Aam Aadmi Party boss Arvind Kejriwal today shared a video of BJP’s star campaigner Yogi Adityanath calling him “a sympathiser of terrorism” during a poll rally in Gujarat, and pitched himself as someone who stands for “development” as against the BJP’s “politics of abuses and hooliganism”.
“If you want dirty abuses, hooliganism, corruption, or dirty politics, then vote for them. If you want schools, hospitals, electricity, water, roads, then vote for me,” the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in Hindi, retweeting a video which his UP counterpart had captioned: “This specimen from the Aam Aadmi Party who has come from Delhi is actually a sympathiser of terrorism.”
अगर गंदी गाली गलौज चाहिए, गुंडागर्दी चाहिए, भ्रष्टाचार चाहिए, गंदी राजनीति चाहिए तो इनको वोट दे देना। अगर स्कूल, अस्पताल, बिजली, पानी, सड़कें चाहिए तो मुझे वोट दे देना। https://t.co/kNtrOR2azB
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 26, 2022
The AAP, buoyed by its victory early this year in Punjab, has mounted a high-decibel campaign to challenge the BJP in Gujarat where it’s been in power for 27 years, including PM Narendra Modi’s 13 years as chief minister. Pitching a former TV news anchor Isudan Gadhvi, as the AAP chief ministerial candidate, Mr Kejriwal has spent weeks in Gujarat speaking of “development” besides making appeals to the BJP’s core Hindutva voter with demands such as Hindu gods’ images on currency notes.
The Congress, which increased its vote share in 2017, has been running a lowkey campaign — it calls that a strategy. It refuses to see the election as a three-way contest, dismissing AAP as “just hype”. The BJP, too, sees the contest as a direct fight with the Congress.
Yet, the BJP has gone all-out and deployed its big guns, including the hardline Hindutva icon Yogi Adityanath, in the campaign. And the campaign has taken a turn towards the BJP’s primal appeal, with Amit Shah saying “rioters were taught a lesson in 2002”, and Yogi Adityanath, too, calling rivals “opponents of Lord Ram”.
In the video that Mr Kejriwal shared, Yogi Adityanath said that the AAP leader had “opposed the construction of Ram Temple, and even sought proof for the Indian Army’s surgical strike in Pakistan”. He said corruption and terrorism are “the same thing”.