Visakhapatnam: Showcasing opposition unity, West Bengal Chief Minister and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday appealed to people to vote only for “friendly parties” in the coming Lok Sabha election to oust the Narendra Modi government.
Terming the Modi regime as “one of the most corrupt governments in the last 70 years”, Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress supremo, and Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party chief, that the country is passing through an “emergency-like situation” and only the people can do something – by not voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Addressing a mega campaign rally for Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) at the Indira Priyadarshini Municipal Stadium in this port town, Banerjee said: “This is a special election. Think and vote. Chandrababuji’s name is synonymous with Andhra Pradesh’s development.
“And he will keep working for you. If there is anyone who can develop Andhra Pradesh, it is him. Only vote for those parties who are our friendly allies.”
Banerjee also challenged Prime Minister Modi to come and debate on issues.
“You from one side and anyone from opposition. Come and debate. I am willing to take you (Modi) on. We don’t bring teleprompters and prepared speeches. We will reply directly to the people’s questions.”
“What has he done except lying to the country,” she alleged, adding that in his first Lok Sabha poll, Modi was a ‘chaiwallah’ and in this election, he became a ‘chowkidaar’.
“Whose chowkidaar is he? He is chowkidaar of hoarders and those who loot the country. He is chowkidaar of demonetisation,” Banerjee said.
Kejriwal said that he appealed to the people, with “folded hands” to “vote carefully”.
“In this election, vote for Chandrababu Naidu to keep him again in power. The way Chandrababu Naidu has pushed Andhra Pradesh forward, nobody can.
“Our country is going through an emergency-like situation. Narendra Modi and (BJP President) Amit Shah have ruined the country,” he alleged.
In Delhi, the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation and Income Tax department have been unleashed on common people, he alleged.
“There are raids to terrorise people. Over the last 70 years, Pakistan has just one dream – to divide our country. What Pakistan could not do in 70 years, Modi and Shah have done in five years.”
Citing demonetisation as the “biggest corruption” by the Central government, Kejriwal alleged that it all happened because Modi does not take advice from anyone, except Shah who does not know anything about finance.
Citing BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj’s recent address, he said: “He (Sakshi Maharaj) told people that 2019 election is the last election. There will be no election after that.”
“We have to save the country from Modi anyhow.”
Kejriwal also raised the issue of full statehood for Delhi and special status for Andhra Pradesh, telling people that this would be possible only when they don’t vote the BJP in both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.
The two leaders joined the rally on the invitation of Naidu. Banerjee arrived here in the afternoon while Kejriwal reached in the evening.
After the rally, the three Chief Ministers remained in Visakhapatnam to discuss the national scenario and work out strategies for the coming days.
Andhra will have simultaneous Assembly and Parliamentary polls in the first phase on April 11.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at email@example.com)