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Gujarat BJP Chief Fields Stats to Give AAP 'Reality Check' on Surat Victory. Kejriwal Retorts

File photo of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

File photo of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

While the BJP retained power in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) by winning 93 seats, the AAP bagged the remaining 27 seats, making inroads in Gujarat.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, who on Friday led a road show in Surat following the party’s impressive foray in the civic polls, and made it clear that his sights were now set on the 2022 Gujarat Assembly polls, drew a sharp reactions from Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil on Twitter.

Kejriwal, however, was quick to field each of his responses with comeback tweets.

Paatil said that Kejriwal held a roadshow to celebrate the large number of AAP candidates who had lost their election deposits.

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He said that Kejriwal didn’t share that 59 AAP candidates lost their deposits in Surat and Every AAP candidate lost deposit in Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar.

Kejriwal, in his response, said, “People of Gujarat are celebrating it. People of Surat celebrated it today. Everyone in Gujarat is talking abt AAP. Kindly do not underestimate the power of people (sic).”

The Delhi Chief Minister led a 10 km-long road show in the city to thank the voters for electing 27 AAP candidates. Polls to six civic bodies in Gujarat including Surat were held on Sunday. While the BJP retained power in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) by winning 93 seats, the AAP bagged the remaining 27 seats, making inroads in the state.

While the battle was fought by its local unit, the party did send Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to add weight to its campaign. Sisodia hit the ground running with a roadshow in Surat. He was joined by AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj and of course, AAP Gujurat in charge and two-time MLA from Matiala Gulab Singh, among others.

The party held press conferences in both Delhi and Gujarat to welcome the results that have taken some leaders, including those in the party, by surprise.

Apart from Surat, AAP also did well in other major cities of Gujarat. In Rajkot, it was number two with 13 seats; in Ahemadabad, it was number two with 16 seats, he said, adding that in other cities also people have given their love and blessings to the party.

The Congress failed to win even a single seat. Supporters wearing AAP’s signature caps turned up in large numbers to greet Kejriwal who stood on a specially designed truck with AAP’s Gujarat unit chief Gopal Italia.

The road show started from Mini Bazar in Varachha and ended at Sarthana. Addressing the gathering at Sarthana, Kejriwal said people were fed up with both the BJP and Congress.

”While one party indulges in the politics of appeasement, another does politics of hate. But, people are saying that they want jobs, not politics….People want good roads, schools, colleges and hospitals,” Kejriwal said.

The BJP was in power for the last 25 years but its governments failed to give jobs to youths, he said, claiming that his own government gave jobs to 10 lakh youths.

”What they could not do in 25 years, we did in five years. Just give us five years in Gujarat and you will forget the 25 years’ rule of the BJP,” Kejriwal said, making it clear that his party was gearing up for 2022 Assembly polls. ”I want to appeal to the youth that enough of this begging for jobs. Join politics and you will go directly to the state Assembly (as MLAs) to create employment opportunities,” he said.

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first published:February 27, 2021, 09:04 IST