The absence of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Karnataka in the run-up to the May 10 Assembly elections has disappointed the party cadres. It was also disheartening for the party supporters as they were expecting his presence in the state on May 8 -- the last day of poll campaigning.
The AAP has been trying to make its mark in Karnataka after forming governments in Delhi and Punjab. The party was looking to bag seats in Bengaluru and urban centres in Karnataka.
Some people had even predicted that the AAP would prove to be a formidable opponent to the BJP.
Kejriwal, the man who propelled AAP to power in the Delhi Assembly, and managed to put the party in power in Punjab, was expected to carry out an aggressive election campaign in Karnataka, especially when BJP heavyweights such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah reached almost every corner of the state and carried out an intensified election campaigning.
AAP leaders claimed that "BJP's highhandedness and vindictive politics have restrained and forced Kejriwal from taking up extensive campaigning in Karnataka".
Talking to IANS, Mohan Dasari, AAP Bengaluru City Working President, who is contesting from the C.V. Ramannagar seat in Bengaluru, said "the vendetta politics by the BJP against AAP has restrained Kejriwal from entering the Karnataka election campaign".
"Kejriwal had come in the month of April. The party's national leaders Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann and other ministers of the AAP also visited Karnataka. The elections are being taken seriously. Otherwise, no one would have come," he said.
"Our leader Manish Sisodia is in jail due to false cases. When no excise policy was implemented, where was the corruption?" he questioned.
Dasari further said that Kejriwal showed how government hospitals and mohalla clinics can change the lives of middle class people and the poor class. "Since they were doing good work and the entire country was appreciative, they put these people behind bars with false cases," he said.
"This election is being contested over local issues. People want a change. They were looking at good governance, good hospitals and homes for all, and we are working towards that," Dasari said.
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