CHANDIGARH: Buoyed by its landslide victory in Punjab and trying to make inroads into Himachal Pradesh just months before the assembly elections (November 2022) in the hill state, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal along with his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann held a roadshow in Mandi today in which Kejriwal said, "Just give us one chance."
Amid slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai, Inquilab Zindabad and Jo Bole So Nihaal, addressing the roadshow Kejriwal said, "We are common people, we do not know how to do politics. Instead, we know how to work for people build schools and end corruption. We have ended corruption in just 20 days in Punjab since Bhagwant Mann became the chief minister. Now 'kranti' should happen in Himachal Pradesh too. 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 vote us out,’’ and further claimed that AAP will weed out corruption from Himachal Pradesh if it comes to power.
Kejriwal accused BJP and Congress of promoting dynastic politics and further said AAP is a party of the common man with development being the sole objective. "AAP has undertaken development in Delhi and will do the same now in Punjab and bring the same development in Himachal and Punjab as in Delhi," he added.
"Thank you for the grand welcome. Today, the whole town is soaked in patriotic fervor. Just give us one chance,” he reiterated.
Bhagwant Mann accused the Congress and the BJP of promoting family politics. "AAP promotes common man in politics to end corruption and ensure the development of people,’’ said Mann.
The `Tiranga Yatra’ from Victoria Bridge to Seri Manch in Mandi marked the entry of AAP in the political spectrum of the hill state with supporters waving the tricolor and the song ‘Mera Rang de Basanti Chola’ being played.
To begin its poll campaign AAP chose the home turf of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur as the gathering was impressive, indicating people’s fascination with Kejriwal and his development model of Delhi besides also reflecting the mood of the public in the hill state. The party has already made its intentions clear that it will be contesting all the 68 assembly seats in the state in the polls due later this year. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, three out of its four candidates had forfeited their security deposit. The party did not take part in the 2017 assembly polls but might contest the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections scheduled in May or June this year.
Some twenty-five activists of Hindu Jagran Manch and Dev Sena of Himachal were detained by the Himachal Pradesh Police as they protested against Kejriwal.
Two days ago, these organizations had threatened to oppose the roadshow over Kejriwal’s statement on Kashmir files.