The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday kicked off its election campaign from Ramlila Maidan, the same venue where the shortlived Aam Aadmi Party cabinet took oath of office in the winter of 2013.
The party launched a scathing attack on its Arvind Kejriwal-led rival ahead of the Delhi Assembly polls.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, spearheading the BJP’s campaign in the Capital, in a veiled reference to Mr. Kejriwal called him an ‘anarchist’, who had no place in Delhi, and said he should join the Naxals.
Though Mr. Modi did not directly name Mr. Kejriwal or his party, he appealed to the crowd to punish those who had “abandoned them”.
“We need development here, not anarchy. They are good at dharnas. We are good at running government,” the Prime Minister said. In an apparent reference to Mr. Kejriwal’s resignation on February 14 last year, after a 49-day-rule, Mr. Modi said “people should punish those because of whom one year of Delhi was wasted.”
Several senior BJP leaders, who spoke before Mr. Modi, also attacked Mr. Kejriwal and the AAP, tacitly acknowledging that the party was the BJP’s biggest rival. BJP president Amit Shah even acknowledged the symbolism of the occasion, pointing out that the BJP was holding its rally on the same ground that the AAP had sworn in its Cabinet. Mr. Modi highlighted an ambitious development plan for the Capital, saying the BJP planned to introduce 24x7 power supply and promised to make Delhi slum-free by 2022.
Here's what AAP had to say to the Prime Minister's comment: