Mandi, April 6
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) kickstarted its election campaign here today with a roadshow where its two Chief Ministers, Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann, sought at least one chance from the people as compared to 30 years of Congress and 17 years of the BJP rule.
“Our biggest weakness is that we do not know how to do politics but we certainly know how to undertake development, be it opening of schools and wiping out corruption,” said Kejriwal in his trademark style on the home turf of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. He said AAP had undertaken development in Delhi and would do the same now in Punjab, where corruption had been wiped out within 20 days.
“You have given 30 years to the Congress and 17 years to the BJP in Himachal. Just give me five years. If you are not satisfied, you can change us,” he urged the cheering crowds while addressing them from an open jeep at Seri Manch.
“Thank you for the grand welcome. Today, the whole town is soaked in patriotic fervour. Bus ek mauka de do”, said Kejriwal. The roadshow, with the fluttering Tricolour and the song “Mera Rang de Basanti Chola” playing, lasted barely an hour.
Kejriwal asked people to confirm from their relatives or friends living in Delhi or Punjab if there was corruption in any government office there. He said nobody in a police station, any tehsildar or registrar could dare demand bribes. “When we have put an end to corruption in Punjab in 20 days, why they could not do it in 75 years. This is because earlier money used to go right up to the Chief Minister, but now you have an honest Chief Minister,” said Kejriwal.
He said he was confident that Himachal would break Delhi and Punjab records and give the maximum seats to AAP in the Assembly elections.
While no prominent leader from the BJP or Congress joined AAP, the gathering was impressive, indicating people’s fascination for Kejriwal.