Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind KejriwalIANS

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday released the names of 40-star campaigners in Gujarat for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls which included three incarcerated party leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain.

For the first time, signalling an entry into politics, the list also names Sunita Kejriwal, Arvind Kejriwal's wife as star campaigner for the polls.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his former deputy Manish Sisodia are in judicial custody in connection with the PMLA case linked to an alleged excise policy scam while Jain, who was arrested in May last year, is also lodged in Tihar prison.

Besides, the AAP has also announced Sanjay Singh, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, Gopal Rai, Atishi, Sandeep Pathak among others as star campaigners in Gujarat.

Though mystery surrounds whether Arvind Kejriwal will get bail in the liquor-gate case or not, the AAP, as per party insider, is now banking on a mix of cadre and sympathy votes, leveraging the narrative that his arrest was orchestrated to stifle his electioneering.

Arvind Kejriwal heading out of the CBI HQ post questioning, in New Delhi on Sunday, April 16, 2023.
Arvind Kejriwal heading out of the CBI HQ post questioning, in New Delhi on Sunday, April 16, 2023.IANS

Moreover, the party alleges a conspiracy between the ED and the BJP to impede the AAP convener's campaign during the election season.

Meanwhile, Singh's release injected a semblance of morale into the party, with plans to bolster the campaign with the involvement of Sunita Kejriwal, and Singh himself.

According to sources, there is a shift in focus towards the campaign, with Sunita Kejriwal expected to take a more active role in conveying messages to voters.

As Singh had been granted bail, he is likely to take charge of the campaign in Delhi and other states where the party has put forth candidates.

Since March 21, Arvind Kejriwal has remained in custody, initially under the ED's jurisdiction and subsequently in Tihar Jail.

His arrest has upended political equations, both locally and nationally, particularly impacting the AAP's campaign efforts for the impending Lok Sabha elections.

(With inputs from IANS)