Modi Refused To Meet Kejriwal Today, Says AAP | HuffPost India
The Arvind Kejriwal interview: Modi plays the politics of vengeance, not the government and its ministers, in the hope they won't be affected. You can see what is happening in the MCD [Municipal Corporation of Delhi]. 'The partnership of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi has made their biggest mistake. How AAP routed the BJP: Read this interview! countries and they won't be able to disclose the information and that it would hamper . When we came to know that certain Congress MLAs are defecting, we ensured they. New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying he was "too busy," the Aam Aadmi Party.
That only the Centre can do. That is the only solution. In the same manner, the current MCD management has to change. It is complete corruption. This works out to Rs one crore a month. The average cost of one hoarding every month is Rs 1 lakh.
This means they earn Rs one crore from hoardings. Do you think there are just hoardings in East Delhi? You will get hoardings alone on the stretch of NH 24 that passes through East Delhi. The implication, therefore, is that all other hoardings are illegal or belong to politicians — and the MCD remains mum.
If you ask me, they should have been earning Rs crore from advertisements alone. Similarly, I calculated that its annual share of revenue from parking fees is just Rs 2. It comes to Rs 1. One parking guy told me that they earn that much from one parking lot in just three days.
They should have been earning several hundred crore of rupees. They get house tax. Where has that money gone? They get toll tax. Where has that gone? They have gobbled up all the money. We gave them Rs crore. Yet its employees did not get salary. How was it that it managed to distribute salary then, but could not now, despite the amount we gave them? Where has the Rs crore gone? Either it has been diverted for other purposes or it has been siphoned off. We sent a committee to inquire from them what they did with the amount we gave them.
But they refused to show their accounts to the committee. So what is the way out? Dissolve the MCD and call for elections. No, what is the option before the committee if the MCD continues to refuse showing its accounts? We invoked that section.
PM Narendra Modi Refused to Meet Arvind Kejriwal, Says AAP
But they still refused to show the accounts to us. What are we to do? The Congress has always been ambivalent about giving full statehood to Delhi. The BJP has reversed its position on it. Do you think they are only interested in seeing you run Delhi like an NGO?
They have to answer that question. But, basically, they want to paralyse the administration of Delhi. Today morning, one Delhi government officer came to me. They have issued a warning to me to quit the Delhi government.
Come to the Centre, and you will be given whatever post you want. Over the last month, around 77 officers have been called by the CBI. They are made to sit outside the office for six hours. Then they are called into the room, where five officers grill them.
These officers abuse them, inquire who meets the chief minister, who drafts my notes… Then they are threatened that if they continue to stick with me then they would face what Rajender did. To Nawaz Sharif, he goes [over to Pakistan] to wish him happy birthday. Am I worse than Nawaz Sharif?
They are caught between, getting squeezed. Is Modi opposed to you because he fears you might in the future become a challenge to him at the national level? What kind of conversation you have had? I have met him twice. You have Skill India, we will skill Delhiites. You have Start Up India, we will do that. And I will credit you for it. I am neither asking for money nor for land. All that I am asking of you is that do not interfere in our work.
But Modi must have said something to you in these two meetings. Oh no, it is just me who kept talking. I tried to explain to him that politics was before the election. Now, both the Central and state governments should work together. Our government is for the Congress people, for the BJP people as well.
What did he say to you? I kept asking him whether I was wrong in saying that we should work together. If anything, I think their aggression has become more and more severe, day by day. I have never seen anything like this — calling ten-ten officers of the Delhi government and threatening them.
Since when has this been going on? Ever since Rajender Kumar was raided. They found nothing other than 10 liquor bottles, all of which were accounted for. After all, the media carried your allegations against Arun Jaitley? It remains as hostile as it was.
Why do you say that? They carry whatever story they want against us, regardless of whether it is true or false. They kept talking about the onion scam. We sent them the relevant papers. Even the editor agreed that there was no scam, that they had been running a wrong story. Are you talking about Aaj Tak channel? So they agreed it was a wrong story and said they would immediately stop telecasting it.
