The AAP national convener was in Ahmedabad to address a town hall with sanitation workers.
When the floor was opened to media questions, a reporter asked Kejriwal to respond to allegations by a Congress leader that the AAP government in Punjab is on the brink of bankruptcy and has no money even for salaries but is still somehow spending crores for ads in Gujarat.
Reacting sharply, Kejriwal said: “Who asked this question?”. When he was told it was an accusation by Congress leader Ajoy Kumar, he shot back: “The Congress is finished. Stop taking their questions. Nobody cares about their questions.” His response was met by cheers.
Another reporter asked Kejriwal to respond to BJP allegations that the AAP was thinking of fielding activist Medha Patkar as chief minister in Gujarat.
The question also elicited a strong reaction from the Delhi CM: “I heard that the BJP is planning to bring in Sonia Gandhi as Prime Minister after Narendra Modi. Please go ask the BJP about it.”
Responding to a reporter’s query whether the CM’s visit on Monday evening to dine at an autorickshaw driver’s residence at Ghatlodia was strategically intentional given that the area falls under the constituency of Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel and is also part of the Lok Sabha constituency of union home minister Amit Shah, Kejriwal said: “It was not planned, these leaders too should be visiting them.”
Kejriwal has maintained that AAP’s main rival in Gujarat is the BJP and not Congress, and has urged voters not to waste their votes on the Congress. “We are the only alternative to the BJP in the state,” he had told party workers recently.
Kejriwal promises corruption-free government
At the townhall, the Delhi CM promised to provide the people of Gujarat a “corruption-free” government.
“Whosoever I met in Gujarat said there is corruption everywhere. One has to pay a bribe to get any government work done. There is corruption at the lower level and at the top. If one speaks against it, he is threatened … there is corruption and hooliganism everywhere in Gujarat,” Kejriwal claimed, adding: “Today, I give a guarantee that when the AAP forms government in Gujarat, it will provide a corruption-free and fear-free government.”
Kejriwal also promised to stop “illegal businesses” of present ministers and government officers in Gujarat, investigate “scams” of the present government and recover money collected through corrupt means so that it can be spent on the public.
“We will also open cases of paper leaks of the last 10 years and their masterminds will be arrested and jailed,” the AAP leader said.
“Whenever I visit Gujarat, people talk of different scams. All the large scams during their tenure [BJP government] will be investigated and the money recovered will be used to provide good schools, electricity — for the service of the public,” he said.
The AAP government will also make arrangements for doorstep delivery of various welfare services, like it has done in Delhi, he said.
During his multiple visits to Gujarat in the recent past, Kejriwal had announced a slew of “guarantees”, including free electricity up to 300 units per month, allowances for women and unemployed youth, free and quality healthcare and education and creation of jobs.
(With inputs from agencies)