Exclusive talk with Kejriwal

Kejriwal 2.0 will pursue statehood, Jan Lokpal, free water and clean air


New Delhi:  Debunking the politics of hate and use of the divisive Hindu versus Muslim hate card, incumbent Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is certain of securing a second term. The combative yet candid Kejriwal was dismissive of polarising politics asserting that his model of ‘kaam ki rajniti’ will work.

Citing proof of concept as his credo, Kejriwal was categorical that his ‘bijli’, ‘pani’, ‘swasth’ and ‘shiksha’ template was not based on subsidy, but by saving money through rooting out corruption which existed in the system.

In an extensive conversation with IANS leadership team of Sandeep Bamzai and Deepak Sharma, he said that the ‘bania’ last ‘dimag’ and skillsets learnt from pursuing mechanical engineering and his stint in the revenue service have given him the necessary heft to administer effectively. Excerpts:

Q: You have been given many labels in the course of your political journey like ‘anarchist’, ‘agitationist’, ‘urban guerrilla’ and now even ‘terrorist’. Please tell us about your journey?

A: Greetings to u all. This election will establish a new kind of politics in this country. When our government started working five years back, we knew nothing about politics, we still don’t. People used to ask us if we were mad to improve schools and hospitals instead of securing the votebanks of Brahmins, Banias, scheduled castes, Muslims and Hindus. But this is not what we came here to do. We continued to work on schools, hospitals, water and power. This election is being fought on these basic issues. You can send your camera team on the streets and ask people and all those who say they will vote for AAP will tell you the list of things we have done for them. If we are successful in these polls, it will herald a new kind of politics called ‘Kaam ki rajniti’ (politics of public welfare).

These are the kind of issues people will vote for all over the country. This is what our opponents do not want. They have put in all their might to defeat us. I’m up against 200 opposition MPs, 10 CMs and 70 Union ministers and a cross section of several parties like Congress, BJP, RJD, BSP, Akali Dal and LJP, as they do not want this new type of politics to be successful. They are hurling all kinds of abuses against me, calling me ‘traitor’, ‘terrorist’, ‘anti-national’, ‘Raavan’ and ‘thug’.

Q: Arvind, you say you are a greenhorn in politics but you are giving a tough fight to the ‘Chanakya’ of Indian politics. He has told people to press the EVM button so hard that the electric shock is felt all the way to Shaheen Bagh. Is he targeting you?

A: You see, our opponents were given the mandate to take care of the municipal corporations by the people, while our task was to improve the schools. They couldn’t handle it, they reduced Delhi to a garbage dump in 15 years of their rule. They were responsible for controlling crime, but again they failed. So they have nothing positive to show to the people. They also cannot find any fault with our work. They tried to show fake videos of our schools and Mohalla Clinics. Now they are just left with the Shaheen Bagh issue and the same old Hindu-Muslim divisive politics.

I say I will build schools and hospitals, but they keep chanting ‘Shaheen Bagh’. What is the real issue in Shaheen Bagh? There is this road where these protesters have gathered. They have to be shifted away somewhere where they can continue to protest, because ordinary people are facing a lot of inconvenience. School buses and ambulances cannot pass through that road. But a powerful Home Minister like Amit Shah cannot get that road vacated? No one is going to believe that Amit Shah cannot get a single road cleared.

(IANS Exclusive Interview)