On Wednesday, footage of people handing out cash for attending Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) president Arvind Kejriwal’s roadshow in Amreli district on November 21 went viral on social media. It is alleged that AAP supporters were distributing cash to people and asking them to attend the rally.
The video was shared by activist Vijay Patel who said that “AAP is paying money to people for attending their rallies”. “From where does this huge money come? By selling MCD tickets? Or by providing services to the Tihar jail culprits?” he pondered further.
In the video that went viral on social media platforms, a mob could be seen on the road leading to Bahumali Bhawan behind the Amreli post office, while AAP supporters could be seen handing out cash. Some folks were also observed going about with money in their hands.
A big throng had gathered around the AAP supporter who was distributing money to the public in Amreli on November 21. The AAP supporter in the video could be heard saying to the citizens that ‘everyone will get the cash, please have patience, form a line, and maintain discipline.’
People could also be seen waving AAP flags. After the video went viral, authorities said they would look into the matter and take appropriate steps following an inquiry. Meanwhile, AAP district media cell Bhargav Mehta stated that the party is unaware of the individual who was distributing the cash.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was in Gujarat campaigning for his party on November 20, 21, and 22 ahead of the assembly elections. He held a road show in Amreli on November 21 at 5 pm and asked the public to give him a chance for the party in the upcoming state assembly elections.
“Only 10 days are left for the Assembly elections. AAP is giving tough competition to all the parties. AAP is reaching out to the people by carrying their issues, because of which there is a storm of ‘Parivartan’ (change) in Gujarat,” Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said. He also said that the party has been getting great responses from the public and that they had accepted him as their elder brother.
“If AAP comes to power, I will share the responsibility of all the families like a brother. Today, people are frustrated with inflation. I will get people rid of inflation. From the 1st of March, the electricity bill will be zero and everyone will get 24 hours of electricity, just like the people of Delhi and Punjab get,” he said. CM Kejriwal also highlighted his poll promise of providing Ps 100 to every woman in the state.
Notably, this is not the first time that AAP is facing allegations of distributing money to lure the crowd. Earlier, on April 2, AAP had held a rally in the Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, given the upcoming Assembly elections scheduled for December 2022. It was alleged also then that the party cadres had tried to ‘bribe’ Gujaratis to attend the rally.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) IT Cell chief Amit Malviya shared a video on his Twitter handle where AAP supporters could be allegedly seen distributing money to the attendees at the rally. He wrote, “AAP distributing cash to people to participate in Arvind Kejriwal’s roadshow in Gujarat,” and called it ‘revolutionary’.
A similar video was shared by media house Desh Gujarat that started with a video of a man sitting in an auto who alleged he was paid to attend the rally. He said people were paid Rs 500 to come to the event. He further claimed he was not aware that it was a political rally.
The party is contesting all 182 assembly seats in the state where voting is scheduled to be held in two phases, on December 1 and 5. The votes will be counted and the results will be declared on 8 December 2022.