New Delhi: Three days to go before the Delhi election, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has challenged the BJP to name its Chief Ministerial candidate, saying he was ready for a debate with anyone. Giving the BJP a 1pm deadline, he said if the candidate is not announced by them he would “hold another press conference”.
By withholding the name of the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate, the BJP’s Amit Shah is demanding a “blank cheque” from the people of Delhi, he told reporters in Delhi today.
“Amit Shah says that he would name the Chief Minister candidate once he gets Delhi’s mandate. But the people of Delhi want to know now who would be their Chief Minister if they vote for the BJP. What if Amit Shah names someone uneducated and incompetent? That would be a betrayal of the people of Delhi,” Mr Kejriwal said.
In an election billed to be between Mr Kejriwal and Amit Shah, the Aam Aadmi Party chief has been pressing the BJP to name its candidate for the top job – a practice the BJP rarely undertakes before the results are out.
In most elections, the BJP has sought votes in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, showcasing the party’s achievements at the Centre. Even before the crucial assembly elections Uttar Pradesh, the BJP did not name its candidate – Yogi Adityanath was named as the Chief Minister after the party got its landslide victory.
The opposition had later attacked the BJP, claiming that its choice of Yogi Adityanath — who till then was seen as the right-wing poster boy – was a “betrayal” of the people, who trusted the BJP’s promise of development.
This time, Arvind Kejriwal has repeatedly ridiculed the BJP for its lack of a Chief Ministerial candidate. On New Year, he even took a swipe at the BJP, tweeting a Happy New Year wish to the “7 Chief Minister candidates of Delhi BJP”.
The tweet was accompanied by a large banner featuring Manoj Tiwari, Gautam Gambhir, Vijay Goel, Hardeep Singh Puri, Harsh Vardhan, Vijender Gupta and Parvesh Sahib Singh.