‘B Team Of BJP’: Congress Fires Fresh Salvo At AAP; Claims Gujarat Elections A Fight Between BJP And Them

Earlier Rahul Gandhi even said that the AAP buzz is only in the ‘air’. Echoing his words today Jairam Ramesh claimed that the fight in Gujarat is all about BJP versus Congress.

Arvind Kejriwal

While the Aam Aadmi Party is about to face a new challenge over the allegation of conman Sukesh that he has given the party Rs. 50 crores, the Congress has shot a fresh salvo against it. Terming AAP the “B-team of the BJP”, Congress said that the actual fight in Gujarat is between Congress and BJP.

Addressing a press conference, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged from an RSS-backed movement in 2012. “India Against Corruption was a front organisation of the RSS and the AAP emerged from that,” he alleged.

AAP actually came out of the anti-corruption movement against Congress-led UPA II government. Gandhian Anna Hazare though was at the forefront of the movement and Arvind Kejriwal was one of the strongest pillars, several political analysts sniffed the hands of the RSS-BJP in the Lokpal movement. Notably, Ramdev who was then an ally of the movement and fled the arrest changing his dress later was found to be a close aide of BJP.

In reference to the issues upheld by the AAP, Ramesh said that the manner in which AAP leaders have been campaigning clarifies that there is no difference from the BJP. Rather, they are indulged in a sort of shadow boxing, adds the senior Congress leader.

“It is true that through the Punjab government and the Delhi government, a lot of advertisements are being made (in Gujarat), there is a bubble of AAP created in the media. But on the ground level if you look in terms of workers and candidates, the fight in Gujarat is between the BJP and the Congress,” Ramesh said.

He also alleges that the AAP will be instrumental in cutting votes of Congress and at the end will create favourable situation for the BJP only.

Rahul Gandhi’s comment on AAP in the ‘Air’

Ramesh’s comments come in the backdrop of recent comment of Rahul Gandhi that the Congress has a ‘solid base’ in the western state and would have a comfortable victory. Gandhi had contended that there is "massive" anti-incumbency against the BJP while the AAP is "only in the air" with no support on the ground.   

In a press conference at Telangana's Kothur during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi had said, “Congress is fighting the Gujarat elections effectively and the Congress will win the polls. AAP is only in the air. It has nothing on the ground.”

“There is massive anti-incumbency. The media has created a buzz based on the advertisements given by AAP. The Congress party is a solid party in Gujarat. The Congress is going to win the election there,” Gandhi added.

In the 2017 Gujarat assembly polls, the Congress bagged 77 seats against BJP’s 99. However, there have been several defections from the Congress post-2017 and their current tally in the assembly stands at 62, while the BJP's tally has risen to 111.

Allegations of Peddling Hindutva line against AAP

In the recent past Kejriwal courted controversy by his demands that the photos of Mahatma Gandhi be replaced with the idols of Hindu Gods Laxmi and Ganesh. He went too far that some BJP leaders came to remind him about the secular character of the country.

Since the last assembly elections in Delhi, where AAP technically washed away the oppositions, Kejriwal has been holding on the Hindu idols. His flexing of lord Hanuman along with his frequent comparison of himself with lord Krishna reappearing to finish the evil ‘Kansa’, understandably the BJP, have also drawn flaks from the political analysts.

While prior to the last Delhi assembly elections, scholars like Aditya Nigam clearly said that the politics of infrastructure and development as upheld by AAP could be the only way to fight BJP, the recent transition is pointing toward something else.

Whether the fight against BJP in its own turf of Hindutva works, will only be clear after Gujarat polls where the AAP is trying its luck amidst a formidable fanfare.