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Never imagined I would get into politics: Arvind Kejriwal

Sunday, 9 February 2014 - 11:28am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
  • Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

He calls himself a "political revolutionary" now, but Arvind Kejriwal says that he had never imagined that he would plunge into politics, form a party and contest elections.

"I had never imagined that I would get into politics," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Chief Minister said. When he sat on an unprecedented dharna on the streets of Delhi last month demanding action against some policemen, Kejriwal had described himself as an "anarchist".

Today he explains that remark by arguing that corrupt political and corporate leaders, some bureaucrats and some in the media were living happily while the common man was unhappy.

"When we spoke about changing the system, it results in anarchy for these people. For them, yes, I am an anarchist," he told PTI editors here. Would he call himself a political revolutionary, the 45- year-old AAP leader was asked.

"Yes, political revolutionary, yes," he affirmed. What would he say to those who call him a dictator? "Do you think people like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav can work with a dictator? So many people have come to us. Will they work with a dictator?", Kejriwal said.

The leadership of AAP has been "inclusive" and if "we were dictators, even four people would not have stood by us," he said.  Asked if he had ever imagined his dream run in politics, Kejriwal said after his party was formed in October 2012, they had a hope of doing well but he had not imagined then that he would be the Chief Minister of Delhi.

To a question as to whether he now had ambitions of becoming the Prime Minister, he replied in the negative, emphasising that his was a cause of corruption-free India for which the AAP was fighting. "We have not come here to do politics of power".

Despite that could he end up becoming the Prime Minister? "You can make any prediction. Who knows!", he replied. Kejriwal is not yet sure whether he would contest Lok Sabha elections but said, "if a need arises, I would contest, but my first commitment is to Delhi".

AAP would identify Lok Sabha constituencies from where corrupt candidates from other parties would be contesting and fight against them. That number could be 150 or 200 or 250 or 350, he said.

"We are not saying, our party will form government at the Centre....but the more our people are elected to Parliament, more it will be difficult for corrupt people," he said. Refusing to comment on BJP's Narendra Modi or Congress' Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal said, "all that I can say is both of them are part of the same political establishment. And I do not think, you have any hope from the two."  

Kejriwal was clear that AAP would not go with any political party or be part of "power politics" in the event of a hung verdict in the Lok Sabha polls. "We will live, fight and die, you will just see", he said. He does not mind being called a Chief Minister in hurry.

"I think, one should be in hurry. Time is less and life is short. There are only 24 hours in a day," he said. Asked how his life has changed after being catapulted into the seat of power, Kejriwal said the first causality was his family life. The Saturday movie with the family had "gone". His official residence has no neighbours. In Ghaziabad, where he lived earlier, his mother and wife used to go out and chat with neighbours. Now the family had no choice nor did he.

"The day we can implement good policies, I will seek political 'sanyas' (retirement).... When the country changes for the better, the AAP would vanish," he said. Reminded that this could take some hundred years, Kejriwal disagreed. People were getting awakened and were standing up. "You will see the light on the horizon," he said.


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