New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said removing the Bharatiya Janata Party from power in 2024 Lok Sabha polls will be the “greatest act of patriotism,” as he accused the saffron party of failing to lead the country towards progress despite being in power for two terms.
The AAP National Convener made the remarks addressing party volunteers in New Delhi, his electoral constituency.
“The people of my constituency heap praise on volunteers. AAP volunteers don’t come from any political background. Our party is not a party with a political background. Even senior AAP leaders don’t come from a political background, including me, Manish Sisodia. We are all ‘aam aadmi’,” Kejriwal said.
He claimed that while politicians from other parties are often seen indulging in hooliganism, those of the AAP are liked by the people because they are polite. “This is the trademark of the AAP.”
Kejriwal said the BJP could have led the country on a tremendous path of progress after having come to power a second time with full majority, but that did not happen.
“Today we see that the atmosphere in the country has deteriorated on all sides. Such intense polarisation was never seen in society. So much fighting, violence, corruption, and looting were never seen before. There is no peace anywhere,” he said.
Removing the BJP from power in 2024 will be the biggest act of patriotism, he added.
“The country will progress only then. The decisions they have taken, no one understands why they have taken them,” he said.
India’s economy has gone at least 10 years backward due to the demonetisation in 2016. People’s jobs, businesses, and factories shut down, Kejriwal claimed.
He also criticised the Goods and Services Tax brought by the BJP government, calling it so complex that no one understands it.
“They have put the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI behind many big industrialists. In recent years, 12 lakh wealthy individuals and businesspeople gave up their Indian citizenship and acquired foreign citizenship. This is a very serious matter,” he said.
Kejriwal alleged that BJP was a refuge for everyone who is involved in any sort of wrongdoing.
“If anyone involved in theft, goon activities, or harassment joins their party, no investigative agency dares to touch them,’ he said. ‘Thieves, goons, and molesters of women, all of them are there in their party.’ The Delhi CM said inflation, unemployment, and corruption, are the biggest issues the country is facing today.
“Until now, people used to say there is no alternative. But now, everyone is looking at the I.N.D.I.A (the opposition alliance) as an alternative.”
“Since the I.N.D.I.A Alliance was formed, I have received many messages from people saying that if the INDIA survives, their government will not be formed in 2024,” said Kejriwal.
The AAP’s national convener called on his party workers to go door to door and rally support for the alliance, but also asked them to refrain from trying too hard with the diehards.
“My advice is not to argue with blind followers, talk to the patriots. The 2024 Lok Sabha election is very important for the country. If these people come back for another five years, they will completely destroy the country,” he asserted.
Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva parried Kejriwal’s charges saying he is afraid of BJP’s returning to power ‘because it will ensure that every bit of his government’s corruption gets exposed and brings an end to his misrule of Delhi.’
Sachdeva also took exception to Kejriwal’s use of the term ‘patriotism’ in his speech, saying, “People saw what kind of patriotism Kejriwal follows when he questioned the army and air force’s valour.”
(Published 22 October 2023, 20:39 IST)