New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party is attempting to encash the lack of a chief ministerial face in the opposition BJP with an unofficial campaign that takes a leaf out of the saffron party's book.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party raised the question of "Kejriwal vs who" on the lines of a similar campaign run by BJP in which several party leaders had asked "Narendra Modi versus who" for the prime ministerial face during the Lok Sabha campaign in 2019.
Although the question raised by the BJP leaders was not part of the party's official campaign but it did catch the attention of the voters.
While the AAP started its subtle yet persistent attack on the BJP by claiming that the BJP was gripped by infighting and three of its leaders -- Lok Sabha MP Manoj Tiwari, Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta -- were in the race for being the chief ministerial face, AAP expanded the list and added four more names to it this month.
The Aam Aadmi Party put a poster outside its office wishing Happy New Year to BJP's Gautam Gambhir, Hardeep Singh Puri, Harsh Vardhan, and Parvesh Singh along with Tiwari, Goel and Gupta, calling them seven chief ministerial candidates of the Delhi BJP.
The party had even tweeted: "The question is who will contest against Arvind Kejriwal."
The announcement of a CM face is not essential for a party when it contests an Assembly election. The BJP had earlier also contested the Assembly polls without naming a CM face and won the elections, including the Uttar Pradesh polls in 2017.
Interestingly, the BJP leaders in the AAP poster have not denied being the CM face when asked by the media on various platforms. However, they have said the top party leadership will decide the name of the Chief Minister, if elected to power.
When asked, Kejriwal told IANS that this is not a question from AAP but people are asking this question.
"They do not have a face as chief minister. We are raising this question as the people are asking it. People should know who will be the chief minister, if a party is elected," said the AAP national convenor. Upon being asked that the BJP is planning to use Modi's face for the campaign in the February 8 Assembly elections, Kejriwal said Modi cannot be the Chief Minister, even if the BJP uses his face for elections.
Earlier, Kejriwal had also said that the BJP has seven chief ministerial candidates for Delhi.
However, AAP refused to equate 'Kejriwal vs who' with the BJP's gimmick. When asked, an AAP leader said the AAP and BJP are different.
"All BJP has is Modi. But we are contesting the elections on the works we have done in the past five years. It is not just Kejriwal's name. People love him for bringing a change in their daily life."
The election is crucial for both AAP and BJP. The AAP had bagged 67 of the 70 Assembly seats in the 2015 polls in Delhi. The BJP got the remaining three while the Congress, which ruled the city for 15 years, drew a blank.