AAP not in race, real Gujarat electoral battle between Congress and BJP: Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday sought to play down the entry of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) into Gujarat’s polling arena and claimed the real battle would be between the Congress of his party and the ruling BJP.

Expressing his confidence in the victory of the Congress in the Assembly elections scheduled by the end of the year, he attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that people had now understood the “trough” of the famous ” Gujarat’s model of development.

Speaking to reporters here, the senior Congress observer for the Gujarat Assembly elections said, “We are not concerned about the AAP entering Gujarat. Although they came, the real battle will be between Congress and BJP Congress is very strong in Gujarat and we will fight a tough fight this time I will not be surprised if Congress forms the next government Arvind Kejriwal AAP Officer and Delhi CM , has frequently visited Gujarat and announced “guarantees” ahead of the poll. So far, he has announced pre-election pledges related to electricity, education, women’s empowerment and tribes, among others.

Gehlot is on a two-day visit to Gujarat from Wednesday during which he will hold meetings with the state’s Congress leaders to discuss their preparation for the upcoming Assembly polls.

He started his Gujarat tour from Vadodara by holding a meeting with the party leaders of Gujarat’s central zone on Wednesday morning. He then reached Ahmedabad to hold a meeting with the rulers of the northern zone of Gujarat.

“Those who were talking about the Gujarat model have now become the Prime Minister (referring to Narendra Modi, who used to be CM of the state before). People have now understood the emptiness of this Gujarat model as all their problems persist. This model is now on display and people now want to give Congress a chance,” Gehlot told reporters ahead of the meeting here.

“Last time (in 2017), we only missed the (majority) of a few seats in Gujarat. This time we will fight hard and launch an impressive poll campaign. Shining’, Vajpayee government lost the Lok Sabha polls in 2004. Similarly, the BJP in Gujarat will also lose despite the big (development) demands of its government,” he added.

On the issue of recent drug seizure incidents in Gujarat, Gehlot said that alcohol (the manufacture and sale of which is banned) and drugs were freely available in the BJP-ruled state despite acts from the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.

Speaking about the recent power battle in neighboring Maharashtra, where a new dispensation took office in late June following a revolt in the Shiv Sena, the Congress leader accused the BJP of using the leadership of the enforcement (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to “overthrow governments”.

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