“AAP, by attempting to occupy non-BJP space, hurts the other non-BJP players more,” the BJP leader says

With Arvind Kejriwal taking on Narendra Modi in Gujarat, the BJP on Sunday hit out at the “cosy” relationship between the Congress and the AAP and said it will turn out to be “self-defeating” for both as the AAP will eat into non-BJP space.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said Mr. Kejriwal has stopped speaking against the Centre as well as the “dynasty” running the Congress and was going hard against the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

“Congress is encouraging AAP but it is today stamping on Congress’ foot. BJP’s constituency is intact and expanding. Congress and AAP have a cosy relationship but by dividing the non-BJP space, they will develop a self-defeating relationship,” he wrote in his Facebook post.

Noting that the entire focus of Mr. Kejriwal’s national campaign is against the BJP and Mr. Modi, Mr. Jaitley said the AAP no longer criticises “scams” which happened under the Congress and there is not even criticism of it for aligning with “a convicted Lalu Prasad”.

“AAP has softened the attack on Congress and is going hard against the BJP. This is the Congress-AAP strategy,” he said. The Congress, he said, is running an insipid campaign and the entire focus of the media debate is the political struggle between the BJP and the AAP.

“Congress has a vote bank much bigger than AAP... AAP may not even be a spoiler. Its tactics target maximum media publicity. Its presence in the media is higher than Congress’. In a particular section, it has started occupying media space much higher than Congress,” he said.

This tactic, he said, has not worked for the Congress. Even though the Congress may feel that the AAP is doing what it has failed to do, it has ended up scoring a “self-goal” as the BJP remains a “comfortable front runner”.

The AAP gains in media and vote at the cost of the non-BJP space and is competing with the Congress, the Left, the BSP and the SP for this, he said. “AAP, by attempting to occupy non-BJP space, hurts the other non-BJP players more,” he said.

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