Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took out a massive roadshow from the iconic Valmiki Mandir to the Patel Chowk Metro Station this afternoon that should have ended with him filing nomination papers for next month's Assembly election. However, the roadshow ran longer than expected, meaning Mr Kejriwal could not get to the nomination office before it closed for the day. The Chief Minister will file his papers tomorrow, on the last day for filing of nominations.
Shortly before the roadshow began Mr Kejriwal, who will defend his New Delhi constituency for a third time, tweeted recalling a rally his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took out from the same temple in 2013, ahead of its electoral debut.
A rough translation of his tweet, which was written in Hindi, reads: "It was from here in 2013 that we took a broom for the first time to clean politics. Today, once again taking the blessings of Lord Valmiki, I will go to fill my nomination".
Visuals of the roadshow showed the Chief Minister standing in a slowly-moving vehicle surrounded by a sea of supporters holding brooms (the party symbol) and chanting the party's re-election slogan "acchhe beete panch saal, lage raho Kejriwal (past five years have been good, keep going with Kejriwal)".
नई दिल्ली के ऐतिहासिक वाल्मीकि मंदिर से आम आदमी पार्टी के कई पड़ावों की शुरुआत हुई। 2013 में यहीं से हमने राजनीति साफ करने के लिए पहली बार झाड़ू उठाई थी। आज एक बार फिर भगवान वाल्मीकि के आशीर्वाद ले कर अपना नामांकन भरने जाऊंगा।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 20, 2020
Yesterday Mr Kejriwal released what he called a "10-point guarantee card" to voters that promised free power, 24-hour drinking water on tap and a world-class education to every child. Along with it, he promised a clean environment, including a clean Yamuna, and housing to every slum dweller.
The Congress said the "guarantee card" was a "jumla" (election gimmick) and the BJP called it a "lie", saying AAP was staring at defeat.
The AAP, the Congress and the BJP, seen by many to be the three major players in next month's election, have all released a list of candidates; the Congress and the BJP have released first lists, while the AAP has named all its candidates.
Neither the BJP nor the Congress have, as yet, named candidates against Mr Kejriwal.
The ruling AAP is seeking re-election in next month's polls after recording a massive win in 2015 elections; the party won 67 of 70 seats, with the remaining three going to the BJP and the Congress, which had been in power between 1998 and 2013, drawing a blank.
Delhi Assembly's term ends on February 22 and a new government must be in place before that date.
In the 2015 polls the AAP emerged with 54.3 per cent of the vote share. The BJP was second with 32.3 per cent and the Congress trailed with a poor 9.7 per cent
Voting will take place on February 8 and counting and declaration of results will happen February 11.
With input from IANS