Kejriwal launches party, name to be announced on Nov 26
New Delhi: After splitting with Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal today launched his political party without giving out its name, promising to change the system and not just faces in Parliament.
From the dais with an imposing poster of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri in the backdrop, Kejriwal said they will announce the party’s name on November 26, the day on which in 1949 the Constitution was adopted, as the group is yet to finalise the registration process.
In his address to his supporters at a day-long meeting, he said, “when we raised issues regarding Lokpal, leaders had asked us why cannot we contest elections and then attempt on making laws. Now we will show them by contesting elections.
“From today, people are entering politics. Corrupt leaders, count your days…All the parties have cheated us. We will not now request, we will not plead. Now it is a full- throttle political battle,” he said.He said there was a time when people who fought elections were considered patriots but now people contesting elections are seen as hungry for power.
“All parties are corrupt…Our party will change the system and not just the faces in Parliament,” he said.He said the budgets should be made in streets and bylanes and not in Parliament and mentioned about a Brazilian town which has adopted this method.
“While many people say that direct power to people is a weird idea, I can say it with all the confidence that this very much possible. We are working on a model for this and will implement the same if elected to power,” he said while unveiling his party’s draft vision document.
He also announced a series of agitations against Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government on the power and water tariff hike issue, threatening to gherao the Chief Minister’s residence and snapping power to her house on November four if she does not withdraw the hike by then. Kejriwal said his group will hold a press conference this Saturday to make public sensational allegations against “two big leaders”.
At the launch, Kejriwal left it to his colleagues to refer to Hazare, who had parted ways with the Kejriwal group 13 days ago and disallowed them to use his name or photo in their campaigns. At the venue, “I am Anna” caps, which was prominent in the Team Anna agitations, gave way to “I am Aam Aadmi (common man)” caps.
Detailing about the need for the movement turning political, Kejriwal said the country was on sale and opposition was not doing its job.”There is no opposition. All parties are in power. We will have to clean the Assemblies and Parliament. This is the time. If we delay it, the country will be sold in five years,” he said.
Finding fault with claims that laws were not made by common man but by lawmakers, he said, “they say most of the people do not have the knowledge to deal with such issues.Then half of those sitting in Parliament are illiterate.
“If they can make laws, then common man can make laws. If Rabri Devi can run Bihar, then people can make laws,” he said.A draft vision document envisaging devolution of power to people, fighting corruption, containing inflation, right to reject, right to recall and ensuring fair prices for farm products as objectives of the party was released at the function.
Distancing himself from the political route, activist Kumar Vishwas said he will not be a member of the party and will remain apolitical.”I am not a member of the party. If some thing goes wrong with the party, say after ten years, there should be people left to fight against it at Jantar Mantar,” he said.
In an apparent reference to Hazare’s remarks that politics is “full of dirt”, activist Sanjay Singh said the politics done by Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jyoti Basu, E M S Namboordiripad, or Raj Narain were not so.”Politics is not always full of dirty. It is being made so,” he said.
Referring to Hazare, another activist Gopal Rai said “the objectives of the party are the dreams of the ‘fakir’ of Ralegan Siddhi. We will make it happen.” He also referred to Hazare’s remarks of extending support to Kejriwal if he contests election.