Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday targeted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, equating him with 'Genral Dyer', as he set the tone for AAP's campaign for 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls. In an apparent move to woo the ‘Patidar’ community, Kejriwal went on to dub Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel – currently out on bail in a case on charges of sedition – as a "patriot".
Addressing AAP's first rally in the state, he said BJP and Congress were like "husband and wife" and alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Ahmed Patel work "in unison".
Kejriwal said after the elections, the 'aam aadmi' will sit in the assembly and not the members of Congress and BJP.
Referring to violent clashes between the members of Patel community and police last year, he said, "Who gave the firing orders on Patidar quota agitators on August 26 (2015)? They were citizens of India and not terrorists. 14 youths died in the police firing. Everybody knows who gave the orders...it was Amit Shah.
"You know who is running the state. It is Amit Shah. First Anandiben Patel was the Chief Minister, now, its Vijay Rupani, who is just a rubber stamp of Amit Shah," Kejriwal said.
"I want to ask, what is the fault of Hardik Patel? Why sedition charge was slapped against him? I would like to say that there is no bigger patriot than Hardik Patel and there is no bigger traitor than General Dyer," Kejriwal said, referring to Shah.
Hardik-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) had many times referred to Amit Shah as "General Dyer", holding him responsible for the police firing on protesting Patel quota agitators. General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer was a British Indian Army officer responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar.
"Several youths of Patidar community were framed falsely and are still doing the rounds of court," Kejriwal claimed, adding we will get that leader who ordered firing on Patel youths punished.
(With PTI inputs)