Arvind Kejriwal says next general election between PM Modi and rest of the country

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At Manish Tewari book launch, Yashwant Sinha says he was aware that the “company in which I have been photographed will send some message…. But I must also say that I don’t really care because… I am past caring”.

Disgruntled BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal shared the same stage on Thursday from where the Delhi Chief Minister declared that the next general elections would be between Narendra Modi and the rest of the country. The three were at the release of Tewari’s book Tidings of Troubled Times. Sinha, now in the crosshairs of the BJP for criticising the central government’s way of handling the economy, made several witty remarks targeting the government.

Kejriwal, who was once criticised by the Congress, said there was pervasive fear in the country and people cannot compromise on their freedom. “The people are going to fight the 2019 elections. Parties will not fight….The battle is going to between your (pointing to Sinha) leader, your big leader and the people.”

He said “whether the Opposition will come together or not… that is arithmetic” which is also “necessary in electoral politics, but the way I can see the churning that is happening among the people… people can forsake food but cannot compromise with freedom”.

Kejriwal said “it seems the entire country is under surveillance” and there is an unprecedented “raid raj” in the country and traders across the board are living in fear. He applauded Sinha for showing courage and speaking the truth about the slowing economy.

Tewari said “politics is about probabilities and probabilities are eternal”. He recalled that the first AAP government in Delhi was backed by the Congress and the AAP had backed the Opposition candidate in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections.

Sinha said he was aware that the “company in which I have been photographed will send some message…. But I must also say that I don’t really care because… I am past caring”. He responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to Shalya, a character in the Mahabharata, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s quip that he was a job applicant at 80.

“Mahabharat has been the flavour… since yesterday,” Sinha said. Characters from Mahabharat have suddenly appeared in our consciousness. Some people are talking about Shalya,” he said. He then explained: “He (Shalya) was the uncle of Nakul and Sahadev, the youngest brothers of the Pandavas…. When he left to take part in the Mahabharat war…. Duryodhan arranged for him to be entertained so well that without realising who was responsible for the entertainment… he promised to be on the side of host Duryodhan. But he promised that ‘I will not pick up arms’ and became a charioteer of Karna.”

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