Kejriwal ready to take on Modi in Varanasi
Addressing a rally in Bangalore, Kejriwal said his party wanted him to contest against Modi and he accepts the challenge to face the Gujarat chief minister who ‘should be defeated.’ Kejriwal, however, qualified his statement saying that he would hold a rally in Varanasi on 23 March and would go by the people’s response, indicating that he will take a final decision then.
‘I will go to Varanasi on 23 March. We will have a rally in Varanasi. Whatever people of Varanasi will say that will be final. If people of Varanasi decide to give me this responsibility, I will accept it wholeheartedly,’ Kejriwal said. Kejriwal, whose announcement was welcomed with loud cheers from AAP’s supporters, said ‘... friends, there was meeting within the party. The party told me that I have to fight elections against Narendra Modi.’
AAP leader’s public declaration, though not definitive, comes a day after the BJP announced that Modi would be fielded from Varanasi, hitherto held by party veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, who conceded the seat after reported hard bargaining.
So far, AAP has strongly hinted Kejriwal may fight Modi if the latter contests from Varanasi, or any other constituency outside Gujarat. Party leader Yogendra Yadav had earlier said Kejriwal ‘would be looking at where Modi is contesting.’ AAP’s Manish Sisodia had also mentioned ‘Kejriwal will ask Modi questions from Varanasi.’
‘But I’m not accepting this election today. I will go to Varanasi. On 23 March we will have a rally in Varanasi. I appeal to the people of this country to come to Varanasi on 23rd,’ Kejriwal said. He said, ‘the party has given me ticket but party giving ticket is not important to me. The day people of this country give ticket to me, I will fight against Narendra Modi.’
Kejriwal also took a dig at Modi following reports that the BJP leader would fight the Lok Sabha polls from two constituencies, one from his home state apart from Varanasi, saying he was searching for a safe seat. ‘We want a brave prime minister. Do we, after all, want a prime minister who is looking for a safe seat?’ he asked.