Vote for anyone who can defeat BJP in Guj: Kejriwal

Indicating his keenness to be part of the joint Opposition bandwagon, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday asked people in Gujarat to vote for any candidate who can defeat BJP in the Assembly elections.

Kejriwal’s call came at the National Convention at the Ramlila Maidan where hundreds of party supporters have gathered to celebrate AAP’s fifth anniversary.

“I appeal to the people of Gujarat to vote for such a party or candidate, who is best poised to defeat the BJP. Defeating them is very important,” Kejriwal said.

“If somewhere the AAP is winning, then give your vote for AAP. If any other party is winning, give the vote to them,” he said.

The new stand of Kejriwal assumes significance as his party is contesting around two dozen seats in Gujarat where Congress is leading the Opposition onslaught.

While Opposition party leaders like Yadav and Mamata Banerjee had previously attempted to make Congress amenable to accommodate AAP in a joint Opposition platform, it had refused to budge citing the animosity between the two parties in Delhi and Punjab.

Congress accuse the AAP of being a B-team of BJP and its presence in some constituencies could adversely affect the opposition cause. However, with Kejriwal’s latest could be music to the ears of Opposition but it is to be seen whether Congress will walk the extra-mile when it comes to AAP.

Congress has the support of rebel JD(U) faction led by Sharad Yadav whose sitting MLA Chhotubhai Vasava has significant influence in tribal areas. Though it failed to stitch an alliance with NCP for the first round of polls, Congress is not averse to finding a commonground with Sharad Pawar-led party in the second phase.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Nov 27, 2017)

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