New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) Fearing defeat, the BJP ensured that the Delhi municipal elections are held a day before the December 5 phase of the Gujarat assembly polls so that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal keeps shuttling between here and the state, senior AAP leader Gopal Rai alleged on Monday.
While the Gujarat assembly elections will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5, the polls to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) are on December 4.
"The MCD elections were supposed to be held in March, and when the BJP conducted a survey in Delhi, they knew that they (its candidates) would not be able to even save their deposits. All of their leaders went to (Union home minister) Amit Shah and asked him to do something, otherwise they will be exposed," Rai, who held a jansamvad in his Babarpur assembly constituency, said.
Recalling how the Election Commission had called a press conference to announce the date of the MCD elections, he alleged that Shah stalled the polls by saying that all the three corporations will be unified.
"For the first time in the country's history, a press conference was called to announce the date of an election but instead, it ended up announcing that there will be no election," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said.
The MCD was trifurcated in 2012 into north, south and east corporations and then unified this year.
Rai said even though the BJP has been in power in Gujarat for 27 years, its stature has reduced in the eyes of the state's people.
"We are proud that Arvind Kejriwal has made it clear he is not afraid of dying or going to jail but he will look into their eyes while talking and fight with them for the welfare of people of Gujarat," Rai said.
"Today, the contest in Gujarat is quite close which made BJP to conduct Gujarat elections on December 5 and MCD elections a day before that. They wanted Kejriwal to remain engaged in Delhi so that they can save themselves from losing in Gujarat," he said.
Urging candidates to contest the election as Kejriwal's soldiers, Rai said that each member of the party is there for them. PTI SLB ANB ANB