For the Aam Aadmi Party, flying in chief Arvind Kejriwal to celebrate its success in the municipal elections in Gujarat's Surat, deep inside the BJP's impenetrable citadel, the state boss of the ruling party had some cold water.
Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil said Mr Kejriwal was holding a roadshow to celebrate the large number of AAP candidates who had lost their election deposits - forfeited when a candidate fails to get one-sixth of the total valid votes.
What Kejriwal Ji said – AAP got 27 seats in Surat municipal polls.— C R Paatil (@CRPaatil) February 26, 2021
What he didn't share:
-59 AAP candidates lost deposit in Surat
-Every AAP candidate lost deposit in Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar.
-44 out of 48 candidates in Jamnagar
-68 out of 72 in Rajkot lost deposit.
AAP's score in Gujarat municipal polls.— C R Paatil (@CRPaatil) February 26, 2021
100% in 3 cities.
Above 90% in 2.
Above 50% in 1.
No, not seats won. But DEPOSITS FORFEITED.
Kejriwal Ji is holding a roadshow to celebrate this.
The tweets, however, drew prompt responses from the Delhi Chief Minister.
People of Gujarat are celebrating it. People of Surat celebrated it today. Everyone in Gujarat is talking abt AAP.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 26, 2021
Kindly do not underestimate the power of people. https://t.co/N40PrGlu2E
Kindly do not mock and underestimate the power of common man https://t.co/za9c8HfyiF— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 26, 2021
Buoyed by the AAP's performance in the recently-held civic polls, party chief Arvind Kejriwal has already set his eyes on the 2022 Gujarat assembly elections.
Mr Kejriwal, who arrived in Surat on Friday, said that the AAP would seek votes from the people of the state in the next assembly polls based on the performance of the party's 27 newly-elected corporators in the city.
Polls to six civic bodies in Gujarat, including in Surat, were held on Sunday. While the BJP retained power in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) by winning 93 seats, the AAP got the remaining 27 seats. The Congress failed to win even a single seat.
During his address to the party corporators in Surat, Mr Kejriwal said, "The people of Gujarat are watching you with great hope. In our first attempt, AAP won 28 Assembly seats in Delhi and came to power. People trusted us because they knew that we are true patriots, as we were associated with Anna Hazare's agitation."
"In the 49 days of our rule, we did a lot of 'pro-people' work. As a result, the people of Delhi gave us 67 seats in the second election. Now, six crore people of Gujarat will observe the work of 27 AAP corporators. If you perform well, I am sure there will be a huge revolution in 2022," the Delhi chief minister added.
Fearing a "poaching attempt", Mr Kejriwal warned the elected representatives to inform the party leaders if "anyone from the BJP" contacts them over the phone and gives an offer to switch sides.
"I am sure that BJP people will call you. But remember, our true wealth is people's trust. If anyone of you switches side, it will break the trust of six crore people. Even if one person switches side, the BJP and others will get a chance to say that AAP is no different from others," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)