It seems India's Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has finally realized that more than any other politician, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal has the potential to ruin his chances of becoming the country's Prime Minister. Sources in Modi's core strategy team said that the chief minister is now seriously focusing on 'strategizing afresh' for his 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign.
This comes immediately after AAP staked claim to having made over 1.25 lakh members across Gujarat in 10 days. Their membership drive was launched on January 1. AAP state convener Sukhdev Patel on Friday claimed that 5,000 members from the city enrolled with the party on a single day.
Sources said that leaders of Delhi unit of BJP, members of the Citizen for Accountable Governance (CAG), and other highly qualified young professionals roped in by Modi last year, met the Gujarat chief minister recently. "Even senior BJP leader of Delhi, Dr Harsh Vardhan, rushed to Gandhinagar last week at short notice and had a long meeting with the Gujarat CM. CAG members and other Modi strategists discussed possible ways of countering Kejriwal," said a source.
Sources said that Modi had asked CAG members and BJP workers to synchronize their efforts and launch a major campaign against AAP in Delhi from January-end or February.
Delhi unit of the BJP has also been instructed to attack Kejriwal and his core team on local governance issues so that they are unable to move out of the national capital and replicate their efforts outside Delhi.
Another key source said that to counter the growing popularity of Kejriwal and AAP in the metros and towns of the country, CAG and BJP have chalked out plans for 15 states where they will organize meetings of young professionals and students in groups of 100 to 200 persons, who will be briefed about Modi and BJP's plans for the country, the source said.
New technology, different from the large public meetings organized across Gujarat using 3D technology during the 2012 Gujarat polls, will also be used. "CAG and BJP volunteers across the country will hit the streets from January-end for the Statue of Unity campaign and counter media hype around AAP,'' sources added.