The Aam Aadmi Party is planning to contest in all 224 seats in Karnataka.
Bengaluru: A faction of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) led by Kodahalli Chandrasekhar joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the presence of AAP National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday at the National College Grounds in Basavangudi.
As Karnataka heads into the state Assembly elections next year, Chandrasekhar asked his supporters to reject all three major parties in the state and proclaimed that AAP is the only ‘alternative.’
Speaking in front of thousands of farmers, Kejriwal criticized the Union Government’s handling of the farmers’ protest after the passing of the three farm laws in 2020. He said that the government was arrogant and the farmers had managed to dent its pride by forcing the government to withdraw the bills.
Chandrasekhar said that the Congress government used to take 20 percent commission from government projects and the BJP government takes 40 percent.
Responding to Chandrasekhar, Kejriwal said that the AAP government in Delhi is a government of ‘zero percent’ amidst loud cheers from his supporters.
In the wake of several controversies over religion, Kejriwal asked the voters, “If you want riots, vote for them (BJP). If you want schools, vote for us.”
Chandrasekhar also raised the issue of K.S. Eshwarappa, who is under investigation for allegedly asking 40 percent commission on government projects. He said that the BJP seeks commission and steals money in the name of patriotism and ‘Hindutva.’
Former Commissioner of Bengaluru City Police and AAP leader, Bhaskar Rao attacked other political parties in the state by saying that AAP doesn’t involve itself in ‘caste politics,’ nor does it send biryani or currency notes before elections to lure voters.
He added that the financial situation in Karnataka is deteriorating. However, the state does not offer ‘any free services’ like the Delhi government.
Karthik Kumar Shetty, General Secretary of Youth AAP, Bengaluru said that he was a member of the BJP till 2021. However, he left the party because of ‘corruption.’ He said that he joined the party because of the ‘good governance’ by the AAP in Delhi.
Moula ML, a farmer from the Haveri district in Karanataka, labeled former Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yediyurappa as a ‘liar.’ He added that the former CM had promised to provide Rs. 2,000 to each farmer’s account but failed to do so.
Apart from Chandrasekhar, leaders from Congress, BJP and SDPI also took up the AAP flag.
The BJP, however, said that they are not worried about AAP’s presence in Karnataka. Captain Ganesh Karnik, Spokesperson of Karnataka BJP, said, “The people of Karnataka would not be fooled by the gimmicks of Mr. Kejriwal.” He added that Chandrasekhar’s joining would have ‘little impact’ on BJP’s ambitions of returning to power.
The AAP’s expansion might hurt Congress more than BJP and Janata Dal (Secular). A senior political journalist commented that the AAP would not be able to hurt the core voter base of the BJP which is the ‘hardcore right’. They might rather ‘cut into Congress votes’. He added that the Congress might not feel the effect if it manages to get some percentage of votes of the Vokkaliga community that usually leans towards the JD(S).
Updated on Tuesday, April 27, 2022.