AHMEDABAD: Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday said Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal was peddling "new dreams and lies" during electioneering in Gujarat.
She said women in Gujarat will never vote for Kejriwal for supporting those who had conspired to deprive Gujarat and Gujaratis of Narmada dam water.
Addressing a gathering of workers of BJP's women wing here, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development said the AAP national convener had felicitated those who had conspired to deprive people of the Narmada water. She accused the AAP of trying to buy BJP workers with money.
Irani alleged Kejriwal is fighting the upcoming elections by spreading lies about the people of Gujarat but he will taste defeat the same way he lost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
"He is now in Gujarat to peddle new dreams and lies.. I would like to tell those who are here to contest the election that PM Modi has gifted Gujarat and Gujaratis the gift of Vande Bharat and Ahmedabad metro trains, but your (AAP's) ugly truth is that you are involved in a scam in the purchase of DTC buses in Delhi," she said.
Kejriwal has promised a slew of "guarantees" including unemployment allowance for youth and women, free power, healthcare and education, during his campaigning in Gujarat which is mainly centred on the "Delhi model".
Calling Kejriwal a "dream merchant from Delhi," Irani said Modi, as the chief minister of Gujarat, had struggled to ensure that women get clean drinking water from the Narmada river in their households and every family get water security.
On the other hand, Kejriwal feted those who had tried to deprive Gujarat and Gujaratis of Narmada water.
Assembly elections are due in Gujarat in December this year.
"He (Kejriwal) is visiting Gujarat with darkness. But he must listen carefully that there is so much light of development in Gujarat that he will go blind. These women are not going to be fooled by him. They will vote for the lotus symbol in the polls and once again bring the BJP to power," Irani said.
She said 10 crore households got clean drinking water from taps under the Centre's Jal Jeevan Mission launched under the prime minister's leadership.
"On the other hand, 690 slums in Delhi are still deprived of drinking water despite Kejriwal being in power for eight years," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.
Kejriwal on Saturday began his two-day visit to Gujarat accompanied by Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann.
"The person who supports those who conspired to deprive the people of Gujarat of water and also the poor residents of 690 slums (in Delhi) has come to Gujarat with a bag of dreams," she said.
The Union minister said while the BJP government in Gujarat provided milk to women and children under the Doodh Sanjeevani Yojana- a nutritional scheme, Kejriwal ran a "pink theka" (of liquor), an apparent reference to the alleged Delhi liquor scam.
She accused Kejriwal of "running away" when confronted with a question based on an RTI query "revealing that he never visited a government school in his Assembly constituency and never granted funds for a school there".
She alleged AAP leaders in Gujarat "dragged PM Modi's mother in their dirty politics and insulted her". "But women of Gujarat will respond to this".
Turning to Congress, Irani said Rahul Gandhi is going everywhere but not visiting Gujarat on the advice of his party members that his presence harms the prospects of Congress.
"Whenever he (Rahul Gandhi) comes here, ask him whether he patted the back of the man who had slaughtered a cow and attended a sabha where 'Bharat Mata' was insulted during his (Bharat Jodo) Yatra," she said.
"I think he will not come (to Gujarat). Even the people of his party have requested him not to come, saying whenever he comes, the votes of the party drop," she said.
At the Mahila Morcha event, Irani launched BJP's "Hello Kamal Shakti"- a dedicated phone number for women to dial and reach out to the party. The BJP has set a target of 20 lakh women to call up this number.
At the event, former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, who was acquitted in a 2002 riots case by the Gujarat High Court in 2018, was felicitated along with other senior women leaders....