LS poll: CM Kejriwal will not bow down, says Sunita Kejriwal at AAP’s maiden roadshow

AAP chief’s wife leads a 90-minute-long roadshow in east Delhi, seeks support for party nominee; BJP says absence of Congress leaders in the event is proof of rift between INDIA bloc partners

Updated - April 29, 2024 07:01 am IST

Published - April 28, 2024 01:55 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Sunita Kejriwal greeting people in east Delhi’s Kondli with AAP candidate Kuldeep Kumar.

Sunita Kejriwal greeting people in east Delhi’s Kondli with AAP candidate Kuldeep Kumar. | Photo Credit: SHASHI SHEKHAR KASHYAP

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s wife, Sunita Kejriwal, kicked off the party’s maiden roadshow on Saturday seeking support for the party’s East Delhi candidate Kuldeep Kumar.

Mr. Kumar is up against BJP’s Harsh Malhotra.

With folded hands, standing through the sunroof of a car along with the party nominee, Ms. Kejriwal greeted voters in Kondli and nearby areas while being surrounded by a sea of yellow and blue party flags during the one-and-a-half hour-long roadshow. In the background, megaphones played AAP’s campaign song, Jail ke Jawab Mein Hum Vote Denge.

“We will vote to remove dictatorship and save democracy,” Ms. Kejriwal said, adding, “Your CM is asher[tiger]; nobody can break him or make him bow down.” She said her husband had been jailed because he had built schools, provided free electricity, and opened Mohalla Clinics.

Senior party leaders have described Ms. Kejriwal as “the AAP chief’s voice” and named her the party’s star campaigner for Gujarat following the arrest of the Delhi CM by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. Mr. Kejriwal is currently lodged in Tihar Jail. In his absence, Ms. Kejriwal has held four digital briefings in which she read out messages from her husband.

Ms. Kejriwal will also campaign for AAP candidates in South Delhi and New Delhi constituencies as well as in Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab. The party plans to host a similar roadshow in West Delhi on Sunday. AAP is fighting four seats in the Capital as part of its 4-3 seat-sharing arrangement with its Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc partner Congress. Voting for the seven Lok Sabha seats is slated for May 25, in the sixth phase of the general election.

Support for CM

Many people in Kondli and nearby areas came out to catch a glimpse of the CM’s wife. Anwari Devi, 76, was among them.

“Arvind is like a son. He made water, electricity, and buses free for us.Now, it is our time to support him. If he can’t come out on the streets to campaign, we will stand by his wife because she is like a part of our family,” Ms. Anwari said.

Priya, a first-time voter and student, said girls in the area felt scared to step into government schools earlier. “However, all that has changed over the past few years. Now, I tell people proudly that I have studied at a Delhi government school,” she said.

Mr. Kejriwal’s arrest also seemed to have polarised people in the area. Brothers Raj Kumar and Rajneesh Kumar had completely divergent views on the allegations surrounding the CM.

While Mr. Raj said he was disappointed with the AAP chief, Mr. Rajneesh said his belief in the CM remained steadfast while his anger at the BJP had increased.

Meanwhile, the BJP attacked the Opposition alliance, saying that not a single Congress leader participated in the roadshow, which was proof of the growing rift between the INDIA bloc partners.

“The Assembly election is just months away. So, AAP MLAs don’t want Congress leaders to be active in their area or connect with people,” said BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor. He added that the AAP-Congress alliance will break down before May 25.

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