Kejriwal: Breached BJP’s Fortress, Will Win Next Time

9 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

kejriwal National

Although the AAP did not win many seats in Gujarat, Mr. Kejriwal said in a video address that the votes it received helped it become a recognised national party.

Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, hailed the electorate on Thursday for aiding the AAP “breach the BJP’s stronghold” in Gujarat and promised that the party will win the state the following election.

Although the AAP did not win many seats in Gujarat, Mr. Kejriwal said in a video address that the votes it received helped it become a recognised national party.

The AAP won five seats and got a vote share of 12.92 per cent in the Gujarat assembly elections, as stated by the State Election Commission.

Despite just being a 10-year-old party, the national convenor of AAP said, “I am grateful to the people of Gujarat for helping us acquire the status of the national party.

Already recognised as a state party in Delhi, Punjab, and Goa, the AAP was just one state away from earning the status of the national party. Having opened its account in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, the party will attain national status.

To gain the status of a national party, a political group needs to be acknowledged in at least four states. To be recognised as a state party, it must garner at least two seats and 6% of the vote in the assembly election.

“Your AAP is a national party today. Gujarat’s people have made it a national party. On the basis of votes cast in Gujarat, legally AAP is now a national party,” Mr Kejriwal remarked.

The AAP filed candidates on all 182 assembly seats in an effort to break the BJP’s Gujarat heartland, launching a high-decibel campaign in the run-up to the polls.

The party positioned itself and its national convenor, Mr Kejriwal, as the lone opponent to the BJP and Prime Minister Modi, respectively.

Gujarat is believed to be a bastion for the BJP and the people of the state helped the AAP create a dent in it, he added.

“Gujarat is regarded to be a BJP stronghold. We have polled over 13 per cent votes. There are so many people who have believed us and voted for us for the first time. This time, we broke the citadel and next time, with your blessings, we will win it,” he said.

Arvind Kejriwal also claimed leaders of his party did not partake in a campaign of mudslinging or abusive politics but spoke about positive things and the job done by it in Delhi and Punjab.

“We just spoke about the job done by us in Punjab and Delhi and how, if we get an opportunity in Gujarat, we will work for the people. This separates us from other parties.

“For the past 75 years, caste, mudslinging, and religion have dominated politics. But we also discussed matters that concern the average person, he continued.

Calling it an extraordinary success, Mr Kejriwal said many were startled to find that the party attained national party status in such a short period.

“People are astounded by my feat. I have learned a lot from you and gotten a lot of love and respect. I am obliged to you,” he stated in the message.

Reiterating that they were “imaandar” and honest people, Arvind Kejriwal advised party activists to relax for a few days and then return to serving the people of Gujarat.

AAP senior leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said it was the first time that the politics of education and health was making a mark in the country.

The AAP had on Wednesday terminated the BJP’s 15-year rule in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi — trifurcated in 2012 into north, south, and east corporations and merged this year — by gaining 134 seats while confining the BJP to 104 seats. Mr Kejriwal has shuttled between Gujarat and Delhi to promote the party.

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh mirrored Mr Kejriwal’s stance.

“Gujarat is dubbed the citadel of PM Modi and (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah. CM Arvind Kejriwal has shattered their castle today.

“AAP was founded ten years ago, the people of Delhi have elected our governments three times in Delhi, and we now have a government in Punjab,” he continued.

Gopal Rai, the AAP’s Delhi unit convenor, said it will no longer have to strive for the party emblem after obtaining the stature of a national party.

“Till now, we had to strive for our emblem but after gaining the status of a national party, the ‘jhaadu’ (broom) sign would be reserved for the AAP across the whole country.

“With people of Gujarat securing locking-in of the ‘jhaadu’ emblem for the Aam Aadmi Party, the time has come to wield the broom throughout the nation,” he remarked.

According to official statistics, the majority of the candidates for the AAP in Gujarat’s 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 assembly elections received fewer votes than the None Of The Above (NOTA) option.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it avoided the state.

The BJP recorded a historic victory in Gujarat, gaining 150 seats and leading another six in the 182-member legislature. The Congress placed second, earning 17 seats, while the AAP got five seats. Independent candidates won three seats while the Samajwadi Party took up one.