On November 22, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had dinner at an auto driver’s house in Ludhiana. As per his story, the auto driver had invited him for dinner, and Bhagwant Mann and Harpal Singh Cheema accompanied the Delhi CM. The alleged feel-good story being run by AAP’s leadership has a twist, though. According to Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, the auto driver, identified as Dilip Kumar Tiwari, has been associated with Aam Aadmi Party for a long time.
As per the Bhaskar report, Mahendra Kumar Tiwari, elder brother of the auto driver, is a long time member of AAP and has been attending party’s programs regularly. Dilip also attends these programs with his elder brother.
A carefully made video of the entire incident, with emotional background music and special effects, was shared by AAP’s social media handles, showing how the Delhi CM accepted the impromptu invite by a ‘common man’ auto driver for dinner.
Moment of the Day ❤️— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) November 22, 2021
When CM @ArvindKejriwal accepted an Auto-rickshaw driver’s dinner invitation.
Furthermore, Kejriwal ji went ahead & invited the Punjab Auto Driver’s family for dinner at CM house in Delhi. pic.twitter.com/K57JwTaOYo
Kejriwal was invited by Dilip during a meeting organized by the Punjab unit of Aam Aadmi Party at Punjab Bhawan, Ludhiana. At the meeting, while praising Kejriwal for the work he has done for the auto drivers, Dilip invited him for dinner at his house that Delhi CM ‘graciously’ accepted. He asked if he could bring Bhagwant Mann and Harpal Singh Cheema along, to which Dilip agreed and requested him to travel in his auto to the house.
Kejriwal praised the food.
After having the meal at Dilip’s house, Kejriwal praised the food and said it was the same as he likes, without chillies. The reports suggest after getting photographs clicked with the family members, Kejriwal and his team left in the Innova Crysta vehicle donning Delhi number that was, interestingly, already parked outside Dilip’s house before Kejriwal arrived.
The meeting with auto-taxi unions
AAP had called leaders and members of several auto and taxi unions for the meeting in Ludhiana. Reportedly, a large number of auto and taxi drivers had reached for the meeting. They presented the problems in front of the Delhi CM and alleged they were harassed by the RTA, Traffic Police and Punjab Police personnel in Punjab. They further complained government departments impose challan worth thousands of rupees on them. Kejriwal appealed to the auto drivers to put up party’s posters on their autos to help AAP come into power and promised he would resolve all the issues they have been facing in the state.
Channi also wooing auto drivers in Punjab
As the assembly elections are approaching quickly in the state, the political parties have started to gear up for campaigning. Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi also met auto drivers in Ludhiana on Monday and had a conversation over tea with them. He promised the auto drivers that his government would issue new registration certificates and waive off pending challans. The Punjab state Assembly elections are scheduled for early 2022. Former CM Capt Amrinder Singh has already disowned Congress and formed a new party.
There are speculations that he might join hands with Bharatiya Janata Party. Long alley of BJP in the state, Shiromani Akali Dal had snapped ties with the party last year after Agriculture laws were enacted. SAD has formed an alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party to contest elections in the state.