an auto enroute to the residence of the driver — Vikram Dantani — on Monday evening. Kejriwal told reporters: “Can a state’s police say they won’t give security if I go in an autorickshaw? Their motive was not to give security or not, it was to stop me from going amid the public. Ultimately, I went and they gave me security.”


Kejriwal also appealed to police officers “to stop taking wrong orders” from the government. “I saw this yesterday too when I was stopped (from going to Dantani’s residence in an auto)…the one who stopped me yesterday, it was not his fault, he was being ordered from the top, on the phone. I say, stop taking their wrong orders,” said Kejriwal, underlining that he was the first one to raise the issue of pay grade of police personnel.

Citing instances of illicit businesses that point to the recent spurious liquor case at Botad and Ahmedabad, Kejriwal promised that he would shut down illicit businesses. He also said that if AAP comes to power in Gujarat it will put an end to paper leaks, reopen cases from the past 10 years, probe them and send the “masterminds to jail”. Kejriwal also promised to recover money lost to scams and “investigate scams during their (BJP) tenure and send the guilty to jail”.

Earlier in the day, while virtually addressing a function in in Gandhinagar to mark one year of Bhupendra Patel’s chief ministership, Home Minister Amit Shah attacked AAP for “selling dreams,” adding that the ruling BJP would once again form a government in the state. “People who sell dreams will never get electoral success in Gujarat. I know the people of Gujarat. Those in the business of selling dreams can never get success in Gujarat because the people support only those who believe in doing work,” he said.

During the townhall, when a reporter asked Kejriwal to comment on Shah’s remark, he said: “The BJP is the one that sells dreams to the people. Amit Shah is absolutely correct, I cannot believe that he is talking against his own party … whoever says that Rs 15 lakh will be deposited in your account is someone that should not be trusted. Trust the person who says that he has given free electricity in Delhi and Punjab and will do the same in Gujarat.”