Uttar Pradesh done, BJP shifts focus to Delhi civic polls
BJP president Amit Shah was addressing party workers ahead of the elections in April. Photograph: (Reuters)
Eyeing a hat-trick in Delhi civic polls, BJP chief Amit Shah Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleging that corruption has flourished under the Kejriwal government and people must teach it a lesson.
Addressing BJP workers ahead of the MCD elections, Amit Shah referred to party's victories in the recent assembly polls and said a win in the civic elections will help catapult the party to power in the national capital.
He was addressing a convention of booth in-charges at the Indian capital's Ramlila Ground where around 60,000 workers had gathered.
Pointing to an India map near the dais, Shah said while the country is being painted in "saffron", Delhi continues to remain a "white spot" and asked the party workers to ensure BJP's victory in the civic polls.
"After 2014, BJP has won nearly everywhere, except Delhi and Bihar. Today BJP workers will go back with a resolve to plug the gaps so that the BJP's victory flag is unfurled in the national capital," he said.
Targeting the Delhi government, Shah accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of getting into fights with the Centre for political reasons.
"The AAP has indulged in corruption like no other party has in such a short time. His (Kejriwal) principal secretary was arrested by CBI. There was graft in procuring onions, in appointments in DCW, in procuring water tankers, street lights.
"A minister is involved in hawala. There was a scam in the waqf board. And most importantly, AAP used the Delhi exchequer's money in Gujarat, Kolkata and other states for putting out advertisements," the BJP president said.
The BJP President contrasted his party's "clean record" in governance with the AAP's "tainted" tenure, saying many of its legislators and ministers were arrested over charges of corruption and "rape".
He also dared Kejriwal to take action against the legislators and ministers facing various allegations and order a judicial probe into the charges.
"This is not just an MCD election, but it is an opportunity to uproot the AAP government in the next polls," Amit Shah said and appealed to party activists to work hard for the elections as it was Delhi where the then Jana Sangh, BJP's predecessor, came to power first.
Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Nirmala Sitharaman, Jitendra Singh, Harsh Vardhan and Vijay Goel were present at the event. As was Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari
Shah also invoked the anti-terror surgical strikes undertaken last year, saying the armed forces "barged" into Pakistan to avenge the killing of soldiers in Uri last year.
Amit Shah hailed the contribution of booth-level workers in the BJP's spate of electoral success across the country.
The BJP has dubbed the group of five booth in-charges as "Panch Parmeshwar" (five judges) saying these "workers will work like "panchs" (judges) towards getting administrative justice for people".
Shah said AAP had promised improved law and order in the city but "Kejriwal would do a big favour by reining in his MLAs".
"I would urge him to keep his MLAs in control. That will be a big favour for the people of Delhi. Criminal allegations have cropped up against 13 MLAs of the
party that spoke of bringing change in politics," he said.
He advised Kejriwal "not to worry" about the BJP's poll promises in Uttar Pradesh and instead focus on bringing in the reforms in the areas of education
"We will fulfil all our promises in Uttar Pradesh. You don't have to worry. Kejriwal makes a slew of promises ahead of polls but after the elections he is
found in Punjab, Goa, Gujarat.
"If you (Kejriwal) have the slightest shame left then he should remember that he is answerable to the people of Delhi on these tainted MLAs. He should do so before canvassing for votes ahead for the municipal polls," Shah said.