"No Leader Invited A Dalit To His Home": Arvind Kejriwal's Gujarat Outreach

Harsh Solanki, who is a civic employee in Ahmedabad, will visit Delhi tomorrow with his family. Arvind Kejriwal will bear the costs. The family will stay in Punjab Bhavan.

'No Leader Invited A Dalit To His Home': Arvind Kejriwal's Gujarat Outreach

Arvind Kejriwal said he will send flight tickets to the family of five tomorrow. (File)

New Delhi:

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal stepped up his Gujarat campaign today, inviting a Dalit sanitation worker to dine at his home in Delhi. The invitation came during his townhall with sanitation workers. This is another working-class group the AAP chief is focussing on after three-wheeler and taxi drivers -- a strategy that had paid off for the party in Delhi and Punjab.  

Harsh Solanki, who is a civic employee in Ahmedabad, will visit Delhi tomorrow with his family. Mr Kejriwal will bear the costs. The family will stay in Punjab Bhavan -- embassy of another AAP-ruled state -- on invitation from Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who also attended the meeting. 

"Sir I have a request. The way you came to Gujarat last time and had a meal at the home of an auto-driver, will you come to the home of someone from the Valmiki community and have a meal?" Mr Solanki had said during the townhall.  

"Harsh I will definitely come to your home. But before that, I have a suggestion. Will you accept," Mr Kejriwal said. When Mr Solanki agreed, Mr Kejriwal said, "I have seen ahead of elections, all leaders go to the home of Dalits and have food. But to date, no leader has invited a Dalit to his home. So will you come to my home for a meal?" 

The invitation was accepted with loud cheers and claps from the audience.  

Mr Kejriwal said he will send flight tickets to the family of five tomorrow. "You will come to Chief Minister's house and upstairs, your whole family and my family will eat together. And the next time, when I come to Ahmedabad, I will have a meal at your home." 

Mr Solanki may wind up as an eye-witness to AAP's work in the health and education sectors in Delhi, on which the party is building its campaign in Gujarat. Mr Mann had included a visit to "schools and everything" in his invite.

Gujarat, where elections are due later this year, is the next big target of AAP, which already rules in Delhi and Punjab.  

Over the last months, Mr Kejriwal has made multiple visits to the state, with promises of jobs for all, free power and water, and improvements in the health and education sectors which have so far worked for the party.  

 On September 12, he had dinner at the home of an auto driver, in one of his trademark outreach efforts.

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