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Arvind Kejriwal’s wife Sunita Kejriwal launches WhatsApp campaign to garner support; INDIA bloc rally on March 31

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s wife Sunita on Friday launched a WhatsApp campaign, ‘Kejriwal ko Aashirwad’, asking people to send their blessings and prayers, even as the AAP announced a mega rally at the Ramlila Ground against the BJP on March 31 to be addressed by top opposition leaders.

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge, Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray of the Shiv Sena (UBT), Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Derek O’Brien of the TMC, Tiruchi Siva of the DMK, Farooq Abdullah of the NC, and Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren of the JMM are scheduled to attend the rally, the AAP said.

According to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), it has received the permission from the authorities concerned to hold the rally of more than 20,000 people.

It is being held in the backdrop of Kejriwal’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in an excise policy-linked money laundering case.

In a digital media briefing on Friday, Sunita Kejriwal said her husband has challenged the ”most corrupt and dictatorial forces” in the country and asked people to support him through their blessings and prayers.

Issuing two WhatsApp numbers — 8297324624 and 9700297002 — Sunita said people can send their blessings, prayers or any other messages to the AAP national convenor and she will communicate those to him.

Messages sent to one of these numbers generate a customised response from Sunita that reads: ”Received your message sent for Kejriwal ji. Heartfelt gratitude for this. I will get them to read your message and inform you. – Sunita Kejriwal.” Sunita Kejriwal, a former IRS officer, who has high prospects of stepping into the shoes of her arrested husband as well as national convener of the AAP Arvind Kejriwal, is seemingly learning the ropes of her new role.

In her two digital press briefings since Kejriwal’s arrest on March 21, she has defended her husband calling him a patriot and courageous man.

Sunita on Friday said the way Kejriwal was fighting against the ”most corrupt and dictatorial forces” was exactly ”how our freedom fighters fought the British tyranny”.

Meanwhile, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri compared Sunita Kejriwal to former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi, and said she is perhaps preparing to hold the post of her husband.

”The madam you are naming is perhaps preparing to hold the post like Rabri Devi did in Bihar,” the senior BJP leader told reporters here at the inauguration of the Delhi BJP’s election office.

Puri was responding to a question about Sunita who has been briefing the media on behalf of her husband since his arrest.

Giving details about the ‘Kejriwal ko Aashirwad’ WhatsApp campaign on Friday, the chief minister’s wife said if anyone wants to send any other message, they can do so.

”You have called Arvind your brother, your son, will you not support your brother and your son in this fight? I have full confidence that we will all fight this battle together,” Sunita said.

”Arvind will be very happy to read your messages,” she said, adding that she will share each of the messages with him in custody.

”And to send him a message, you do not need to belong to the Aam Aadmi Party; you may be from any party,” she said.

Talking to reporters about the mega rally, AAP leader Gopal Rai said that top INDIA bloc leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Congress president Kharge, Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Akhilesh Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav, will attend it.

The call on whether Sunita Kejriwal will address the rally will be taken later, Rai said.

Kalpana Soren, the wife of former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, who is currently in jail, will also attend the rally, he said.

The party leaders said they are also in touch with PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, who may join the rally.

Addressing a press conference earlier in the day, AAP leader and Delhi cabinet minister Atishi alleged that the ED is working as the BJP’s political weapon and it wants to get details of the AAP’s Lok Sabha election strategy by accessing Arvind Kejriwal’s phone.

The insistence of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to look into Kejriwal’s mobile phone, which is a few months old and did not exist when the policy was formed and implemented, proves that the agency is working as a ”political weapon” of the BJP, she alleged.

She also alleged that ”actually it is the BJP and not the ED that wants to know what is there on Kejriwal’s phone”.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva alleged the AAP minister was ”bluffing” over the matter.

Sachdeva said, ”AAP leaders must tell what is the reason for Kejriwal and earlier former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia changed their phones frequently. Both admitted to have changed many phones.” Kejriwal, whose ED custody was extended till April 1, on Thursday himself made submissions in a court here during the hearing in the excise policy case, and alleged that the federal agency’s objective was to crush AAP.

The chief minister also alleged that a smoke screen of AAP being corrupt has been created before the nation by the ED.


Source: Press Trust of India

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