Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday kick-started his Punjab campaign by addressing a mega rally in Muktsar, as the party gears up for polls in the state scheduled to be held in 2017.
Addressing a rally, the Aam Aadmi Party chief said the whole Punjab knows that Bikramjit Majithia is involved in drug trade. Notably, Majithia’s sister Harsimrat, a minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, is married to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The rookie party that has caught the imagination of the youth, Punjabi diaspora, farmers and radicals alike had been mobilising crowds and funds for the Kejriwal show since the past three weeks. Its leaders and army of volunteers had visited villages, hold public meetings and used social media to put up a grand show. AAP leader Himmat Singh Shergill had claimed that in the party rally, there were more than 5 lakh people. The audio clip of Punjabi-speaking Kejriwal asking people to come and meet him at the Maghi mela had gone viral on social media, raising the hackles of the Congress and the SAD.
At the rally, Kejriwal spoke about an array on issue biting the northern states currently. Reaching out mass audiences, Kejriwal said that he would replicate the way of progress he brought in the Delhi to Punjab also. The AAP leader said that he would sweep out corruption from the Punjab. He also said, “After I became the Chief Minister of Delhi, I sent 50 corrupt officers to jail. There has been a considerable change in the state of corruption after AAP government came to force in Delhi. Delhi voted for AAP government because people were tired of corruption. I would urge people of Punjab to put their trust in me and vote for us in majority.”
Kejriwal lashed out at the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal related to the recent corruption cases he has been involved in.
He also spoke about the recent desecration of holy scriptures and said that those who planted the mischief will be sent to jail, if AAP received majority in the northern state. He urged to the people of Punjab to vote for AAP for better governance. He said, “I won 67 seats out of 70 in Delhi and wish to win all 117 seats in Punjab. I need the help of Punjab for this victory that would change the face of Punjab.”
He made promises. Like a crore each for the families of security personnel martyred in the terror attack at the Pathankot air base, after an AAP government is formed in Punjab. He also invoked Guru Gobind Singh and Sikh pride. The hashtag #HopeofPunjabKejriwal, top Twitter trend on Thursday, continued to trend through the day.
Arvind Kejriwal has declared that Punjab is his party’s next stop after the conquest of Delhi last year, shaking up the traditional political dynamics in Punjab, which has seen the Congress and the Akali Dal, along with partner BJP, in a straight contest for years.
The Aam Aadmi Party is pitted against the Congress and the SAD-Akali Dal combine in the state.