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Kejriwal defends his anti-graft credentials at National Council meet

Asserts his party isn't in race for 2019 general elections, but has definitely set sight on 2017 Punjab polls

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s national council meeting in New Delhi on Monday saw suspended members protesting outside. Chief minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal made it clear the party was not in the race for the 2019 general elections, but was in the race for the Punjab elections in 2017. After the expulsion of party co-founders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav eight months ago at the last National Council meeting, all eyes were on the meeting. Kejriwal.

The AAP chief, who had been elected on the anti-corruption plank, had lately drawn criticism for embracing Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad (guilty of fodder scam) at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s swearing-in ceremony in Patna. Kejriwal said it was Lalu Prasad who "pulled and hugged him", and it did not amount to an alliance.

He said, "Delhi's win was miraculous. All indications are that you are going to get the same opportunity in Punjab."

All of AAP's four members of parliament are from Punjab.

Defending his anti-graft credentials he said, "We had two aims in the beginning – tackling corruption and bringing a Jan Lokpal, and Swaraj." He said, in 10 months his government had worked harder than the previous government had in 15 years. "(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had the entire nation at his disposal, even he did not do (anything).”

The council is the body of founding members of the party, while the National Executive is the second highest decision-making body of the party. The council ratifies decisions taken by the party. Founding member Shanti Bhushan had on Sunday told reporters that as many as 40 council members have been served show-cause notices and some 90 people have not been informed about the meeting.

In its political resolution, passed on Monday, AAP has stated that it “is the only party that can provide corruption-free governance and also adhere to its basic tenets of Swaraj, Secularism and Social Harmony.”

Secondly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government which came to power in 2014, has been proved to be “terrible”. It also stated that “intolerance has been rejected by the people of India, first in Delhi and then in Bihar. But, BJP’s continued attempts to make it the centre-piece of its political strategy is a grave threat to the Idea of India.”

As regards the federal structure of the nation, the resolution says: “We resolve to build public opinion and politically oppose the NDA ( National Democratic Alliance) government’s totalitarian attitude towards non-NDA state governments.”

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First Published: Tue, November 24 2015. 00:28 IST