This Article is From Aug 26, 2014

Blog: When Arvind Kejriwal Tried to Meet Narendra Modi

9:30 am was when Arvind Kejriwal was to hold his press conference in Ahmedabad. For over two hours, the media stood waiting for the AAP chief to emerge from a local club where he was staying. But apart from his supporters and a dozen BJP protesters, there was no sign of the man.

He appeared at 11 am without his trademark white cap and raised 16 points which he said puncture the claims about the development of Gujarat repeatedly offered in public by the BJP and its candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi.

And then the self-proclaimed anarchist said he would drive straight away to Mr Modi's residence in Gandhinagar to confront him.

Trailed by a body of media vehicles, Mr Kejriwal departed in an Innova he shared with close aides Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh.

It was obvious that a NaMo-ArKe meeting was impossible. But for us journalists, it was hard not to delight over the prospect in a parallel world. Two PM aspirants. Two political rivals. Shaking hands. Smiling for the cameras. And then each trying to score points over one another.

Reality check. Team Kejriwal was stopped by the police several kilometers ahead of Modi's residence. The roads were barricaded and the waiting police asked him, "Appointment hai kya? Nahin? Toh hume writing mein de dijiye. Hum bhijva denge," an officer told him. (Read: Kejriwal stopped from dropping in to see Narendra Modi)


Sisodia then was asked to go to the CM's office and take an appointment. And as expected he was dismissed. Modi was busy. Try later.

When I asked him, Kejriwal said it wasn't a publicity stunt. But to the BJP - and perhaps many others - it was a carry-forward of the gimmickry seen in Delhi.

It's lost on no one that this is another attempt to gather political mileage. But the last word goes to a spectator - a common man - who put it rather aptly. "Modi is the King of Marketing. And Kejriwal seems to be as good as him at Marketing himself."