Updated: February 26, 2021 6:29:57 pm
The party chief also claimed there were no local issues because the BJP had kept the opposition leaders “in their pockets” so far. (File)
Buoyed by the Aam Aadmi Party’s performance in the recently concluded Surat Municipal Corporation elections, Delhi Chief Minister and party chief Arvind Kejriwal Friday said if the people across the state were watching the party’s 27 newly elected corporators in Surat city with great hope and if they performed well then in December 2022 “a new revolution will come up in Gujarat”.
Kejriwal, who reached Surat on Friday to celebrate the party’s major gains in the civic polls in Surat, however, expressed apprehension that there might be “poaching attempts”.
“Even if they threaten you, or lure you by any means, or if anybody calls you, just tell (Gujarat AAP president) Gopal Italiya,” Kejriwal said while addressing the party’s elected representatives at Mota Varachha area of Surat city.
Earlier in the day, he was welcomed by several AAP leaders and supporters at the Circuit House at Athwalines area.
Exhorting the party’s leaders for a good show in the SMC polls, Kejriwal said, “You people fought the elections in Gujarat without money and other essential facilities in the BJP’s core areas, where the latter has been in power for 25 years. It is not a simple thing. A good start is a big thing… If you (the newly elected AAP corporators) perform well, then in December 2022 a new revolution will come up in Gujarat. The public keeps faith in you. But, if anyone among you leaves the party and joins the BJP, they (the people) will criticise the AAP. If anyone among you leaves the party and joins another party, keep in mind that you would have broken the hope and faith of six crore people of Gujarat.”
Referring to the Surat civic poll results, he said a big BJP leader, in his statements, said that it is like a “nail pierced in the plate of gold”. Polls to six civic bodies in Gujarat, including in Surat, were held on Sunday. While the BJP retained power in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) by winning 93 seats, the AAP bagged the remaining 27 seats. The Congress failed to win even a single seat.
Kejriwal added, “You have to understand one thing, they are not afraid of you or the AAP, they are afraid of those 16 lakh voters who voted for you. These people are those who are fed up with them. Earlier, they did not have any alternative. Why the BJP is ruling here for 25 years? It is not that the BJP rule is good.”
The party chief also claimed there were no local issues because the BJP had kept the opposition leaders “in their pockets” so far.
Sharing the party’s experience in Delhi, Kejriwal said, “When we first contested the Delhi elections, we won on 28 seats. The reason is that people kept faith in us, and the public said that these people are “desh bhakt” (patriots) and they are “imandar” (honest). God had given us 39 days to work in Delhi, and we worked hard and in such a way that we cleaned dirt with a broom. We halved power rates, made water free and provided corruption-free governance. When we contested for the second time, we got 67 seats. The 6 crore Gujarati people will keep a watch on the 27 elected AAP councilors of Surat…”
The AAP leader urged the 27 party councilors to work hard to serve the people. “I appeal to you to open a separate office at someplace or some part of your home, and arrange a phone number, distribute it among all the people in your wards, and ensure that you attend all calls that may come at any time… We will take the work of the 27 elected councilors of Surat and show it to different parts of Gujarat and seek votes (in the upcoming Assembly polls next year). The public of Surat has given you a place of opposition in SMC, work in such a way to make them realise what you are. Don’t let any illegal work be done, and don’t allow them (the ruling party) to do any illegal work.”