Arvind Kejriwal, the national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has again grabbed the headlines with a statement he made during a party meeting on Sunday (19 December).
"Everyone can milk the cow, but we have indeed milked the ox by winning five seats and securing 14 per cent vote share in the assembly polls,” Kejriwal said.
He referred to the party's efforts in Gujarat, implying that the party had managed to achieve extraordinary success in a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Social media was quick to point out the obvious that oxen, being male of the species, do not produce milk.
However, many people also criticised the statement as derogatory, with some interpreting it as implying that Kejriwal sees the people of Gujarat as "cash cows" to be exploited for political gain.
During the election campaign, Kejriwal often referred to himself as a "brother or son" of the people of Gujarat and labeled himself as the messenger of "Lord Krishna".
However, his recent rhetoric seems to suggest that he sees Gujarat as a stepping stone for the party to expand nationally.
In the past, the AAP has struggled to gain significant support in national elections, failing to win any significant number of seats in both the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The party also performed poorly in Delhi, its home base, failing to win a single seat in the seven parliamentary constituencies in the region.
In the 2024 elections, it seems that the party is hoping to make inroads at the national level by building support in individual states.
However, the party's performance in various state elections has been disappointing.
In Gujarat, it won only five seats out of 182 and lost deposits in 128.
In Himachal Pradesh, the party failed to win a single seat.
In Goa, too, this year, despite a high-decibel campaign, the party only won two seats out of 40 and 6.8 per cent of the total vote share.
In contrast, the BJP in Gujarat appealed to the pride of the people of Gujarat OR 'Gujarati asmita' and emphasised the state's role in driving the country's economic progress and cultural awakening.
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