Aam Aadmi Party boss Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday launched a crowdsourcing campaign to select the party's Chief Ministerial candidate for the Gujarat elections as part of its efforts to trump the BJP in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state.
The "Choose Your Chief Minister" campaign is the latest push by the Delhi Chief Minister who has been campaigning aggressively in the state, holding rallies and townhalls and making a host of pre-poll promises such as free electricity, better education and healthcare facilities.
"People want change. They want relief from inflation, unemployment. These people (BJP) changed their Chief Minister one year ago. They first had Vijay Rupani. Why did they replace him with Bhupendra Patel? Does this mean that there was something wrong with Vijay Rupani?," Mr Kejriwal said at a news conference.
"When Vijay Rupani was brought, the public was not asked. It was decided from Delhi. In democracy, the people decide who will be the Chief Minister. Neither did you (BJP) ask in 2016, nor did you ask in 2021," he said.
"In the Aam Aadmi Party, we do not do this. We decide by asking the public who do you want to be the Chief Minister. You will remember that in Punjab, we asked the people who should be the Chief Minister. And according to the wishes of the people, we named Bhagwant Mann," the AAP chief said.
"Aam Aadmi Party is going to form a government in Gujarat. In such a situation, whoever is our Chief Ministerial candidate will be the next Chief Minister of Gujarat. So today, we ask the public that you tell us who should be your Chief Minister," he said.
"For this, we are issuing a number 6357000360 to know the opinion of the public. On this number you can SMS or send WhatsApp message or send voice message. You can also email email@example.com. So, there are four ways for the public to let us know of their choice," Mr Kejriwal said.
"This number will be operational till 5:00 pm on 3rd November. The results will be placed before he public on 4th November," he added.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Legislative Assembly are due by the end of this year. However, the polling dares are yet to be announced.