Will focus on Delhi in next 5-10 years: Arvind Kejriwal
NEW DELHI: Preparing for the polls, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal today said he will focus on Delhi for the next five to 10 years and any decision on fighting elections in other states will be taken only after people’s mandate in the capital.The civil servent-turned politician, who faced severe criticism for quitting as Delhi chief minister in February, said AAP was “fully ready” to take the electoral plunge and identified BJP as its main opponent.
“We are only concentrating on Delhi. As far as I am concerned, I am going to focus on Delhi for next five to 10 years,” Kejriwal, who led AAP to a dream debut in the Assembly polls in December last year, said.
Noting that a strong base in the national capital was necessary for the party’s growth, the 46-year-old leader said any decision on fighting elsewhere will be taken after polls in Delhi.
“Till Delhi elections, we are not fighting in any other election. After polls here, the party will decide where to fight and where not to fight,” he said.
The AAP leader also strongly rejected criticism that he does not know how to govern, saying people were amazed to see the speed at which the AAP government was taking decisions and provided relief to them.
“We are very confident of our victory. People were amazed to see the speed at which our government was functioning and the kind of decisions we were taking. We are confident of coming back to power,” he said.
Kejriwal, who had emerged as a mascot of an alternative brand of politics after the Assembly polls last year, said BJP has been running “propaganda” that AAP does not know how to govern.
“They say we do not know governance. I want to ask what is governance. In the last 65 years, BJP have been in power in so many states. Can you name a single state where corruption had come down substantially? Congress has been in governance for 65 years at the Centre and in states, they could not contain corruption. We did it in 49 days. We know governance. They do not,” he said.
Kejriwal said BJP’s decision not to project a chief ministerial candidate reflected the party’s lack of confidence in facing the electorate and said people will reject it in the polls.
“BJP has done nothing for the city. It could not contain price rise. Congress could not contain price rise. But we had controlled it,” he said.
Kejriwal said Congress will not be able to put up a strong fight in the polls. “The fight will be between AAP and BJP.”
On recent clashes in various parts of the city, the AAP Chief, without naming any party, said, “A trend of instigating riots ahead of elections has emerged.”
Asked whether Narendra Modi capitalized on the issue of corruption in the Lok Sabha polls though he and Anna Hazare made it a national issue, Kejriwal evaded a direct reply but said the Prime Minister has not been able to contain graft so far.
“He (Modi) has his own style. I have my own. If he filled the vacuum that time, we will now see what he does now. He promised that he will bring down corruption. So far he has not done anything. People have hopes. People still think he will do something. We had done it in 49 days. He is in power for around 200 days,” said Kejriwal.
He said Congress had failed to play the role of a strong opposition.
“A weak opposition is bad for the country. Opposition is very weak now. We need a strong opposition,” he said.
Asked whether Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will be able to revive the party, Kejriwal said, “That is for Cong to decide.”
On whether Congress will be able to come out of the current situation, Kejriwal said, “It is their internal matter. They will have to sort it out.”