Days ahead of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s October 16 rally in Surat, banners carrying his photographs with Burhan Wani, Hafiz Saeed and Osama bin Laden, terming them ‘heroes of Pakistan’, appeared at different locations across the city on Thursday. While AAP blamed BJP, the saffron party denied it had anything to do with such banners.
Kejriwal had drawn strong criticism for asking the government to provide evidence of the Indian Army’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control against terrorist launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir earlier this month.
“It’s their (BJP’s) handiwork… the miscreants who had earlier targeted our bike rally on October 9 turned out to be associates of BJP president Amit Shah…and now this… clearly shows the party is rattled…,” said AAP’s Gujarat convenor, Gulabsingh Yadav.
Responding to the allegations, state BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said, “It was done not by the BJP but people who love India. It is a border state and people are hurt by the statement made by him… if you question the surgical strike by the Army the people of Gujarat will not tolerate it.”
Mr Kejriwal reaches Gujarat on Friday night for a four-day visit that focuses on Patels, the powerful community that has been loyal to the BJP for years, but now, led by the 23-year-old Hardik Patel, accuses it of betrayal. The Aam Aadmi Party hopes to be the Patels’ new choice in assembly elections next year.