PM Modi Is Scared Of AAP’s Expansion: Ashutosh

PANAJI: A day after Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar disclosed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi assessed from him the impact of Arvind Kejriwal’s public meeting, AAP leader Ashutosh on said PM Modi was “scared” of his party’s expanding footprint.

“This is exactly what we were saying all along. This (fear) is also related to the move to disqualify 21 Delhi AAP MLAs. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is scared of AAP,” he told Press Trust of India.

Mr Parsekar had on Tuesday said that the Prime Minister asked him about the recent public meeting conducted by Delhi Chief Minister and AAP National Convener Arvind Kejriwal in the coastal state and its impact.

“Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) asked me about (the) recent (Arvind) Kejriwal (public) meeting and if (it will have) any future impact…(and) I said…no,” he had told reporters here after returning from New Delhi.

Ashutosh said, “Modi’s inquiry with the Goa CM clearly indicates that he is scared of AAP…the way the party has been spreading across the country, including Punjab and Goa”. AAP has already announced its plan to contest the 2017 Goa Assembly elections.

In his well-attended maiden rally last month, Mr Kejriwal had lashed out at BJP and Congress.

“We have made our mark in Goa. Everyday we are improving our position in Goa. People have decided to reject BJP and Congress party this time (during upcoming polls),” he said.

Mr Kejriwal also criticised the Goa chief minister over reinstatement of the latter’s brother-in-law Dilip Malvankar, who was arrested earlier by ACB under graft charge, in state government service.

“BJP came to power on the promise of zero tolerance towards corruption. But recently Parsekar reinstated his own brother-in-law (Malavankar) who was caught accepting bribe. The people of Goa have decided that they will not have a CM who is openly supporting corruption,” the AAP leader said.

Mr Malvankar, a senior officer at the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), was suspended in August 2015, after the ACB caught him while allegedly accepting bribe of Rs. one lakh for allotment of land in Tuem Industrial Estate.

Amid protests by the Congress, Goa Forward and NCP against the reinstatement, Mr Parsekar has defended the move saying, “law is equal for all and Mr Malvankar’s was one of many such cases where suspended officials are reinstated”.