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Rahul to blame if BJP comes back to power: Kejriwal

Source: PTI
April 25, 2019 20:37 IST

IMAGE: Aam Aadmi Party president and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with party leaders Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai and others release AAP's election manifesto for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, in New Delhi, on Thursday. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be the only person responsible if the Bharatiya Janata Party comes back to power, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said as he slammed the Gandhi scion days after both the parties failed to form an alliance in Delhi for the Lok Sabha elections.

He was speaking at the launch of party's manifesto in which the Aam Aadmi Party promised 85 per cent reservation in colleges and jobs for the people of the national capital.

Kejriwal said the AAP would not have 'dreamt' of forming an alliance with the Congress but agreed to save the country.

 

"I can say that we tried our best to form an alliance with Congress and if the BJP comes back to power, only one person would be responsible for it and that would be Rahul Gandhi," he said.

Kejriwal hit out at Gandhi, asking him which alliance is formed on Twitter.

"I want to ask Rahul Gandhi which alliance is formed on Twitter. If they were serious about forming an alliance they should have come to the table for negotiations.

"Giving statements in public is not going to solve the problem," he said.

On Gandhi's comment that he would try till the last moment that an alliance is formed with the AAP in Delhi, Kejriwal said, "This is posturing. They don't have an intention".

On the seat sharing arrangement proposed by the Congress, Kejriwal said giving three seats to Congress would mean losing all those seats.

"The Congress cannot win in Delhi. If Congress was in a position to win Delhi then I was ready to leave all seven seats for Congress but an alliance of 4:3 with Congress would be with like forming an alliance with BJP.

"My conscience does not allow me to give three seats to BJP," Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal said the Congress is not getting a single Hindu vote while the Muslims are a little confused.

"The Congress is trying to weaken the opposition in different states - whether it is Kerala, Haryana, Goa West Bengal or UP, but I hope people from all religions who want to save the country would unite and vote for the AAP," he said.

Kejriwal claimed that they agreed to all the seat sharing arrangements put forward by the Congress but at the last moment they (the Congress) backtracked and said there could be no alliance anywhere except Delhi.

"They used to come out with some conditions on seat sharing, we used to agree to conditions then they would backtrack.

"(Senior AAP leader) Sanjay Singh was called last Tuesday by Ghulam Nabi Azad and they agreed on alliance on 18 seats but the next morning we kept waiting, kept calling and in the evening the Congress again changed their conditions in Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi," he said.

The Delhi chief minister claimed his party again agreed to a seat sharing arrangement proposed by them but then next day they again said that the alliance can be done only in Delhi.

"They put out conditions which were very difficult for me," he said.

He said the seven seats of Delhi this time would make a difference in formation of government.

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Full statehood main theme of AAP manifesto

The AAP came out with its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election based on the central theme of full statehood, promising 85 per cent reservation in colleges and jobs for the people of the national capital.

The manifesto, released by Kejriwal, has been divided into two sections -- one about what the party did without full statehood and what they will do in if it is granted.

The manifesto, featuring Kejriwal's photograph on the front page, focused on 12 areas of education, health, women safety, police reforms, zero corruption, jobs, land and housing, protection from sealing, cleanliness, pollution, transport and Yamuna rejuvenation.

It also promises reservation in sectors such as education and government jobs and focuses on the demand of statehood for the national capital.

"We will secure 85 per cent of the seats of Delhi colleges for residents of the city. Sixty-five per cent jobs of the region similarly will be secured for locals," Kejriwal said.

Apart from Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, senior party leader Gopal Rai and Sanjay Singh and all seven candidates were also present at the unveiling of the poll document for the Lok Sabha election.

Voting will be held in a single phase on May 12 in Delhi.

Kejriwal said that the BJP in the 2014 parliamentary polls had promised statehood for Delhi but they did not fulfill it.

He further alleged that the Delhi residents were being treated like 'second class citizens'.

The manifesto also rejected the argument that Delhi cannot be granted full statehood as New Delhi is the national capital.

"A simple comparison of powers of the Delhi government and that of the local city governments of national capitals around the world makes it clear that India has the most regressive form of governance for its national capital," the document said.

It has a chart that gives a comparison between Delhi and London, Berlin, Moscow, Mexico City, Ottawa and Washington City, and how all the other national capitals has power over local police, appointment and transfer of officials, land and city planning, housing, traffic and transport planning and control over local bodies while Delhi has none of it.

The manifesto also highlights the history of the struggle for full statehood.

It accused the BJP and the Congress of avoiding the question of full statehood for Delhi.

Both the parties' reason, the manifesto said, was that they do not have their government in the Delhi.

The truth is that there have been opportunities when they had their governments both at the Centre and in Delhi, it said.

"Even today, the stance of the BJP and the Congress has not been favourable towards granting full statehood to Delhi," the manifesto said.

Kejriwal said Delhi police is overworked and posts are lying vacant in the force.

"If Delhi gets statehood, we will fill those vacancies and the police will be accountable to the people, so that women will be protected," he said.

"Any government formed other than Modi-Shah, any other government believing in secularism, whether it is a single party or a 'mahagathbandan', will have the support of the AAP," the Delhi chief minister said.

"In return of that support, we would expect them to help us in our agenda of full statehood," he said.

The AAP is fielding Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk, Atishi from East Delhi, Gugan Singh from North West Delhi, Raghav Chadha from South Delhi, Dilip Pandey from North East Delhi, Balbir Singh Jakhar from West Delhi and Brajesh Goel from New Delhi.

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