“I was reading in some newspapers that it will be a symbolic fight (in Varanasi) and it is Modi who will win,” Kejriwal told a meting of Muslims from across the country here.
“I want to tell him (Modi) that I am going (to Varanasi) not only to fight but I am going to defeat him,” he said.
Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party’s “success story” of Delhi – when the party won 28 of the 70 seats and formed a government that lasted 49 days – would be repeated in the Lok Sabha election.
“In the Delhi (assembly) elections, nobody knew our candidates. But they defeated those who were MLAs for 20 years. I feel this will be repeated in the 2014 general election.”
Kejriwal, who was repeatedly cheered, was addressing a meeting of Muslims attended by over 500 professionals and intellectuals from several places including New Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
There was a roaring approval when the former Delhi chief minister demanded to know who from among the audience will go to Varanasi to support him in the election.
Amid cries of “Inquilab Zindabad”, scores of hands went up in the hall.
Kejriwal has said that he will hold a rally in Varanasi to decide if people want him to take on Modi, who the BJP has fielded in the Hindu holy town in Uttar Pradesh.
Kejriwal quoted some people as saying that Modi would provide “stability” if he became the prime minister. But the AAP leader said “stability” was not as important as providing security to citizens.
He asked if the victory of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, while supposedly providing political stability, had led to matching security for Muslims in the state.
“Some people say we don’t have an economic vision for the country,” he said. “All these can come later. The most important thing now is to battle corruption.”
Some of the organisers urged Kejriwal to ensure better education and governance for Muslims which, they said, the Congress and the BJP had not been able to give for decades.