Delhi Chief Minister and national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Arvind Kejriwal, said on Monday that AAP will contest on all the 182 seats in the Assembly elections in Gujarat scheduled next year.
Addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad, Kejriwal said, “Our candidates will contest all the Assembly seats in Gujarat.”
This is the second time that Kejriwal has visited Gujarat this year, presumably to expand the party on the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
AAP leaders, both in Gujarat and at the national level, have been claiming that the people of the state are looking at AAP as the main alternative to BJP.
Kejriwal said Gujarat is suffering because of the friendship between the BJP and the Congress.
“The BJP has ruled Gujarat for the last 27 years. I have heard people say that the Congress is in the pocket of the BJP. Both the BJP and the Congress are the same. This must stop,” he said.
The AAP is looking to present itself as a formidable alternative to the Congress in Gujarat and challenge the BJP. The party is trying to fill in the gaps left by the Congress, which has seen setbacks in the recent past with several of its MLAs resigning. The Congress also put up a poor show in the local body polls held in February this year.
The Delhi Chief Minister claimed that the people of Gujarat are ready for an alternative, which the AAP can provide.
Kejriwal, who came to Ahmedabad to inaugurate AAP’s Gujarat state headquarters, also welcomed the induction of popular TV news anchor Isudan Gadhvi into the party on Monday.
“With the entry of AAP, Gujarat is bracing for a change and this process would speed up with Isudan Gadhvi joining the party,” he said.
When asked who will be the face to AAP in Gujarat, Kejriwal said, “The six crore people of Gujarat are the face of AAP. Even in Delhi, its 2 crore people are the face of the party, not Kejriwal. Kejriwal is a small fry, it is the people who are important.”
Kejriwal also brushed aside the notion of projecting the Delhi model in AAP’s campaign in Gujarat.
“Every state has its own different set of problems and aspirations. So Gujarat will have a model of its own, which is not based on the Delhi model,” he said.
TV actress Kamya Panjabi joins Congress in Mumbai
The Congress got a fresh dose of glamour with well-known television actress Kamya Panjabi joining the party here on Wednesday.
Mumbai Congress President Bhai Jagtap and other leaders like Charan Singh Sapra welcomed Panjabi to the party fold.
Shooting to popularity with her appearance in the reality show “Bigg Boss-7” (2013), Panjabi has been working in the entertainment industry for over two decades and had expressed a desire to join politics and serve the masses.
Congress activist Niraj Bhatia and other leaders shared pictures of her joining the party on the social media.
Kamya, 42, has worked in several teleserials including “Banoo Main Teri Dulhann”, “Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak”, “Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki”, “Rethi”, Astitva… Ek Prem Kahani”, “Piya Ka Ghar”, and “Kyun Hota Hai Pyaar”.
Besides, she has acted in Bollywood films like “Na Tum Jaano Na Hum”, “Yaadein”, “Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani”, “Koi.. Mil Gaya”, and music videos like “Mehndi Mehndi” and a play “Pajama Party”
Amarinder to meet Shah on farmers’ stir
Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will lead a non-political delegation of agricultural experts to meet the Union Home Minister to discuss possible solutions to the ongoing farmers’ agitation on Thursday.
Disclosing this here on Wednesday, Amarinder Singh, who announced to float a new political party with seat sharing with parties, including the BJP, said he had been discussing various options with Home Minister Amit Shah, whom he will be meeting in Delhi again on Thursday, and others.
“I think I can help in finding a solution as I have been the Chief Minister of Punjab and am also an agriculturist,” Amarinder Singh told a press conference.
While there could be no pre-decided formula for resolution of the farmers’ stir, something will emerge during the talks as both sides — the Central government and farmers — want a resolution to the crisis triggered by the farm laws, he said.
Making it clear that he had not met any farmer leaders, the former Chief Minister said he had deliberately not interfered in the matter as the farmers did not want politicians involved.
The farmer leaders had four inconclusive meetings with the Centre but back channel talks have been going on, he added.
Amarinder Singh had earlier said any seat arrangement he made with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be subject to a resolution of the farmers’ issue in their interest.
TN CM announces Rs 5L as relief to kin of victims killed in fire
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced a financial compensation of Rs five lakh to the family of all five persons killed due to an alleged fire in a firecracker shop in Kallakurichi district.
Eight others were reportedly injured in the incident, which occurred on Tuesday evening and are in a serious condition.
Stalin announced a relief of Rs one lakh to the injured persons admitted in the Kallakurichi government hospital.
The deceased victims include Khaleed (23), Shah Alam (25), Shaikh Basheer (67) and Ayyasamy (62). The police said it is yet to identify the fifth deceased victim.
Police sources told IANS that the mishap occurred due to a short circuit in an electric line and further investigation is on to ascertain the exact cause. A grocery shop was allegedly converted into a firecracker shop ahead of Diwali and was doing brisk business when the incident occurred.
The whole building was engulfed in fire and the police and fire personnel from Sankarapuram and Kallakurichi arrived at the spot to douse the fire.
Kallakurichi District Collector, P.N. Sridhar told media that the fire was doused after nearly three hours of intense efforts by the team of fire personnel and the police units that rushed to the spot.
The team cordoned off the area and started rescue operations as well as saved the grievously injured from the fire engulfed building.
State Minister, E.V. Velu reached the spot and visited the injured persons at the Kallakurichi government hospital on the same day of the incident.
The police said further investigation is on and whether the grocery shop that was converted into a firecracker shop had the mandatory license to conduct business. Whether the shop had the precautionary measures required to conduct a firecracker business, the police added.
The state government had issued warnings to the people and the firecracker manufacturers and traders to be safe during the Diwali season.
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