The AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said he is often asked whom his party will ally with, in the next Lok Sabha polls, to form a united front against the BJP.
“I do not understand these alliances. I only know one thing — when 130 crore Indians come together and form an alliance, nobody will be able to stop India from becoming the number one country in the world,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
He added that when “75 years ago, the people of the country got united, they threw the British out of our country. We have to unite again”.
Mr. Kejriwal’s statement on alliances comes at a time when several Opposition leaders, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, have been holding meetings with various political leaders in a bid to forge an alliance to take on the ruling NDA alliance in 2024 general election.
The AAP supremo made these statements while addressing the first-ever convention of his party’s 1,446 elected representatives from across 20 States at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
Mr. Kejriwal said over the last decade, AAP had sown seeds across the country and “the seeds in Delhi and Punjab have become trees and have started bearing fruit”.
“The next tree will come up in Gujarat where we are going to form the government,” he said.
‘AAP is like Kanha’
Mr. Kejriwal said people across the country are accepting AAP with open arms, being fed up with older parties which have done nothing for them over the past 70-75 years.
“When Lord Krishna was a child, he was called ‘Kanha’ out of affection. Kanha, in his childhood, killed several demons. AAP is also like Kanha. We have killed several monsters such as corruption, unemployment and inflation,” the AAP chief said.
He added that his party had provided people with honest politics, education, healthcare and freebies, for which AAP has been praised by people across the country, much to the dismay of other political parties.
Attacking the BJP, Mr. Kejriwal said, “These people want to stop us anyhow and have planned to crush AAP by all means possible. They are hurling false allegations against us and have filed 169 cases against our MLAs in Delhi. However, not even a single MLA has been convicted.”
Taking on the PM
He also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi without naming him. “From the ramparts of the Red Fort, these people declare that they are against corruption. But in reality, they are against AAP,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
The Delhi CM alleged, “They have bought 285 MLAs in the country so far, to each of whom they have paid ₹25-50 crore. From where did they get this money? And then they accuse us of corruption. You are looting the people to openly trade MLAs and then you have the audacity to say that you’re fighting corruption. This is the most corrupt government in the history of independent India.”
A total of 156 MLAs — 92 from Punjab, 62 from Delhi and two from Goa — were present at AAP’s ‘Rashtriya Janpratinidhi Sammelan’ in Delhi on Sunday, along with over 1,400 elected representatives in urban local bodies and panchayats from across 20 States.
Reacting to Mr. Kejriwal’s speech, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra called him a “megalomaniac” and “bayan bahadur” (one who makes big claims).
“Mr. Kejriwal is all about doing little and making a lot of noise. He has been making irrational claims because he has no real answer to the charges against his party’s leaders in corruption cases,” Mr. Patra said.
In response to the Delhi CM’s claims about attempts to ‘buy’ AAP’s MLAs, Mr. Patra wondered why AAP has not recorded the “bribes” offered to its legislators at the BJP’s behest and shared it with the people, whereas the BJP has shared two sting videos about the “excise scam” in Delhi already.