RSS a disciplined outfit like LeT: AAP candidate Kumar Vishwas

Amethi, April 15: Having got into trouble for praising RSS, Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Amethi Kumar Vishwas on Monday said the Hindu nationalist group's discipline was as "good" as that of militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Earlier this month, the 44-year-old AAP leader had praised RSS as a "disciplined force" and asked "if an organisation speaks in favour of a larger majority, does it mean it is communal". However, the remarks did not go down well with Muslims who demanded his expulsion from the party.

In an interview to PTI, Vishwas said, "I have said RSS' discipline is very good. The discipline of Lashkar-e-Taiba is also very good, people are ready to die. Learn discipline from them. Do not learn Hindu Rashtravad from them."

Adding further, he said he believed that good things from all streams should be taken, but disagreed with the RSS view of Hindu Rashtra.

Up against two formidable opponents - Rahul Gandhi and BJP's Smriti Irani - Vishwas is facing a daunting task to wrest this 'family pocket borough' from Congress and the fact that no big leader from his party has campaigned for him so far in the high-profile constituency which is going to polls on May 7.

Asked why no big leaders have campaigned here for him, he said, "When I take up a challenge, I do not think of who will follow me. On April 15, I will file the nomination after a 14-km foot march. Those who want to join me can come with me."

He said so far he has worked in this constituency on his own strength.

"The party was busy elsewhere and I was told that I should tell them whenever I required them. Now I have told them and Arvind Kejriwal, Shazia Ilmi, Manish Sisodia will come here." AAP leader Rajmohan Gandhi will also campaign for three days from May 3.

The poet-turned-politician Vishwas also alleged a "deal" between BJP and Congress and attacked them for "practising politics of comfort zone".

"She (Irani) was sent here under a deal. A deal has been struck between Congress and BJP under which BJP will be given advantage in Varanasi, the Lok Sabha seat of Narendra Modi, and Congress in Amethi. Politics of comfort zone is being practiced by all parties," he alleged.

"And one will not speak against Ranjan Bhattacharya (former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's foster son-in-law) and the other will not speak against Robert Vadra (Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law). Congress candidate from Vidisha fails to reach there to file nomination against BJP's Sushma Swaraj. This politics of comfort zone is at its peak in Amethi," he further claimed.

As electioneering picks up here and Vishwas and BJP candidate Smriti Irani appear racing against each other in chasing Gandhi, the two-time Congress MP from the seat, the AAP leader says he is "hopeful" that a new political stream will emerge with the result in Amethi, which he describes as a "contest between grass root and parachute" politics.

Except in 1977 and 1998, Amethi seat has always been held by a Congress candidate. The only time a Nehru-Gandhi family candidate was defeated from here was in 1977 post Emergency Lok Sabha polls when Sanjay Gandhi lost to Bhartiya Lok Dal. Rajiv Gandhi represented the seat four times, Sonia Gandhi once and Rahul twice in 2004 and 2009.

Vishwas, who said that he is "100 per cent if not 200 per cent" confident of winning the polls, is quick to add, "If by one per cent it happens that I do not win, then we will have to understand that we need to educate people and the voters more and make them more aware.

"If I win, the message will go to the whole country that the son of an ordinary teacher can defeat somebody even if he has a family lineage or even if somebody spends Rs.100 crore in election."

Attacking Rahul, he said the Congress vice president "comes in a helicopter and meets only three four people" and does not even own a house or land here.

"My victory is certain and if it is otherwise, the next election will take place in 2016-2017. The indication emerging in Indian politics is that there is no stopping alliance government this time. If BJP forms an alliance government, then they will lose the next election badly," he said, vowing to fight again from Amethi.

Vishwas, however, saw a "farce" in Rahul saying that he has family relationship with people of Amethi.

"This is very farcical and an insult to people's sentiments. 40 thousand women are running from pillar to post for widow pension in the constituency. Does Rahul know that there is a Haliapur area, where 100 villages consume water from a pond, where river Gomati consumed 7000 hectare land and farmers are begging. He knows nothing. I have come here to challenge this farce," Vishwas said.

Kumar also disagreed that BJP candidate Smriti Irani being in the fray has undermined whatever contest was expected between Congress and AAP.

"Smriti has come only 20-22 days ago and this is a very big constituency. The constituency was already unhappy with one political actor, now another actor has come, an actress, who was unwilling to contest," he said.

Team Vishwas has appointed a 10-member team at each of 1600 booths here to enrolling 1000 free office bearers tasked with bringing at least 100 voters to the polling booth.


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