PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India
Mar 12, 2019, 05.33 PM
Ruling out any alliance with the Congress, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday announced that his party will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls on its own and hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not fulfilling BJP's electoral promise of granting full statehood to Delhi.
Asserting that the upcoming polls will be fought on the issue of full statehood, Kejriwal criticised Modi for not fulfilling this promise as mentioned in BJP's 2014 manifesto. "It amounts to cheating. They [BJP] should come clean," Kejriwal said.
"The ongoing general elections are also a part of the mass movement for full statehood for Delhi. BJP had no intention of giving Delhi full statehood. Prime Minister Modi needs to give an explanation as to why he did not fulfil his promise," the chief minister said, adding that his party plans to go full throttle over this issue in the coming days.
Kejriwal claimed that both Congress and BJP are against granting full statehood to Delhi.
Addressing the media from the AAP's new headquarters at ITO, Kejriwal said his party will be fighting the Lok Sabha elections on the issue of full statehood for Delhi as it (national capital) has been suffering because of it.
On being asked about its alliance partners, the chief minister said, "We are not in talks with the Congress over the alliance. We will be fighting the elections on our own."
"We are hearing statements from Congress that it would not enter into an alliance with AAP. But according to our internal surveys, AAP will be winning with a heavy majority on all seven seats and there are four reasons for it," he said.
Listing out the reasons, he said firstly, it is because of the work done by the Delhi government. Secondly, people in Delhi are very eager to see Delhi get full statehood and they can see that AAP is serious about it, he said.
Thirdly, according to AAP's survey, 56 per cent of the people believe that the conduct of the BJP in the conflict between India and Pakistan has portrayed the party in a "negative" light, he said.
"The fourth reason is how the Congress did not put the country first and refused to form an alliance. Therefore Hindus were anyway not going to vote for Congress. Muslims had some doubts but now even they have come in favour of the AAP," he said.
Observing that even without an alliance, AAP is winning, he, however, said his party has no indication from the Congress on an alliance.
The ruling AAP has declared names of candidates on six of the seven seats in Delhi.
A senior AAP leader said the name of the seventh candidate for the West Delhi seat would be announced only after BJP and Congress declare the names of their candidates for Delhi.
AAP's Atishi will contest from East Delhi, Guggan Singh from North-West Delhi, Raghav Chadha from South, Dilip Pandey from North-East, Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk and Brijesh Goyal will contest from New Delhi seats.
The party launched its mega poll campaign, centred around full statehood for Delhi on Sunday.
Party volunteers will also distribute Kejriwal's letter to doorsteps of the voters during the campaign. The letter will elaborate on the benefits Delhiites will have if full statehood is granted.
Elections to the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will be held on May 12.
"The upcoming Lok Sabha elections are extremely important for the people of Delhi. In all the Lok Sabha elections, the people in Delhi used to vote to elect a prime minister but this time people have decided that would vote for full statehood of Delhi," Kejriwal said.
The chief minister said once Delhi attains full statehood, AAP will ensure that women can roam freely even at night while adding that his party will also provide 85 per cent reservations in jobs and colleges.
Kejriwal also referred to the sealing of shops which took place earlier this year and said, the party would have halted sealing within five minutes.
"We would have regularised contractual employees," he said.
Asserting that the upcoming polls will be fought on the issue of full statehood, Kejriwal criticised Modi for not fulfilling this promise as mentioned in BJP's 2014 manifesto.