We will drop it now, the channel said. They kept saying now, now, now — and the story was run for good six hours. We keep running into each other in official functions. Jaitley must be really angry with you. Do you think you will be blocked in cleaning up the DDCA?
It is a long journey there. First, the inquiry [set up by the Delhi government] has to be completed. But the DDCA in its present form is a thoroughly corrupt organisation. It is not just me who is saying that.
There are so many others have exposed the corruption in it. A way to reform it has to be found. It is the cricket which is suffering, the children who play the game. You… We are winning it. What explains such a huge surge in the state? I think people are seeing we are doing good work. A lot of people feel AAP needs a chief ministerial face in Punjab.
Congress leader Amarinder Singh has repeatedly said that you are likely to be that face. Are you open to this idea? Actually, I come to them even in their dreams. For all of 24 hours, they just see me. When the time comes, the chief ministerial face too will emerge. I am not worried on that score.
Still, would you be open to the idea? As of now, there is no such thing. AAP is seen as an urban party. In what ways will the party change its language to appeal to rural voters? On the contrary, I think AAP has a far greater appeal in rural Punjab than it is has in the urban area. There could be several reasons for our popularity there.
It could be because of the compensation we paid to the farmers. Tell me, has any government tried to improve government schools? AAP is the only party which has made improvement of government schools an issue. Has any government tried to improve government hospitals? Have they tried to provide free medicine? These are all issues relevant and affecting the people, who therefore join us. By contrast, when other parties come to power, they connive in the deterioration of government schools and hospitals.
The biggest mistake that the BJP made was that they gave us so much time to revive our cadres, to re-enthuse them, to build our party organisation structure. We started doing small sabhass and for everything, Kejriwal was always hands on. He is a 24x7 politician. He is always meeting with the cadres, he is always involved in party activities at the very micro level. Why did you lose so badly in May ? We lost badly because we had resigned in 49 days and people were really upset with us.
A substantial section who had voted for us in the assembly election moved over to the BJP. But it was the idea of AAP they were endorsing.
They didn't see AAP as an alternative at the national level. When they voted for the BJP, it was a transactional vote for Modi. They bought the promise that Modi will usher in acche din. AAP had nothing to offer in the Lok Sabha elections.
Modi Refused To Meet Kejriwal Today, Says AAP
It was not a serious contender. Still, our vote share went up by 4 per cent. We jumped from 29 per cent to 34 per cent. We were number two in all seven constituencies. Had we been in government, we could have won at least 2, 3 seats. Which was the turning point to create an atmosphere in your favour? When Modi became a distant remote idea and he started batting away from the public consciousness.
On the other hand, we were constantly batting in the public consciousness. While Modi increasingly became distant and remote, we increasingly became proximate, intimate among the people -- always with them.
The biggest strength of AAP is its large army of volunteers. As of today, we have roughly around 30, active volunteers in Delhi which is a huge volunteer base. What is the issue of the election of ? The issue of this election is that Delhi needs a chief minister who works for Delhi 24x7, who is here to fix the micro problems of Delhi. You can say Kiran Bedi can also work 24x7. Kiran Bedi was with Arvind during the Anna Hazare movement and then she moved away.
For three years she was, maybe, on a lecture tour. Kejriwal was standing by the underprivileged class of the city which is fighting on the issues of electricity, water, corruption, price rise. He sat on two dharnas, 15 days each. He carried out such a massive civil disobedience movement on the electricity issue when Sheila Dikshit was in power. Then he built the party from scratch. That party gave a tough fight and he became the chief minister.
He delivered during those 49 days. He showed that if the government is honest, the whole government machinery can be cleansed of corruption. Extortion, corruption, bribery was stopped. Electricity companies's loot was stopped.
An audit was ordered. The tanker mafia and inflation were reined in. And then Kejriwal fought another election. He became a mass leader. Bedi had an image of being a tough cop. Arvind in the meantime grew into a mass leader. How does AAP function? AAP is a bunch of fighters who have all come together, who have been fighting in their individual ways.
