Whenever the Aam Aadmi Party has found itself stuck in a difficult situation, it has reached out to the people. The same strategy has been adopted by the party amid the buzz that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal could get arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the probe into allegations of corruption in the manner in which the new excise policy was prepared and implemented in the national capital.
The AAP launched a door-to-door signature campaign in Delhi on the theme 'Main Bhi Kejriwal', as part of which party volunteers would, till December 20, reach out to people at all 2,600 polling stations in the city. And from December 21 to 24, the party will hold public meetings in all 250 wards. The findings of the survey will be handed over to Kejriwal.
The party is seeking to turn the ED's summons to Kejriwal, which the chief minister raised legal questions about and refused to appear before the agency, into an occasion to carry out a public outreach campaign through which it would try to prove that the ED is working under pressure from the BJP to target the AAP leader because it is scared of his popularity.
The focus of the campaign is Kejriwal, with the theme being 'Main Bhi Kejriwal', and the volunteers would be asking the people whether in the event of Kejriwal getting arrested, should he resign or should the government be run from jail.
“The people of Delhi are saying that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has done a lot of work for the public and he should not resign under any circumstances. They believe that the arrests of AAP leaders are happening as part of an agenda,” said AAP Delhi state convenor and cabinet minister Gopal Rai.
The party has, in the past, as well turned adverse situations into occasions to go to the people. And the ED's move to summon Kejriwal has been turned by it into an occasion to kickstart its campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. AAP leaders claim that a conspiracy is underway to arrest Kejriwal, and its leaders are being arrested because the BJP fears losing in the Lok Sabha polls. It is evident that the claim that the BJP is targeting AAP leaders will be a key element of the party's campaign.
The BJP in Delhi has been on the offensive, portraying the AAP leaders as corrupt and seeking to make corruption, especially in the wake of the excise policy probe, a major talking point in the politics of the national capital.
The AAP, on the other hand, has attempted to ensure it is an advantageous position in what is turned into a battle of perception. It has stressed on its welfare schemes for the people of Delhi and the work it has done in the capital.