How does Kejriwal explain journey from IAC to INDIA alliance, asks Goa CM Sawant | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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How does Kejriwal explain journey from IAC to INDIA alliance, asks Goa CM Sawant

May 21, 2024 07:09 PM IST

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant, who is in Delhi to campaign for the May 25 election, asked how does Arvind Kejriwal explain his journey from India Against Corruption to INDIA alliance

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image and popularity among electors helps the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) overcome challenges such as anti-incumbency against candidates, social equations and caste factors, Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday.

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant campaigns for BJP candidate from the West Delhi seat, Kamaljeet Sehrawat, for the Lok Sabha polls at Sagarpur on Monday. (PTI)
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant campaigns for BJP candidate from the West Delhi seat, Kamaljeet Sehrawat, for the Lok Sabha polls at Sagarpur on Monday. (PTI)

Sawant, who has been the party’s star campaigner in a clutch of states such as Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Maharashtra, said while the challenges on the ground in each of these states varied, the positive sentiment on the ground for Modi will eventually overcome these impediments.

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“When people say there is anger against the candidate or the incumbent, that sentiment is restricted mostly to the supporters. At the end of the day, when the voters go to vote, they see only Modi and they vote for him,” said Sawant, who is in Delhi to campaign for the May 25 election.

In a broadside against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, he said the Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader should explain how he agreed to an alliance with a party he fought against. “This is the man who started India against corruption and went after the Congress government and the then CM Sheila Dikshit. Today he is part of the INDIA alliance. How does he explain the journey from India Against Corruption to INDIA alliance,” he said.

Sawant who has been attending public meetings in the national capital said the opposition’s alliance is “no match for the Modi factor” and the voters are demanding to know why a party whose genesis is traced to the anti-corruption movement, drafted a flawed excise policy that was “steeped in corruption.”

“On the ground voters of the AAP and the Congress are not convinced about the alliance. There is nothing to suggest that the supporters of the respective parties will vote for the other...” he said.

The “Modi factor”, he said, has been able to boost the party’s social engineering formula and counter polarisation of the minority vote against the BJP.

“On the one hand the Congress accuses the BJP of wanting to end caste-based reservation and on the other, their government in Karnataka finds ways of giving quotas to Muslims and depriving the OBCs of their rightful reservation...people can see who is against quotas,” he said.

The BJP government has been targeting the Karnataka government for impinging on the rights of the OBCs by giving reservation to Muslims in the 2B category. The BJP government had proposed to include Muslims in the ambit of the 10% quota for the economically weaker sections (EWS).

“Even in states where caste was a determining factor for voting, we see a significant shift. The younger voters particularly, have stopped looking at caste as a factor; they are part of Modi’s development agenda and want to elect candidates who can give economy and infrastructure a fillip.

Citing the example of Maharashtra, where the issue of Maratha reservation was perceived to have emerged as political hot-potato for the BJP, Sawant said, the party’s assessment and surveys showed that the discourse has moved from caste to development.

“And having spent time in Maharashtra, I can tell you, the BJP’s tally will only increase...” he said. The BJP had won 23 seats in the state in 2019, and this time the party went to the polls in alliance with the Shiva Sena (Shinde faction) and the NCP (Ajit Pawar) faction.

To a question on the controversy over the procedure and documents required for the issuance of Overseas Citizenship of India or the OCI cards in Goa, Sawant said, “We are aware of the concerns that people have about the circular issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), which initially seemed to suggest that a revocation order could serve as an alternative document for applying for the OCI in place of the previously required passport surrender certificate. The matter is now under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and after June 4, we are hopeful of resolving the issue,” he said.

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