On the first day of his three-day Gujarat visit, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal left no stone unturned to woo voters across cross-sections. In the run-up to the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections, he held three town halls for autorickshaw drivers, traders and lawyers on September 12. He also unleashed a barrage of jibes at the BJP, alleging horse-trading of legislators.
Addressing the town hall of autorickshaw drivers, Kejriwal spoke about the “misuse of” IPC Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) as an extortion tactic. He promised the drivers that he will give them “freedom from Section 188” in Gujarat if voted to power. “We will end all bribery,” he promised.
“In Delhi, auto drivers deserve huge credit for our election win… they love me. Such is the case in Punjab too. I urge you to spread the message about our work in Gujarat too,” the Delhi chief minister said in Ahmedabad, promising better education for the future generations and subsidised electricity. “Elect us and you would get free units from March 1,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal accepted an autorickshaw driver’s invitation for a dinner at his home in Ahmedabad. The AAP chief was stopped by the police on the way which led to a disagreement. However, he was allowed to travel to the auto driver’s house later.
Addressing a town hall of traders, Kejriwal assured them that if voted to power, he will bring a VAT Amnesty scheme to resolve long-pending issues of VAT refunds. He also promised to work to ease the GST regime in terms of compliance and rates.
Kejriwal said, “There is a need to simplify this… And if you bring us to power in Gujarat, there will be three CMs from AAP and when three CMs raise their voice at the Centre, it strengthens (the airing of grievance). If we form the government, within six months, all your pending GST and VAT refunds will be resolved.” Kejriwal further added the party will stop raids on traders and business persons.
At the last town hall, while addressing lawyers, Kejriwal assured, “We will definitely enact the Advocates’ Protection Act and we will implement it effectively with appropriate police machinery as only a law isn’t enough (to deter attacks on lawyers).”