It will be Narendra Modi versus Arvind Kejriwal in the 2024 general elections, the AAP claimed Friday seeking to project itself as the principal challenger to the BJP riding on the CBI raid at Manish Sisodia’s residence. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also claimed that Prime Minister Modi is ”rattled” by the ”growing popularity” of Delhi chief minister Kejriwal and his model of governance.
At a press conference here, AAP national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said, ”The way BJP leaders are targeting Arvind Kejriwal since morning, the party has, somewhere or the other, sent out a message across the country that the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will be AAP versus BJP.” He said the CBI raid at Delhi Deuty Chief Minister Sisodia’s residence ”proves” that Prime Minister Modi and his BJP are ”completely rattled” by the ”growing popularity” of Kejriwal and his model of governance. in the country after the party’s landslide victory in Punjab.
”It is going to be Modi versus Kejriwal in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” Singh said. ”I am saying this because as soon as Kejriwal reaches Gujarat and says his party will roll out the Delhi and Punjab model in Gujarat as well, the prime minister goes on an offensive and levels the ‘free revdi’ charge.” After Kejriwal ”exposed” the prime minister by showing how he has ”distributed free revdi to his friends” with his government at the Centre ”writing off their loans worth Rs 10 lakh crore and giving them tax exemption of Rs 5 lakh crore”, Modi put the CBI and ED after the AAP ministers, Singh alleged.
There has been political acrimony over the issue of freebies with the BJP accusing Kejriwal of using it as a ”bait” to trap people for power. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after inaugurating the Bundelkhand Expressway in Uttar Pradesh, cautioned people against what he called the ”revdi culture” of offering freebies for garnering votes and said it is ”very dangerous” for the development of the country.
Modi had used ‘revdi’ as a metaphor for freebies being promised by some parties to woo voters and said the people, especially the youth, should guard against it.
At the press conference, Singh said, ”See the timing of the CBI action against Sisodia. Sisodia’s residence was raided after a story on the revolution brought in by Kejriwal and Sisodia in the education sector in Delhi was published in a prominent newspaper of America.” ”Hence, the series of these incidents prove that the next Lok Sabha will be AAP versus BJP, Modi versus Kejriwal,” he added.
On August 18, The New York Times published a story on the front page of its international edition titled, ‘Our children are worth it’, highlighting the “broader transformation of Delhi’s education system” during the Aam Aadmi Party regime and noting that ”the overhaul of the public schools in the capital of India has students clamouring to enrol”.
Along with the story, The New York Times also published a picture of Sisodia with three girl students of Delhi government schools, with the caption, ”Manish Sisodia, the Delhi education minister, started the overhaul by making surprise visits to schools. Now other states in India are pushing to adopt the Delhi model.” The CBI action comes two days after Kejriwal formally unveiled his Aam Aadmi Party’s national ambition with the launch of ‘Make India No 1’ campaign on Wednesday, saying the country cannot be left to those who have been ruling till now if it has to be developed.
At an event organised at Talkatora stadium here, he proposed a five-point vision for good governance and said he would travel across the country to rally support for the cause.
AAP leader Singh alleged Prime Minister Modi has ”unleashed” CBI and ED on Delhi government ministers to ”defame the party and arrest the growing popularity of Kejriwal and his governance model”.
”But, we will fight. You (PM Modi) will neither be able to stop Kejriwal nor his governance model in the education and health sector. You put our health minister behind the bars and take action against our education minister (Sisodia). Our work will not stop,” he added.