Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday welcomed Surat businessman Mahesh Savani into Aam Aadmi Party ahead of the Gujarat state assembly elections likely to be held in December 2022.
Mahesh bhai, welcome to Aam Admi Party. We all will work together for the development of Gujarat. https://t.co/npn59tXFjm— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 27, 2021
The move, however, garnered intense criticism as Savani, a top realtor from Surat was arrested in 2020 on allegations of extortion and kidnapping.
Who is Mahesh Savani?
Savani, who also owns several educational institutes and also an alleged social worker, was accused of kidnapping Gautam Patel (65) from his house and demanding Rs 19 crore for his release.
Patel and his business partner who is now deceased had allegedly borrowed money from Savani for an infrastructure project. Patel who was liable to pay Rs 3 crore could not do so, hence offered 60 per cent share in a plot of land. Savani could not recover his money and allegedly hatched a plan to kidnap Patel when he arrived in India for his son’s marriage.
Patel’s kidnapping by Savani and his aides was reportedly captured in the former’s CCTV footage installed at his residence.
On the other hand, Savani is famous for organizing mass marriages for orphaned girls and gifting cars and homes to his employees.
Mahesh Savani’s selection
Addressing a press conference on the day of joining AAP and claiming to be impressed by the political party’s good governance, Savani said, “After 51 years of social service, I decided to join politics to continue my services at a larger level. Education is the foundation for everything. Government-run schools in Delhi are the best. During a recent visit to Delhi, I got to know that the Delhi government runs 700 to 800 schools. I visited seven such schools that can compete with any private school. I have also seen medical facilities there. The initiatives by the AAP government are excellent, so I have decided to join the party.”
It must be mentioned here that the interim report submitted by a panel led by AIIMS doctors on Supreme Court mandated oxygen audit said that Delhi government overstated oxygen demand and it could have worsened the crisis during the second wave of Chinese coronavirus.
Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia talking about the party’s growth in the state said, “The AAP is like a vacant plot in Gujarat, where a house of new and modern politics of the state can be built. To lay the foundation of this, we welcome Mahesh ji to the Aam Aadmi Party.”
गुजरात के सफल उद्योगपति और प्रसिद्ध समाजसेवी महेश सवानी आज आम आदमी पार्टी में शामिल हुए.— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) June 27, 2021
महेश भाई का AAP परिवार में स्वागत है। गुजरात की राजनीति अब एक नया मोड़ ले रही है। #હવે_બદલાશે_ગુજરાત pic.twitter.com/9g9XCZpGxC
“In Gujarat, the AAP is growing day and night at quadruple speed,” Sisodia claimed.
गुजरात के सूरत से महत्वपूर्ण प्रेस वार्ता | LIVE https://t.co/UTc1xByx9q— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) June 27, 2021
“Now it is not only the work of Delhi, but the work of Gujarat has also started speaking, the work of the councillors has started speaking. Impressed by all that, Mahesh bhai decided to join the AAP family,” said Sisodia welcoming Savani into the party.
AAP leader abusing Brahmins
We reported earlier how another Aam Aadmi Party Gujarat leader Gopal Italia’s old videos had been doing the round on social media where he could be heard insulting Brahmins and Hindu rituals.
Insulting the Hindu rituals, he claimed that those who attend these Satsangs/Kathas clap like ‘hijras’ (eunuchs). “I am ashamed of such people. It angers me. If you don’t like what I said block me. We don’t need those who clap like hijras in name of rituals and culture. Some Sadhu will speak nonsense from the stage and we have to clap like hijras?” he said.
Italia was seen sitting next to Sisodia during a press conference held on Sunday to induct Savani into the party.
Winning 27 out of the 120 seats in the civic body elections, AAP considers it to be ready to take on the Bhartiya Janta Party in the state. The party has also announced its plan to contest the state elections of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.