Apparently buoyed by an impressive crowd at his first public meeting in Varanasi on Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal challenged the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to an ‘open debate’ as he tore into the latter’s claims of development in Gujarat.
Besides confirming that Kejriwal would be contesting against Modi, his much-publicised visit to the temple town was marked by high drama, due to vociferous protests by BJP workers, who allegedly threw eggs and ink at his cavalcade.
Kejriwal declared to a thunderous applause that he would contest against Modi.
“I will contest against Modi from Varanasi,” he announced after the crowd nodded in agreement to his question on whether he should contest from Varanasi.
The AAP leader took Modi on for his claims of development in Gujarat and said that it was nothing but a lie.
“Modi does not speak to the people... he simply flies down by chopper and leaves... why does he not speak to the people... it means he is hiding something,” Kejriwal said.
He also asked the people to campaign for him in Varanasi and for his fellow partyman Kumar Vishwas, who is contesting from Amethi against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.
He also said that Modi had brought together corrupt people in a bid to get majority in the polls and added that Modi was able to win Gujarat three consecutive times as he had no opposition there.
The AAP leader briefly stopped after hearing the ‘azan’ (signaling beginning of namaz) in an apparent bid to strike a chord with the audience, which included many Muslims.
Kejriwal arrived in Varanasi from Delhi by train and held a roadshow in different localities.