“Those Doing Business Of Dreams Will Not Succeed In Gujarat”: Amit Shah Slams Kejriwal

Amit Shah

Mr. Amit Shah had said if the BJP comes to power they will bring back black money worth 15 lakhs in each citizen’s account. 

Ahmedabad: Campaigning in poll-bound Gujarat is in full swing. Hitting out at the AAP Union Home Minister Amit Shah said “Those doing the business of dreams will not succeed in Gujarat,” at which AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal hit back responding “Yes, he is absolutely right. Do not, at all, trust those who said they’ll give your ₹ 15 lakh each by bringing back black money,” Mr. Kejriwal was referring to a statement that PM Modi had made during the 2014 general elections.

PM Narendra Modi  had said if the BJP comes to power they will bring back black money worth 15 lakhs in each citizen’s account.

Mr. Shah who was addressing virtually was speaking from Delhi via video call to inaugurate some projects in his Lok Sabha constituency, Gandhinagar. He said the BJP will not only retain power in his home state in the polls due in December but will get “a thumping majority”.

When the AAP supremo was asked about Ahmedabad, he said, “I agree that people should not trust those who sell false dreams… Instead, trust those who have already made electricity free in Delhi and Punjab, and will make it free in Gujarat too.”

The back-and-forth is the latest in a larger debate over subsidies or “freebies” that the BJP opposes. The AAP, as well as several other parties, see welfare schemes as essential to “people-friendly” governance.

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Mr. Shah claimed Gujarat is on the BJP’s side, “I know the people of Gujarat well enough; they recognize people for their work. And those who actually work are with the BJP.” The party has ruled Gujarat continually since before the turn of the century and was a launch pad for PM Narendra Modi, who was chief minister for 12 years. ”

“Our victory is a foregone conclusion,”  Amit Shah said. Mr. Kejriwal stuck to sarcasm,

“The BJP is dreaming. I am surprised that Amit Shah is speaking against his own party. He is saying ‘don’t trust dream sellers’.”

“So, whoever comes and says they will deposit ₹ 15 lakh in your bank account, do not trust them at all,” he said, referring to Narendra Modi’s pre-2014 poll promise.

The HM a couple of years in an interview justified the statement by saying that the  promise was a “jumla” (figure of speech), “to actually mean that enough money can be brought back to spend ₹ 15 lakh per person on development”. But nuance, if any, was lost and the word “jumla” stuck — ammunition that opposition parties continue to use.

For the AAP, Gujarat is its next big project after starting 2022 on a winning note in Punjab, where it formed its second state government after Delhi just six months ago. It had attempted to make a dent in Gujarat in 2017, too, but failed miserably. It had performed well below expectations in Punjab then. This time, it’ll hope to carry the Punjab momentum into Gujarat.

On Monday, Mr. Kejriwal was stopped by the police citing security concerns while he was on his way to an auto-rickshaw driver’s house in Ahmedabad on Monday. Kejriwal, who was on a two-day visit to poll-bound Gujarat, was traveling in an auto-rickshaw when he was stopped. However, after a heated exchange an officer accompanied Mr. Kejriwal to the auto driver’s residence and he along with AAP Gujarat leaders had dinner at his home.

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