Mandi, April 6
Making its intentions clear of making inroads into Himachal, the AAP virtually kick-started its election campaign with a roadshow of its two Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann.
“We do not know how to do politics but we certainly know how to open schools and wipe off corruption,” said Kejriwal in his trademark style. He said AAP has undertaken development in Delhi and will do the same now in Punjab.
“You have given 30 years to Congress and 17 years to BJP to rule the State, all they did was loot Himachal. Just give me five years. If you are not satisfied, you can change us,” he urged the cheering crowd while addressing them from an open jeep.
Accusing BJP and Congress of promoting dynastic politics, he said AAP is a party of the common man with development being the sole objective.
“Ki haal hain Mandi waleyon? (How are you, Mandi people) I have performed several times here during Shivratri festival,” said Bhagwant Mann to the gathering. Slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai, Inquilab Zindabad and Jo Bole So Nihaal, rent the air.
Kejriwal said he will bring the same development in Himachal and Punjab as in Delhi.
“Thank you for the grand welcome. Today, the whole town is soaked in the patriotic fervor. ‘Bus ek mauka de do’ (Just give us one chance),” he said to the crowd.
The roadshow with the song ‘Mera Rang de Basanti Chola,’ took place from Victoria Bridge to Seri Manch, where a public meeting was held. The rally termed as ‘Tiranga Yatra’, marked the entry of AAP on the state’s political spectrum with supporters waiving the tricolor.
Even though, no big face from the BJP or Congress joined the AAP on the occasion but the gathering on the home turf of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here was impressive, indicating people’s fascination with Kejriwal and his Delhi development model.
Despite the two CM’s arrival over an hour late than the scheduled time, party workers and the public waited in the scorching heat to listen to the Delhi CM.
AAP has already made its intentions clear of contesting the polls in Himachal, due later this year by fielding candidates from all the 68 assembly segments.
The past experiment of the AAP of providing an alternate to the Congress and the BJP had failed miserably in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when three of its four candidates had forfeited their security deposit.
The party did not take part in the 2017 Assembly polls but wants to make a beginning by trying its luck in the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections, due in May-June later this year.
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