In a significant development on Saturday, Gujarat BJP MLA, Nalin Kotadiya, reportedly met Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal in Gujarat, where the latter is on a visit to the state.
According to sources, Kotadiya held talks with Kejriwal at Rajkot Circuit House. One close aide of AAP leader said that the BJP MLA may join AAP soon.
If indeed this happens, this will be the first big jolt to the ruling BJP in the state, where it has been in power for nearly 15 years.
One AAP leader accompanying Kejriwal claimed that many BJP and Congress MLAs particularly from north Gujarat were in touch Kejriwal.
Among the BJP MLAs are predominantly those belonging to Patidar community, which hs been agitating over reservation.
Patidars were believed to have thought of forming their own political outfit ahead of next year’s elections, but are now seriously considering joining AAP in a bid to oust the BJP government.
Kejriwal, who hasn’t made up his mind over whether to contest elections in Gujarat, may take a call after measuring the level of support he receives these MLAs.
Meanwhile, kickstarting AAP’s campaign for the 2017 Gujarat assembly polls, Kejriwal today asked the people to get rid of “hooligans” and “corrupt” persons.
Kejriwal, who is on a day-long visit to the state, visited the famous Somnath temple here and sought blessings of Lord Shiva. Thereafter, while addressing a gathering of farmers on the outskirts of Somnath city, he targeted the BJP governments at the Centre and the state.
“We will have to fight these goondas (hooligans). These goondas do not understand without a fight…Now, media will say that Kejriwal’s language is bad. But you need to tell a goonda that he is a goonda,” he said.
“These media-persons are asking me if I will fight the elections in Gujarat. I say that we are very small people and do not have the capacity to fight elections. It is for the people of Gujarat to decide whether we should fight elections here,” Kejriwal said.
He went on to ask the gathering if we should fight the elections to which those present answered in the affirmative.
Reacting to that, Kejriwal said, “If you want me to fight, you will have to give money, you will have to go to each house and seek votes. We will together teach a lesson to these corrupt people,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal’s scheduled visit to Surat tomorrow had to be cancelled after a trade body, which had invited him, withdrew its invitation, following which the AAP had alleged that this was at the behest of state BJP government.
The AAP leader accused Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel of getting the Surat programme cancelled.
“My original programme of Gujarat was of two days.
Today we were to visit Somnath and tomorrow we had meeting scheduled in Surat. But Anandibenji put undue pressure on businessmen in Surat and got our programme cancelled. I don’t know why Anandibenji is afraid of me,” Kejriwal said.
“Anandiben can stop my meeting of Surat. But she cannot stop my meeting with Lord Shiva, so I decided to come to Gujarat for a meeting with Lord Shiva here,” he said.
Like in Delhi, they are using the police to suppress the voice of those who are against them. In their view, only those who follow the ideology of BJP are patriots while all other are anti-nationals, he said.