Supporters felicitate PM Narendra Modi with a huge garland at Ramlila Maidan
Prime minister Narendra Modi on Saturday kicked off the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign for Delhi’s upcoming elections from the iconic Ramlila ground with a speech aimed for the most part at the city’s lower middle-class and migrant labourers and laced with a direct attack on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) terming Arvind Kejriwal an ‘anarchist’. In a first, Modi began his speech by lavishing praise on party chief Amit Shah, calling him the party’s “most successful president” crediting him for the party’s successful performances during last year’s assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Modi’s speech focused on the city’s poor in good measure as he spoke at length about the Jan Dhan Yojana, affordable housing for the poor, a slum-free Delhi by 2022 and 24-hour electricity. “Banks had closed their doors for the poor in the previous regime, but since the Jan Dhan Yojana began, 19.5 lakh new accounts have been opened in Delhi alone,” said Modi. The prime minister also assured Delhiites that soon they would be free to choose their own discom provider akin to competitive telecom services. The rally, though not jam-packed was well-attended by BJP workers and also saw the felicitation of Devendra Fadnavis, Manohar Lal Khattar and Raghuvir Das. The Prime Minister reserved his attacks solely for Aam Aadmi Party instead of Congress, directly attacking former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Calling him a liar and an anarchist, Modi said, “Those who call themselves anarchists should join the Naxals in the jungles. Anarchism does not belong to Delhi, which is the centre of politics in this country. He went on to add, “These people (AAP) are experts in protests and sit-in’s, so give them that job. We are experts in governing, so entrust us what we are good at. One full year has been wasted for the city and you should punish those who were responsible.” The Delhi elections are to be announced early next week and are likely to be held in February.