The Congress party on Sunday came out all guns blazing against Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, terming him as a habitual “liar” and “absconder” who quit as Delhi Chief Minister “in a planned manner” because he could not fulfill the promises made by the AAP ahead of the Assembly elections.
Launching the `Pol Khol Abhiyan' against Mr. Kejriwal, Delhi Congress chief, Arvinder Singh said: “If Guinness World Records had a category of lies, Kejriwal will top that list. In Mr. Kejriwal, the country has got a second leader (in an apparent reference to Narendra Modi), who is in the business of making false promises.”
Addressing the gathering at the Central Park in Connaught Place, the Gandhi Nagar MLA said that the AAP national convenor is in the habit of “running away from responsibilities”.
“Mr. Kejriwal is in the habit of running away and leaving back his own. Firstly he quit a government job. Then he broke his association with likes of Anna Hazare and Kiran Bedi. After that he ran away from the Delhi government. I wonder if he would someday run away from the country as well,” said Mr. Singh.
While the Congress leaders have been maintaining that the electoral success of the AAP is a temporary phase and their main opponent is the Bharatiya Janata Party, everything associated with the ‘Phol Khol Abhiyan’ of Congress – the choice of venue, posters, banners and speech of the leaders was aimed to directly attack the AAP. The party has decided to hold such meetings across the city.
The Congress leaders also burnt an effigy of Arvind Kejriwal – similar in appearance to that of the mythical Ravana with pictures of the former Cabinet colleagues of Mr. Kejriwal attached as different heads of the Ravana.
Sources in the party said Central Park was chosen as the venue to launch the campaign as it falls in New Delhi Assembly seat represented by Mr. Kejriwal. Congress leaders said while the party’s initiative was to galvanise the cadre ahead of the general elections, the attempt to “expose” the AAP is also aimed at winning back its traditional vote bank.
“The chunk of support the AAP managed to get in the Assembly polls was in the unauthorized colonies and JJ clusters—the traditional vote bank of the Congress. It’s a challenge for the party to won them over again,” said a DPCC member.
The event was attended by AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, Member of Parliament Ramesh Kumar, Congress Legislative Party leader Haroon Yusuf, other sitting and ex-MLAs, municipal councilors and other DPCC members. However, a notable absentee was former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.