Kejriwal tears into Congress, BJP at Mumbai rally
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal tore into the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing both of indulging in corruption and more.
Addressing a massive rally at Kannamwar Nagar in north-east Mumbai late in the evening, Kejriwal was repeatedly cheered and applauded as he recounted the misdeeds of the two major parties.
"I am warning you... After April, the country will witness unprecedented levels of inflation. Everything, foodgrain, vegetables, fruits, petrol, will become very expensive due to their policies," he said at his first public rally in Mumbai.
"We have to defeat Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Nitin Gadkari, Kapil Sibal and others. You must vote for the AAP, which is your party," Kejriwal urged the gathering.
Attacking the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Modi, Kejriwal said: "The 'Modi wave' is not visible anywhere in the country. And we don't want to remove the Congress and replace it with the BJP."
He said that now all types of dubious elements, criminals and corrupt people had united in support of Modi.
"But people want change. People are feeling optimistic that something good will happen (in the election). We need your support."
Kejriwal said the AAP showed its magic in the Delhi election last year and "now we have to show that magic in the Lok Sabha polls".
"There is only one party in India which is honest and gave an honest government to the country. In 49 days, we showed what we could do for the masses."
Attacking Modi's claims on good governance and Gujarat's development, Kejriwal said that during his recent visit he was shocked by the state of affairs in that state.
"I had heard that there is 'Ram Rajya' in Modi's Gujarat. But the ground reality is very different. The extent of corruption there is shocking. Prime lands of farmers are being grabbed cheaply (Rs.90,000 for an acre worth over Rs.5 million) and allotted to big industrialists at throwaway rates of Re.1 per acre. Eight hundred farmers have committed suicide in the past few years," Kejriwal said to repeated cheers.
He said more than 60,000 big and small industries had shut down in Gujarat in the past 11 years.
Kejriwal reiterated how the Gujarat government had given away vast gas fields to a corporate house to help it reap huge profits at public expense.
"Whoever comes to power, Rahul or Modi, the country will be ruled by one industrialist," Kejriwal said as the crowds roared its approval.
Referring to Delhi, he said that in the next few months when the assembly elections will be held again, the "AAP will return with more than 50 seats". It won 28 in December in the house of 70 members.
With the public rally in north-east Mumbai, Kejriwal wound up his day-long campaign trip to the city when he commuted by an autorickshaw, a suburban train, took part in a couple of road shows, and was greeted with black flags by Congress and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists.
On Thursday, he is scheduled to campaign in the Vidarbha region in eastern Maharashtra and address a rally in Chandrapur, besides visiting farm lands ravaged in recent hailstorms.
(Posted on 12-03-2014)