A confident Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held a massive rally here on Wednesday afternoon with the objective of highlighting the fact that its fight against corruption and other politician-bureaucratic-made societal problems has just begun, and would acquire a pan-India profile within a year.
Addressing the rally towards the evening at Jantar Mantar, Kejriwal rejected suggestions and allegations of the AAP celebrating its significant second-place finish in the recently held assembly elections in Delhi, and said this rally was being held to laud the hard work put in by AAP volunteers over the last year to unseat established but unpopular local Congress leaders and politicians who had taken the hugely harried citizens of Delhi for granted and run a corrupt-ridden administration under Sheila Dikshit for 15 long years.
He also said that this massively attended rally had also been organised to honour the memory of “martyred” AAP volunteer Santosh Koli, who was killed in a road accident a couple of months ago while on a campaign in the Seemapuri Constituency.
He said the rally was being held to honour the efforts of people from all walks of life, who had left their jobs, homes, and taken a sabbatical to ensure the success of the AAP’s goal of taking on corrupt administrations head-on across the country, including in Delhi.
He said the volunteers had come in from as far off places as Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and other parts of India, accepting the huge challenge before them without fear.
Emphatically making it clear that the AAP is prepared to stay in the opposition and not all interested in forming the government with either the BJP or the Congress, Kejriwal challenged the latter two to form a coalition administration as they followed the same ideologys.
“The BJP and the Congress are both corrupt and incite riots. So, they should join hands and form the government in Delhi,” said Kejriwal.
Kejriwal has time and again made it clear that his party won't prop up the BJP, which has 32 seats, in Delhi.
Meanwhile, a snap poll on Tuesday said most people in Delhi want the one-year-old AAP, which took birth following the anti-corruption campaign of Gandhian Anna Hazare, to form a government.
“Now, we have to also contest the Lok Sabha elections as well. Hence, we would need more donations,” Kejriwal added.
He asked what if the BJP falls short in the general elections?, and answered “ won’t they make efforts to form the government for Narendra Modi.
He said that it is a historic and opportune time for people from all walks of life to join the AAP bandwagon and change the face and profile of India.
He also informed AAP supporters that Kumar Vishwas and he would be going to Ralegaon Siddhi in Maharashtra on Thursday to meet veteran anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.
Earlier, Vishwas said: “The broom (AAP symbol) has swept through the corridors of power in Delhi. Now, it will sweep across the rest of the country.
He also challenged senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley to contest the general elections against him from a seat in Delhi, or even against any other AAP candidate.
Vishwas and Manish Sisodia also challenged Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to contest the elections against them.
Former psephologist Yogendra Yadav said: “Someone told me that the party which got four seats more than the AAP (Read BJP), is scared and asking the AAP to form the government.
AAP volunteer and recently elected Delhi Assembly member Gopal Rai said AAP was with Anna Hazare in his struggle for the Jan Lokpal Bill, and would do its best to realise this dream.
The performance of the newly-formed AAP has created ripples in the Delhi political battleground. Despite winning maximum constituencies, the BJP has failed to get a majority.
The Congress on Tuesday indicated it might give unconditional support to the AAP to form a government in Delhi even as the Arvind Kejriwal-led party pledged to neither give nor take legislative backing from anyone and the BJP said it was ready for fresh elections.
As uncertainty over government formation continued after elections threw up a hung assembly, the Congress -- which won only eight seats -- appeared wary of another election which could devastate it further in the city.
In contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the single largest group in the 70-seat house with 31 members, and the AAP, which won 28 seats in its very first election, remained defiant, refusing to form a government.
"Considering the present situation, we are not in a position to form the government. We are ready for re-election," BJP's chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan said.
Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari told the newly-elected legislators to prepare for fresh polls, party sources said.
Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel added: "Instead of trying form a coalition, we would rather sit in the opposition.
Meanwhile, Hazare said that he was not at all sad over Kejriwal and AAP stupendous performance in the Delhi poll
“Why would I be sad? Kejriwal has had a impressive debut, he should celebrate,” said Hazare.
Speaking specifically about the Lokpal Bill, he said: “The government is blaming the opposition,and the opposition is blaming the government for the Lokpal.This is cheating the public.”