AHMEDABAD: Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal’s meetings with businessmen during his visits to Saurashtra have raised some heckles among the BJP leadership here. In the past week, Kejriwal has held three ‘town hall’ meetings, one each in Rajkot, Veraval and Jamnagar. On Saturday, he alleged in Jamnagar that the BJP leaders have threatened traders not to attend the AAP’s events. The AAP also revealed an audio tape in which a businessman is heard saying that he was asked by GST officials to visit their office instead of going to AAP’s programme.
While interacting with industrialists, Kejriwal said, “If I am coming to meet the traders in Jamnagar, they are being intimidated. Am I a terrorist? I invite Gujarat chief minister to come to Delhi. We will not threaten anyone. Why does the BJP ban the exchange of good things?”Some businessmen in Rajkot and Veraval had also said that they were stopped from attending Kejriwal’s events.
“We had received calls from BJP leaders asking what happened there, and what we did, etc. Local BJP leaders told many of us not to attend the AAP event. Those who could resist such pulls, attended,” a businessman who attended AAP’s event said on the condition of anonymity. As per sources, the issue also came up in a meeting of the Rajkot Chamber of Commerce that was held after Kejriwal’s function in Rajkot, wherein the vice president asked traders why they didn’t raise their concerns before the Chamber instead of going to the event.
Denying the allegations, BJP Rajkot spokesperson Raju Dhruv said, “We have never stopped any opposition party from holding a meeting in Gujarat. We are not stopping anyone. The Congress has also held similar events here. If we want to stop any event, no one can hold any programme.” He added: “The people of Gujarat trust only the BJP for providing a strong and stable government.”