Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday dared the BJP to “get the civic polls in the city held on time” and win it, saying his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will quit politics if so happens.
The BJP is now getting municipal corporation elections in the city cancelled, he alleged and expressed apprehension that the same may be done for the state and national-level elections in the future.
The AAP national convener’s remarks came a day after the Union Cabinet approved a Bill to unify the three civic bodies in Delhi — North, East and South.
“The BJP claims to be the biggest political party in the world, yet it is scared of a small party like AAP and small MCD elections in Delhi.
“I dare the BJP to get the polls held timely and win it. We will leave politics,” Mr Kejriwal said. The BJP is ruling the three corporations in Delhi since 2007.
The chief minister appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with “folded hands”, to protect Constitution and democracy.
“Leaders like you and I don’t matter. This country, its constitution and democracy matter. They must be protected.”
Pulling no punches, he alleged the BJP first “coerced” the State Election Commission to defer elections and was now on track to “delay” them for months through an amendment.
“About deferring the elections, the BJP argued that it wants to unify the three civic bodies. Is this even a valid ground to postpone the polls?” Kejriwal asked.
“The Gujarat elections are up next. Will they now write to the Election Commission asking them to defer Gujarat elections arguing they want to merge the state with Maharashtra? If they feel like losing the Lok Sabha elections, will they tell the EC that they want to establish a presidential system so elections can’t take place?” he asked derisively.
The AAP national convener said there will be no point in having democracy if elections are cancelled as it will make people feel voiceless and suppressed.
“Everyone knows the BJP is facing a crushing defeat in the upcoming MCD elections.
“To save itself from such a humiliation at the hands of the AAP, the BJP first coerced the State Election Commission into deferring the MCD polls. They are now bringing an amendment that shall put away the elections for several months,” Mr Kejriwal charged.
The whole country was observing Shahid Diwas and paying tribute to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Deferring the elections was an “insult to martyrs”, he said.
“Did Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh laid down his life for this day? Did he sacrifice all he had to see a country where a government is so distant from its people that it cancels elections?” he asked.
Mr Kejriwal warned the BJP that the people “will never forgive it for cancelling an election and taking away their basic right of electing representatives”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)