AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal`s Varanasi rally – As it happened
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal says he will contest against BJP`s PM candidate Narendra Modi in Varanasi.
Zee Media Bureau/Kamna Arora and Sushmita Dutta
6:45 pm AAP chief concludes his speech.
6:40 pm Kejriwal says he will contest against Narendra Modi from Varanasi.
6:39 Kejriwal wins referendum, gets majority opinion in favour of fighting against Narendra Modi from Varanasi.
6:31 pm AAP chief holds referendum, asks people whether he should fight form Varanasi or not.
6:30 pm Arvind Kejriwal dares BJP`s pm candidate Narendra Modi for an open debate on Gujarat`s development model.
6:20 pm In desperation to get 272+seats, to become PM, Modiji has brought together all the corrupt in the nation, says ex-Delhi CM.
6:15 pm Gujarat has no Opposition. That is why Modi has been winning for three consecutive terms: Kejriwal
6:12 pm Kejriwal stops his speech in between after hearing a call for `Azaan`.
6:11 pm Whosoever wins (BJP or Congress), the control is in Ambani`s hands, says AAP chief.
6:10 pm Have no interests in becoming PM: Arvind Kejriwal.
6:05 pm Kejriwal further adds Modiji`s model is to shut down all the small scale industries/traders and promote only the big corporates/industrialists.
6:00 pm Congress & BJP will both bring FDI in retail. This will kill kirana shops. If you vote Modi, small scale industries will be shut: Kejriwal
5:59 pmFrom April 01, gas prices were to be doubled, but we have stopped that for two months, says AAP chief.
5:45 pm Kejriwal says if Modiji was really `vikas purush` then I would have stood beside him.
5:31 pmModi is similar to what Manmohanji & Soniaji have been doing to this country: Kejriwal
5:30 pm Arvind Kejriwal addressing a public rally
Addressing a public rally in Varanasi, the Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal said, “Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi`s defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls will be people`s victory.
“Both Congress and BJP are looting the country,” Kejriwal added.
4:45: Digvijay Singh is welcome to fight from Varanasi, says Arvind Kejriwal
Speaking to a news channel, the AAP chief said, “If Congress pits Digvijay Singh as its candidate from Varanasi, I welcome the move.”
“Our priority will be to defeat Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. 2014 Elections will be a turning point. However, the polls will take place again after a year,” Kejriwal added.
3:05 pm: Black ink thrown at Kejriwal
Black ink has been thrown at Kejriwal during his roadshow in Varanasi. The police had to resort to mild lathicharge to control the crowd.
2:50 pm: I will defeat Modi, says Kejriwal
"I don`t see Banaras as a losing battle. I will defeat Modi" in the Lok Sabha election, the former Delhi chief minister told a television channel.
"Fighting against Modi is a small thing," Kejriwal told the channel. "Saving the country from corruption is a big issue now."
12:50 pm: Kejriwal meets mahant of Sankat Mochan Temple
Kejriwal met mahant of Sankat Mochan Temple, professor Vishwambhar Nath Mishra, ahead of his rally.
12:40 pm: Eggs thrown at Kejriwal
Eggs have been thrown at Kejriwal`s car outside the Kashi Vishwanath temple, with the protesters steadily raising anti-Kejriwal slogans and asking him to leave the Hindu holy city.
Calling him a "traitor", hundreds of slogan-shouting people blocked his cavalcade while raising slogans of "Modi, Modi".
Smeared with sandalwood paste as he exited from the Vishwanath temple, Kejriwal did not speak to journalists and merely smiled even as the vocal protests continued.
11:10 am: Arvind Kejirwal faces protest
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal faced protest in Varanasi after coming out of Bhairon temple. According to reports, Narendra Modi`s supporters raised slogans against him.
10:50 am: Kejriwal `pained`
Arvind Kejriwal prayed at the Bhairon Mandir. He, clad in a green lungi, also took a dip in the Ganga. Talking to reporters, he said he was pained to see that the Ganga is so polluted and dirty. It is all due to corruption, added Kejriwal.
10:35 am: BJP on Kejriwal`s Varanasi rally
Congress is not stepping into the battlefield but is sending its pawns, senior BJP leader and spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Kejriwal`s Varanasi rally.
8:40 am: Kejriwal to hold referendum
With the Lok Sabha battle set to kickstart next month, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal is all set to make one of the most interesting poll-related announcements on Tuesday.
The former income tax officer-turned-activist-turned-politician is likely to hold a `referendum` at a rally today seeking people`s approval for his decision to take on Bharatiya Janata Party`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
The die, however, has been cast and it is just a matter of a formal announcement, said an insider in the Aam Aadmi Party team.
8:20 am: Kejirwal arrives in Varanasi
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal has arrived in this ancient city on the banks of the Ganges by the Shiv Ganga Express from New Delhi. Sources say he will drive to the Kaal Bhairav temple. Bhairav is the `shahr kotwal` (city inspector), and everyone seek his blessings before a new venture.
Kejriwal will then visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple, perhaps the city`s best known temple.
He will interact with morning walkers at some parks, besides calling on retired academics and current professors at the Banaras Hindu University.
For the former chief minister of Delhi, `Battle Varanasi` will be no less than an epic battle.