Amethi (UP): The Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday took on the Gandhi dynasty with its leader Kumar Vishwas throwing a challenge to Rahul Gandhi against whom he is expected to contest from this constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Taking on Gandhi at a rally in his home turf, Vishwas said the ‘Rajkumar’ had just indulged in ‘symbolism’ by eating in houses of dalits and not raised even a single question related to people of Amethi in Parliament in the past 10 years. He asked the people to vote for an ‘aam aadmi’ (common man) instead of a prince.
A group of protesters waved black flags while some others hurled stones and eggs at two buses ferrying party supporters to the rally venue, in Gandhi Chowk area of the city. Window panes of the buses got damaged due to the stone pelting and police resorted to mild force to control the mob after which the buses left for the rally venue.
Undeterred by the protests, Vishwas, who has vowed to contest against Rahul in Amethi, said the time has come for the people to get ‘freedom’ from the dynasty.
“Now Amethi is no longer subservient to the dynastic rule. Their reign has gone. Democracy has taken roots and there is freedom,” he said while referring to the success of AAP, led by Arvind Kejriwal, in Delhi.
Nobody stands a chance against Gandhi family in Amethi: Congress
Vishwas, when asked about the protests, said these were ‘sponsored’ and he would defeat Rahul with a ‘huge margin’ in the Lok Sabha polls.
“Why they are doing so. What have I done. Is Amethi a separate country, where I would need passport for visiting,” he said at the rally The AAP leader also targeted Sonia Gandhi, calling her “Maharani” (queen).
“You (electorate)have ensured victory of Yuvraj, Maharaja and Maharani…. Now this is the time you all should elect a servant by pressing the right button….
“If they think that I will leave Amethi if they show black flags and hurl eggs and stones, They are wrong. It’s fight between ‘aam aadmi’ and ‘Rajkumar’. I am not going to leave Amethi. I may remain alive or my dead body will leave here in the next three months….We were not afraid when we raised corruption issue of son-in-law of Maharani…,” the AAP leader said reffering to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi.
The common man wants Kejriwal to be PM: AAP
The poet-turned politician was shown black flags by the protesters, who also raised slogans against him for his alleged remarks against a religious event, while he was passing through Jagdishpur area along with his supporters.
Protesters also burnt an effigy of the poet-turned politician and said that a person, who does not respect religious sentiments, would not be accepted in Amethi.
“Kumar Vishwas insulted our religious saint, Imam Hussain, by making unacceptable comments. That is why we are shouting slogans and showing black flags,” said a protester, Parvez Ali.
Protesters showing black flag to AAP leader Kumar Vishwas at his rally in Amethi on Sunday – PTI
Vishwas said he had already expressed regret if his actions had hurt sentiments of anyone inadvertently.
The AAP leader, whose party made a stunning debut in Delhi polls, said no one should underestimate the power of the common man and asked the people to end the dynastic politics.
“We did not want to fight elections, but were forced to do so after being challenged by the Congress.”
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi for staying in dalit houses and eating with them, Vishwas said, showing such ‘symbolism’ would not help as the job of a Member of Parliament was to worry whether dalits in the area represented by him have had their food even before eating his own.
“Sleeping in dalit houses under SPG security or eating with dalits won’t help or change things. That is not the job of an MP. His job is to worry if all dalits have eaten food even before he has hiw own…This fight is not easy. I have come here to stay. I will not go back till you put your stamp on me,” he said.
Taking a jibe at Rahul, he said, “I will not go to a Dalit’s house and have dinner while simultaneously alerting TV channels to cover it”.
Questioning Rahul for the lack of development in Amethi, he asked people of the area if they were ready to hand over the nation into the hands of the family again.
“If Rahul Gandhi won again, no one would dare to challege him in next 70 years…. I have dared to challenge him after leaving my job, mushairas,” he said.
In Delhi, Union Minister Rajiv Shukla said the Gandhi family had the blessings of the people of Amethi and nobody stood a chance against them.
Meanwhile, Rahul’s local representative Chandra Kant Dubey denied that Congressmen were involved in protests against Vishwas. “Our party workers are busy in celebrating Vivekanand Jayanti and Priyanka’s brithday… None of them were involved in protest against Vishwas,” he said.
Vishwas also attacked other political parties by alleging that they were all together and cited the example of Dimple Yadav’s Kannauj victory when other parties did not field anyone against her. She is the wife of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and was elected unopposed.
The AAP leader also mocked at Congressmen for only thinking about Priyanka Gandhi’s birthday and said though she is their sister, they have come to Amethi to celebrate Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary.
“The more you hit us, our 1000 votes will increase everyday. In Delhi too, they threw black ink on Arvind Kejriwal and Sanjay Singh but later the people threw the same ink on them in elections by throwing them out of the power”, he said.
The AAP leader also questioned why Sonia Gandhi chose to go abroad for treatment, saying she ‘did not trust Indians’.
“Atalji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) had major operation in India. Everywhere abroad Indians are trusted, but she did not have trust on our sons (Indians) that is why she used to visit US,” Vishwas said.
Targeting Congress, he said after facing defeat in Delhi, the party said that they failed to market themselves.
“The consider politics as a market and talk about marketing…. They are here to sell politics. We are here for service,” he said and asked the people of Amethi whether they will show the mirror to the ‘arrogant King’.
Referring to the protests against him, the Aam Aadmi Party leader said, “No one used to abuse me a year ago…. The videos of ‘mushairas’ were there on Youtube but as some people are feeling uncomfortable this has started. I regret if in any way I have hurt sentiments of anyone as I never meant that….”
Commenting on Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma’s statement terming him a ‘joker’, Vishwas said that a joker was a good person as atleast he can bring a smile on a face.
“A joker does not sell the country. He does not eat coal. He does not insult the Constitution. He only makes a person smile,” he said. “My victory or defeat does not matter…I belong to an ordinary family”, Vishwas said.
Recalling a story of a potter, who used to beat his donkey but it did not leave him as he used to touch his feet every night when he used to tie him with the peg, Vishwas said, “Now you people of Amethi should decide whether you want to remain like the donkey of the potter or make the right decision”.
“He (Rahul) wants to tie you with a peg for next five years…. You all should decide”, he said. He said if he is killed ‘someone will rise from the soil of Amethi and don my cap and will defeat him (Rahul)’.
On Saturday, AAP’s press conference in Lucknow was briefly disrupted by a youth, who threw an egg at Vishwas and raised slogans against him.