Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday claimed his party would secure 100 seats in the Lok Sabha elections and the next government would not be formed without its support.
“AAP is going to get at least 100 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. And, we are going to get more seats than Congress. The government at the Centre will not be formed without AAP’s support. Our party will help form the central government and we will change the face of the country,” said the 45-year-old former Delhi chief minister.
Meanwhile, other AAP leaders indicated Kejriwal could challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from Varanasi, if the latter decided to contest Lok Sabha elections from that constituency. Addressing a rally before Kejriwal's speech, party leader Sanjay Singh appealed to him to contest against Modi from Varanasi. However, Kejriwal was silent on the issue during his speech.
Addressing a rally as part of a three-day road show in Uttar Pradesh, Kejriwal accused Modi of maintaining a silence on foreign direct investment in retail and BJP in Rajasthan of getting into a “setting” on the issue of Robert Vadra’s land deal.
“When I came to power, within 48 days, my government got a case filed against Sheila Diksit over irregularities during the Commonwealth Games. BJP is in power for the past two months in Rajasthan and it has not registered any case against Robert Vadra for irregularities in land deals. Is there a “setting” between Modi and Sonia Gandhi,” he asked.
Kejriwal said he would visit Gujarat from March 5 to 8 to see “the so-called development” there. He also did not spare the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, saying there had been more than 100 riots in the state over the past two years. Referring to the Muzaffarnagar communal violence, Kejriwal said not even a single riot case had been investigated properly. He promised if his party came to power, it would order an investigation into riots as it had done by ordering an SIT probe into Delhi’s 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Targeting Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, he said voting for it was a waste because it amounted to voting for Modi.
“Only AAP can give an honest government. If you all — Hindus, Muslims and people from other castes — come together and do not come under the poisonous influence of other parties, I can assure you that this time your (people’s) government will be formed at the Centre,” said Kejriwal.
He questioned Modi's stoic silence over FDI in retail, alleging the principal Opposition party had received money from a multinational retail firm. “BJP was saying when it would come to power, it would not allow FDI in retail. Congress had taken money from foreign companies and it was trying to bring them here, and BJP was opposing the move. However, three days ago, Modi did not speak on this issue when asked by people. Even before elections, the setting has been done. It means BJP has received money.”
Escalating his attack on Modi, the AAP leader alleged the former’s rallies were being “funded” by a business leader. “Modi is using choppers and aeroplanes of a big corporate house. I have pictures as proof. In public he says he used to sell tea. How did a tea-seller get these many helicopters,” he questioned.
Kejriwal also alleged both BJP and Congress were “agents” of an industrialist. “Both are agents.... Things are not going to change even if Manmohan Singh is defeated and Modi emerges victorious,” he said.
“I had written to Modi on these issues, but he has not yet responded to my letter. If he doesn’t respond to my letter, will he answer yours? He uses an industrialist’s helicopters and it is said the same person pays for his rallies. This (favour) doesn’t come for free... After coming to power he will return the favour,” he alleged.
“The moment I filed a case against the industrialist, BJP and Congress came together to attack me, saying it was unconstitutional. They don’t bother if anything happens against the ‘aam aadmi’ (common man)...,” he said.
On the issue of the Ram temple, the AAP convenor said it “cannot be built on the remains of a mosque”.
Lauding the performance of his government in Delhi, which survived only 49 days, he defended his dharna to press for suspension of some police officers. “I did not do any kind of drama. No one sleeps on the road in four degrees celsius. I was fighting for the protection of women.”
He also claimed the ‘Modi wave’ was only on TV channels because of ‘paid opinion polls’. “I campaigned in 17 Assembly seats of UP since yesterday (Saturday) and I found there was nothing called a Modi wave. Yes, there is a wave, but it is the wave of change. The Modi wave is a media creation,” he said.