Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday promised Rs 40 per day for the upkeep of every cow in Gujarat and a shelter home for non-milching cattle in every district of the state if the Aam Aadmi Party is voted to power.
Kejriwal's announcement is a renewed push to counter the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat and attract Hindu voters, as per political experts.
The Aam Aadmi Party national convener also claimed that the BJP and opposition Congress have united to "cut into the AAP votes" as according to an "IB report", his party will form the next government in the state.
"In Delhi, we give Rs 40 per cow per day. The Delhi government gives Rs 20 and another Rs 20 is given by the municipal corporation. If the AAP is voted to power in Gujarat, then we will provide Rs 40 per cow per day for their upkeep," Kejriwal said at a press conference in Rajkot.
Panjrapole (shelters homes for cattle) will be constructed in every district for non-milching cows and those roaming on roads, Kejriwal said and also assured that the AAP government will take all necessary steps for the benefit of cows in the state.
His announcement has come at a time when panjrapole owners have been protesting against the Gujarat government over its alleged failure to release a package as promised for the shelter homes.
Asked about an auto-rickshaw driver in Ahmedabad, at whose house Kejriwal had dinner, supporting the BJP, the AAP convener said he does not discriminate against people on the basis of which party they support.
"Whether they are from the Congress or BJP, they all invite me for dinner. I visit them without considering which party they vote for. They can vote for any party they like. If you call me for a meal, I will not ask you which party you vote for," he said.
Kejriwal said if voted to power, the AAP will work for all people without discrimination on the basis of political party they belong to.
He claimed that the BJP and the Congress have come together in Gujarat in their bid to defeat AAP, and that the Congress has been given a task to "eat into the AAP's votes".
Kejriwal claimed a source told him about an "IB report" as per which, if the Gujarat Assembly elections are held today, the AAP will form government in the state, but by a thin margin.
"Ever since the report has come, both these parties have united. They are conducting secret meetings, and the BJP has freaked out. Both the parties are using the same language to abuse the AAP," he claimed.
He further said the BJP was trying to "strengthen the Congress to divide the anti-BJP vote".
"The Congress has been given the responsibility to break AAP votes. Some Congress leaders wanted to join the BJP, but the BJP asked them to stay in the Congress so as not to weaken it further," he claimed.
Kejriwal also claimed the Congress will not win win more than 10 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, and they (winning Congress leaders) will also join the BJP.
" It is futile to vote for the Congress and not in the interest of Gujarat. All those who are upset with the BJP should vote for the AAP. I appeal to the people to push hard to break the Delhi and Punjab record (of AAP's victory in those states)," he said.
Kejriwal further claimed that "Congress MLAs are in the BJP's pocket".
"BJP buys as many Congress MLAs as it needs and keeps others in stock. As we can see all over the country, they have made a joint strategy to defeat AAP," the Delhi CM claimed.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who was present at the press conference, claimed the BJP was adopting the same strategy in Punjab.
Kejriwal also claimed that an announcement of Rs 20,000-crore package by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was going to benefit contractors and ministers, but the public would not get anything,
"The public wants better education, jobs, reduction in cost of electricity and water and relief from inflation. We have done this in Delhi and Punjab, and will also do it in Gujarat," he said.