As Gujarat readies to vote for its next government in a few days, the sparring between rival parties has intensified amid hectic campaigning. On Saturday, the Aam Aadmi Party’s Gujarat chief – Gopal Italia – alleged that stones were hurled at a jansabha (public meeting) in the poll-bound state. He also posted visuals on Twitter and said a child was injured amid the stone pelting. “Due to the fear of losing the Katargam assembly election, the goons of the BJP pelted stones at my public meeting today, in which a small child got injured,” Italia wrote in Hindi.
“If they had done some work in 27 years, then today they would not have been compelled to throw stones at the public meeting of the Aam Aadmi Party. To those from the BJP who are hurling stones, the public will reply with a broom,” he further added, referring to the AAP’s poll symbol.
The BJP – which has ruling the state for over two decades – has been dismissing the AAP’s challenge in the elections, claiming that the party has failed to deliver in Delhi where it has been in power for nearly eight years. There have been multiple flashpoints between the two parties in the run up to assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and civic polls in the national capital. The excise policy case in Delhi and controversy over videos of Satyendar Jain in Tihar Jail have been some of the issues. Both the parties have been accusing each other of corruption.
Italia too has been at the centre of a standoff over his past comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his mother.
Meanwhile, amid Italia’s fresh allegations, the AAP made claims about another attack. “One more attack on AAP today. After stone pelting on @Gopal_Italia’s sabha a local AAP leader of Limbayat assembly constituency Mahendra Goswami attacked tonight. BJP is losing Gujarat. That’s why attacking AAP leaders! (sic),” Dr Safin on the AAP wrote on Twitter. The BJP is yet to respond to these claims.
This is not the first time that Arvind Kejriwal’s party has claimed an attack by the BJP in Gujarat amid the campaigning. In August, Kejriwal had said that his party’s Manoj Sorathiya was targeted by the “goons of BJP”.
Gujarat votes on December 1 and December 5 for the assembly polls; votes will be counted on December 8.