Arvind Kejriwal to declare war on Narendra Modi in Varanasi with 8-point strike

By on March 25, 2014
VARANASI: Arvind Kejriwal is virtually set to declare his candidature against Narendra Modi in a Varanasi rally on Tuesday and among his campaign planks will be a challenge to Modi to explain his stance on permitting FDI in multi-brand retail.

The issue of majority foreign ownership in the country’s supermarket sector, which Aam Aadmi Party is opposed to and which it rejected during its brief stint in power in Delhi, is part of a pamphlet of eight reasons it has put together to attack BJP’s PM candidate.

While Bharatiya Janata Party is also opposed to FDI in multi-brand retail, Modi, who has positioned himself for these elections as an economic reformer, has been largely silent on this issue and AAP hopes to capitalise on his silence to drive home its claim that the BJP leader is anti-farmer and bad for small businesses.

To this end, AAP’s pamphlet says small traders and businesses of Varanasi will suffer if Modi comes to power. It makes a reference to the business of producing Benarasi sarees, which Modi had referred to in his first Varanasi rally. AAP is holding a referendum of sorts to decide on Kejriwal’s candidature from Varanasi in which it will ask the assembled gathering of supporters whether they want him to contest against Modi.

Kejriwal had announced this unusual plan for a public consultation on his candidature during a rally in Bangalore in early March.

Other challenges to Modi from Kejriwal will centre round AAP’s long-standing allegations about what it says is a close relationship between the BJP PM candidate and corporate groups. These challenges will be made public in the pamphlet AAP will distribute in Varanasi. The pamphlet says, ‘Both Congress and BJP are always trying to protect the interest of Mukesh Ambani’.
It goes on to cite the example of the FIR lodged by the AAP government in Delhi against RILBSE -3.16 % and says both national parties questioned the move.

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