Kejriwal to kick-start Gujarat poll campaign on March 26

Ahmedabad, March 6 (IANS) The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will officially kick-start its campaign for the Gujarat assembly elections — slated to be held in December — with an ‘azadi’ rally by party supremo Arvind Kejriwal in state capital Gandhinagar on March 26.

AAP leader Gopal Rai, in charge of the party’s poll organisatijon in Gujarat, said on Monday that the party will organise ‘azadi’ rallies in all 182 constituencies from March 16, which will culminate with the March 26 rally.

The party has already announced it will contest all 182 assembly seats in Gujarat.

The Delhi Chief Minister will formally launch the party’s campaign, Rai said. “We want the people to be free of the fear of (BJP President) Amit Shah’s gang and that of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Gujarat,” he added.

He said party volunteers will collect memorandums from all constituencies during their rallies and present them to Kejriwal in Gandhinagar.

“Earlier, we were to submit these to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, but looking at the ruling party’s stance vis-a-vis farmers, women’s safety and other issues, we have decided to boycott the Chief Minister. These memorandums will now be submitted to Kejriwal with a request to make them a part of the AAP manifesto,” Rai said.

The AAP on Monday also announced the return of suspended former convener Sukhdev Patel to the party as a member of the manifesto draft committee.

An education activist and AAP member since its formation at the national level, Patel was made party convener for Gujarat but was later suspended for three years in 2015. This led to departure of several prominent rights activists of Gujarat from the AAP.

“The past is behind us. Sukhdev Bhai may not have been part of our organisation but has always been ideologically with us,” Rai said.