The Congress won the Karnataka assembly elections by promising free electricity, free ration and unemployment allowance in its poll manifesto, taking cue from the Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday.
He said the AAP has succeeded in its efforts to bring some change in the country’s political discourse as other parties are also now seeking votes on issues like education and health.
He was addressing AAP leaders who won seats in just-concluded Uttar Pradesh local body elections.
“The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has tried to change the narrative of the country’s politics. If you look at Karnataka polls, the Congress party has won on our manifesto,” Kejriwal said.
“We said we will provide free electricity, they (Congress) also said so. We said we will provide unemployment allowance, free ration, and Rs 1,000 (per moth to women, They also said so,” he said.
The BJP is also now making such promises, he said, adding, political parties earlier used to seek vote on the basis of caste and religion.
The AAP won three Nagar Palika chairperson seats, six Nagar Panchayat chairperson seats and six Nagar Nigam councillor seats besides several wards in the urban local body polls that were held in Uttar Pradesh in two phases — on May 4 and May 11.
More than half of the AAP’s victorious candidates belonged to the minority community, according to the poll results available on the state election commission’s website.
Kejriwal congratulated the AAP’s Uttar Pradesh unit leaders, saying it was a “difficult” election as the state is considered a BJP stronghold. “You worked hard and defeated the BJP, the SP and other parties.” Kejriwal said the AAP leaders’ victory in several seats in the local body elections is an indication that people of Uttar Pradesh “are ready for change”. “They want good governance and development in the state,” he added.
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He said the AAP will now focus on expanding its foothold in Uttar Pradesh and contest the next assembly polls with full strength.
“We will build our organisation with the help of Sandeep Pathak (AAP national organisation secretary). We will form active committees of 10 members in every village and booth. Once our organisation is built in Uttar Pradesh, no one can stop us,” he said. Kejriwal asked the elected representatives to work for the people in various sectors like health and education so that the AAP is strengthened in the state.
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“All of you have got more responsibility now… If you do good work in Uttar PRadesh that fragrance will spread across the state. We will get an entry in Uttar Pradesh through you,” he added.