Monday, December 4, 2023

Auto-driver says dinner with Kejriwal was “staged”; he is big Modi fan

Gujarati auto driver, Vikram Dantani, hosts AAP convenor, Arvind Kejriwal at his home; later calls himself a "Modi fan”

In a fresh embarrassment for AAP chief, Arvind Kejriwal, the Gujarati auto-driver, who hosted him for dinner has turned out to be a “Modi fan”.

On September 12, Kejriwal, as part of the AAP’s campaign for the upcoming Assembly polls, addressed a gathering of auto-rickshaw drivers in Ahmedabad in the afternoon. After his address, auto-rickshaw driver Vikram Dantani, a resident of the city’s Ghatlodia area, requested Kejriwal to have dinner at his home.

The Delhi CM accepted the invitation and went in his auto, in a much-publicised affair.

However, the same auto-driver was seen attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Ahmedabad.

In an interview, he admitted to being a fan of Modi and an ardent supporter of the BJP.  Dantani revealed that he was told by the auto union to invite Delhi CM for dinner.  However, he has not joined AAP, nor he intends to do so.

The auto-driver’s revelation on the staged event would further erode AAP’s claims of its rising popularity in Gujarat. 

CM Arvind Kejriwal is aggressively campaigning in Gujarat, PM Modi’s home turf, hoping to emerge as the only serious challenger to the BJP.

In fact, Kejriwal has projected himself as a PM-probable several times in the past as well. In 2014, Kejriwal stood for election against Modi from Varanasi. At that time, the UPA government was the incumbent.

Kejriwal lost by 3.37 lakh votes. Subsequently, as chief minister of Delhi, he tried to take on PM Modi, one time, labelling him as a
“coward and a “psychopath”. He even raised questions on surgical strikes and asked for proof.

However, his direct fight with PM Modi proved to be disastrous for him. In General elections 2019, the party was decimated. It could only win one seat out of the 40 seats it contested.

Buoyed by victory in the Punjab state elections, Kejriwal is confident of spreading his roots across India. However, except in Delhi and Punjab, the party hasn’t been able to establish itself as a credible alternative.

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