Surat: Thousands thronged to the Aam Aadmi Party supremo’s rally in the Patel-stronghold regions of Unjha and Mehsana and in the diamond-polishing city of Surat.
According to police sources in Surat, Kejriwal’s rally drew a good response because of the backing of Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and its activists.
A huge crowd of AAP supporters, including women, held placards welcoming Kejriwal on his four-day trip to Gujarat. Some tried to present him bouquets.
There were also anti-Kejriwal slogans where only a handful of protesters waving black flags and breaking black earthen pots, dubbed Kejriwal as “pro-Pakistan” and asked him to leave Surat.
Arvind Kejriwal also met family members of a Mohammad Ayub, who was allegedly killed by cow vigilantes on the suspicion of carrying a calf for slaughter.
Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced that the AAP will contest the next assembly election in Gujarat and asked the people to “throw out (BJP President) Amit Shah” who he said was running the state by proxy.
“Amit Shah has thrown an open challenge to the people of Gujarat that he will run the state whichever way he wants and no one can do anything about it,” Kejriwal thundered at a huge rally at Yogi Chowk.
The Delhi CM said the ruling BJP had acquired a tendency to crush all voices of dissent in Gujarat, adding he was shocked at how Patidar protesters were killed in police firing last year.
Using the phrase “aam aadmi” (common man) for the Aam Aadmi Party, Kejriwal said that the “aam aadmi” would take on both the Congress and the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) next year.
Alleging that Gujarat was being run by Amit Shah, a former Gujarat Home Minister and a confidant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he appealed to the people to “oust” the BJP chief.
“Are you ready to fight the elections, win and throw out Amit Shah? The next Gujarat election will not be an election but a revolution,” he added to wild cheers. “It will be Amit Shah versus the people of Gujarat.”
Sunday’s rally was the high point of Kejriwal’s visit to Gujarat.
(With PTI, IANS Inputs.)