Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday launched a campaign to select the outfit’s chief ministerial candidate for the Gujarat Assembly elections.

“Today, I would like to ask the people of Gujarat to tell us who they want to see as the next chief minister of Gujarat,” Kejriwal said at a press conference in Surat. “To know the opinion of the public, we are releasing a number 6357000360. You can send SMS, WhatsApp messages, and leave voice messages. We are also releasing e-mail aapnocm@gmail.com. You can send your opinions till 5 pm on November 3.”

The Aam Aadmi Party will announce the name of its chief ministerial candidate on November 4 on the basis of votes received, he added.

Kejriwal also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party for replacing former Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani with Bhupendra Patel, saying it was done without asking the public.

“Does this mean that there was something wrong with Vijay Rupani?” he asked. “Was he removed because he was corrupt or inefficient? Why was he removed?”

The Aam Aadmi Party’s national convener said the BJP keeps changing the chief minister from Delhi. “In a democracy, the people decide who will be the chief minister,” he said. “Neither did you [BJP] ask in 2016, nor did you ask in 2021.”

Such a practice of not seeking public opinion is not followed by the Aam Aadmi Party, Kejriwal said.

“During the Punjab elections, we had asked people as to who should be the next chief minister,” he added. “People named Bhagwant Mann by a huge majority. And as per the wishes of the public, we announced his name.”

The Delhi chief minister claimed that there is an atmosphere of change in Gujarat and voters feel the Aam Aadmi Party is going to form the next government in the state.

Kejriwal also said the BJP has no agenda on what it will do in the next five years for the development of the state. “Inflation and unemployment are the only things that the BJP has given to Gujarat,” he added. “The state tops the list when it comes to these two metrics.”

Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Legislative Assembly are due in December. However, the polling dates are yet to be announced by the Election Commission.