'People know real contest is between BJP and AAP': Raghav Chadha

The Congress is out of the race, says AAP's co-in-charge of Gujarat


Q/ Why would Gujaratis give the AAP a chance?

A/ Gujaratis are yearning for change. They want to get rid of the BJP government whose rule over the last three decades has been marked by arrogance, corruption and insensitivity.

Be it schools, hospitals or road infrastructure, the government has not created any new facilities. The youth do not have employment opportunities. When 250 clerical posts were advertised, a whopping four lakh people applied for it. People want change and were waiting for an alternative, which the AAP provides them with.

Q/ Is it a Modi vs Kejriwal contest?

A/ I will describe it as a contest between the people of Gujarat and the BJP. We are a small party with a limited amount of resources. Our strength is the belief of people in us that we can bring about the change that they are yearning for. Arvind Kejriwal is the chief architect of [our] campaign and strategy. He is definitely our face and the principal vote-getter and we are fighting the election under his leadership.

Q/ The Congress says the AAP is the BJP’s B team.

A/ When you get attacked by both the parties, it is clear that you must be doing something right for them to get rattled. It is like a badge of honour. The Congress has failed miserably as an opposition party in Gujarat…. [People] realise that the real contest is between the AAP and the BJP, and the Congress is out of the race.

Q/ Your rivals describe your poll promises as freebies.

A/ The AAP is the only party to have provided the people with a model of how the promises will be fulfilled. What has been described as freebies is actually a way of providing people with support during times of economic downturn and unemployment and ensure that they live their lives with dignity. It is the responsibility of the government to provide people with good quality and free education and health care. It is not a freebie.

The chief minister and ministers get 5,000 units of electricity free. If they feel that giving people 300 units of electricity free is not proper, they should give up their entitlements first.

Q/ How would you respond to the criticism that the AAP is practising soft hindutva?

A/ When the AAP government built schools in Delhi, it was for students from all castes and religions. Our mohalla clinics provided health care to everyone, irrespective of caste, community or creed. It is an unsubstantiated allegation and a false propaganda to say that we are biased against any religion.