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EXCLUSIVE | ‘What Else Will I Do If Not Hindutva’: Kejriwal on Being Hindu, Gujarat Campaign, AAP’s Fate

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said he did not exclusively ask for votes in the name of Hindutva and had appealed to the people of Gujarat to vote for the Aam Aadmi Party and not the Congress or the BJP.

In an exclusive interview to News18, Kejriwal spoke about the AAP’s strategy and other issues ranging from the Gujarat assembly elections to the MCD polls. On allegations that he was taking the “BJP’s Hindutva route” during his campaign in Gujarat, Kejriwal said, “I am a Hindu, what else will I do if not Hindutva?”

Referring to the controversy regarding his statement about Lakshmi and Ganesha on Indian currency, the AAP national convener said pictures of the Hindu deities should be on the notes but only the BJP had opposed it.

“No matter how hard you work, if you don’t have the blessings of the Almighty then there will be no results. If we have pictures of Lakshmi and Ganesha on currency notes, then we’ll be blessed by the Almighty. If we’re blessed, then our hard work will show results. But the moment I said this, the BJP started cursing us. Only the BJP opposed this, no one else did. I don’t understand what the issue is. Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country, but it is printing Ganesha on its currency; no one opposes it there,” he said.

He added: “I have appealed to the people of Gujarat to cast their vote for the AAP, not the Congress or BJP. I do not just ask for votes in the name of Hindutva. People have high hopes for the AAP, and I am a patriotic citizen capable of making a nationwide transformation when it comes to schools and hospitals. I can provide mohalla clinics in every part of the country.”

Kejriwal dismissed criticism with regard to the AAP governments in Delhi and Punjab, and said his party was all set to form the government in Gujarat. But he rejected the idea of an AAP win in Himachal Pradesh. In Gujarat, the Delhi CM said, the party was hopeful of winning 92 seats.

“Every election is challenging, targets have been set by voters. We are set to form the government in Gujarat; earlier surveys predicted different outcomes for Delhi and Punjab too, but we still formed the government,” he said, adding that even in the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the AAP was hopeful of winning over 230 seats.

Talking about “vendetta politics”, Kejriwal said most of his MLAs were falsely implicated in cases. He added that the public wanted work to be done, not negative politics.

“I have studied papers, and the case against Satyendra Jain is fake. They have implicated most of my MLAs in cases. They alleged that Manish Sisodia was the kingpin in the liquor policy case but his name is not mentioned in the chargesheet. (Satyendra) Jain could not get bail as ED proceedings are complicated. This is the dirty face of politics. People want work, not negative politics. We will win in Delhi and Gujarat both,” Kejriwal said.

Hitting out at the BJP and Congress, Kejriwal said workers from the saffron party had attempted to sabotage his election campaign in Gujarat while people had lost faith in the grand old party as no one had any expectations from it.

He said the elections in Gujarat were different from those in Goa and Uttarakhand, where the AAP had failed to make a mark. “The culture of people is different here but the problem is the country – issues like inflation and unemployment are the same all over and people have faith that the AAP can solve it. Only the results will reveal the winner. We too are working hard like the others,” he added.

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