So it is a whole army of warriors who have had a sterling track record in their individual fields. They had all contributed to public life in their own individual ways. They have all come together. It is this collective strength of all the fighters, that never say die attitude, that is the biggest strength of AAP. We don't get scared of an Amit Shah. We won't get scared of Chidambaram, Jaitley because there is nothing against us.
Prashant Bhushan is very low-key. Shanti Bhushan, a co-founder, is against AAP now. This co-founder is a moniker that the media loves to use. When AAP was founded, there were roughly 1, people who came together.
Shanti Bhushan was one among those 1, people. We have a rule that no two people from the same family would have top executive functioning roles in the party, so only Prashant Bhushan was a member of the political affairs committee. Shanti Bhushan was just a member of the party.
Prashant Bhushan never campaigned in the Lok Sabha because he is so busy with his court cases. He is campaigning now.
He held two sabhas recently. Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan are two separate entities. Both have their own minds. Give us some evidence of the Kejriwal wave. The evidence of the Kejriwal wave today is that he represents the broadest social coalition in Delhi -- from the upper middle class to the middle class to the lower class, from majority to minority, everybody is with him.
You would find the support base of Kejriwal in all classes, all sections, all regions of Delhi, which is not the case with the BJP. We are not talking about the Congress because it is not in the race.
Kejriwal has struck a chord with every section. Every section of this city has a reason to vote for him. People know he can deliver a corruption-free government. He will cut to half electricity bills and stop the loot.
He will crack down on the water tanker mafia. He is a discerning man and doesn't want concentration of power in just one hand. How much has the controversial Rs 2 crore donation cheques affected AAP? My reading is that it will give us an additional advantage and edge now.
This is a witch-hunt. Now you are in power! You are not an outlier anymore. You are the most powerful man in the country and you are saying that a rookie party has got Rs 2 crore through money laundering. What is stopping you from carrying out an investigation? Why are you behaving like an Opposition party? Opposition parties level allegations. Parties in power act. Two days before the elections, a transaction which is eight months old, you are raking it up as a Rs 2 crore scam.
You don't want to give accounts of Rs 20, crore, but you want to go after this Rs 2 crore? And what is the allegation that you haven't done enough due diligence? Due diligence is that you have taken money through cheques, you have put it voluntarily up on your Web site, but the allegation is that maybe this company is shady. We have said 'Why don't you go and investigate the company? Everybody knows that whatever you may say about AAP or Kejriwal, they are not corrupt.
They are honest people. They may have made tactical mistakes. They shouldn't have resigned. They may be inexperienced, but nobody believes that we are dishonest. Even hardcore RSS cadres would not say that Kejriwal is dishonest. The partnership of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi has made their biggest mistake. They have been very successful for their party in the last two years, but this partnership, this batting pair, has made the biggest political mistake of their life so far, which is calling Kejriwal a chor.
What is failing on their side? They are getting desperate now. They are in power. They have won state after state. They have swept the Lok Sabha elections. They have the might of the State with them. They have big money backing them. And now a defeat is staring at their face coming from a two-year-old party. That is what has made them frustrated and desperate. The entire BJP is in disarray today. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
The left hand is not coordinating with the right hand. Party cadres are not happy with Kiran Bedi. Do you think the introduction of Kiran Bedi was a strategic error? It is a series of tactical mistakes. Every move including delaying elections, trying to engineer defections, trying to buy out our MLAs, then going into the election without a CM face and without an agenda, then at the last moment bringing in Kiran Bedi, then Kiran Bedi going around and talking too much, exposing Kiran Bedi to public scrutiny, then putting a gag order on Kiran Bedi, then bringing in Narendra Modi etc.
So it is like they are in complete disarray. Don't you think Narendra Modi does not still face anti-incumbency? He has not made any political mistake in the last eight months.
He may have been lacking action on the ground, but People don't see the idea of Kejriwal necessarily in conflict with the idea of Modi. People believe that the two can co-exist.