A day after the BJP fielded Narendra Modi as its candidate from Varanasi, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal Sunday declared that he was ready to contest against the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in the Lok Sabha polls.
However, Kejriwal told a huge election rally here that though AAP leaders had asked him to take on Modi, he would do so only after knowing the response of the people of the Hindu holy city in Uttar Pradesh March 23.
“My party has said you should take on Modi in this election,” Kejriwal told his audience, triggering a roar of approval.
Underlining that it was “important to defeat Modi”, the former Delhi chief minister said: “It is a very big challenge. It is not a small challenge… I am ready to accept this challenge.”
Kejriwal quickly added that he will visit Varanasi March 23 and take a final decision after finding out if people there wanted him to contest from there.
“I appeal to people from all over the country to reach Varanasi March 23,” Kejriwal said in an appeal that clearly indicated that the AAP was keen to challenge the Gujarat chief minister.
Varanasi, about 290 km from state capital Lucknow, will vote May 12 in the ninth and last phase of parliamentary polls.
Stating that the political establishment has become a symbol of corruption, communalism and rising food prices, Kejriwal said it was important to defeat the top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.
“We have to defeat Narendra Modi too.”
But he insisted that Modi must fight from only one parliamentary seat, not two as it is being rumoured.
“We hear he is looking for a safe seat. Why does he want a safe seat? We need a bold prime minister, not one who looks for a safe seat.”