Kejriwal uses his first LS poll campaign rally to turn the tables on Modi, Rahul
The AAP kickstarted its Lok Sabha campaign on Sunday with its leader Arvind Kejriwal challenging Narendra Modi to ‘show guts’ in giving a promise to bring back black money of his industrialist friends allegedly stashed away abroad if he becomes prime minister.
Attacking both Modi and Rahul Gandhi on corruption issue and accusing their parties of favouring top industrialists, Kejriwal also alleged that any government, be it that of Modi or Gandhi, will be run by top business magnate Mukesh Ambani.
Kejriwal launched his campaign from his home state of Haryana at a well-attended ‘hunkar’ (battle cry) rally, his first after he resigned as Delhi chief minister on 14 February. AAP plans to contest around 300 Lok Sabha seats.
During his 49-day tenure as chief minister, Kejriwal ordered filing a FIR against Mukesh Ambani and oil minister M Veerappa Moily among others, accusing them of manipulating gas prices, a charge denied by Ambani’s Reliance Industries.
He said he has written to both Modi and Rahul on the issue of natural gas pricing and questioned their silence.
Noting that Modi has stated that if elected to power, he will make all efforts to bring back black money kept abroad, Kejriwal said he should ‘show guts’ and tell people that if he becomes the prime minister, he will bring back illegal money of his industrialist friends stashed away in Swiss accounts.
Accusing the RIL chairman of running the country in a de facto manner, Kejriwal said, ‘Mukesh Ambani has Modi in one pocket and Rahul Gandhi in the other....He can allow Modi to have five-year term and also give Rahul Gandhi five years to rule.’
The AAP leader was also scathing in his attack on Congress leader and Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, calling him a ‘property dealer’, who took away land from farmers and gave them to companies like Reliance and businessmen like Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.
He also did not spare the media, saying a section of it was biased and controlled by big industrialists having vested interests.
Taking on the media for allegedly ‘denigrating’ him by saying that he resigned as he could not govern, Kejriwal said he had stepped down as he did not want to compromise on principles after Congress and BJP prevented the introduction of Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi assembly.
‘Certain newspapers and TV channels are saying that I quit because I wanted to run away from governance. I am willing to give my life but I will not compromise on principles. I have showed that I have no love for the chair,’ he said.
Referring to his government’s seven-week rule in Delhi, Kejriwal said he would quit politics if anyone can prove that what his administration achieved in the short period including giving relief to people in the electricity and water fronts and bringing down corruption, any other government in the past had done so in similar time frame. ‘Money changes hands behind such surveys,’ he alleged.