The same blame-game or a new ray of hope?
With the general elections around the corner, the Aam Aadmi Party kick-started its three-day campaign in Maharashtra, starting from Mumbai. Arvind Kejriwal arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday and commuted just like an “aam aadmi” would, by auto-rickshaw and local train. Amidst all the fuss about chaos at Churchgate station and damaged metal detectors by the party members, Arvind Kejriwal along with the AAP Maharashtra candidates for the Lok Sabha elections addressed the maha jansabha at Kannamwar nagar 2, Vikhroli.
Before the arrival of the AAP leaders at the venue, the party workers tried to boost the spirit of the crowd gathered, and created a patriotic atmosphere by singing songs and chanting slogans. The enthusiasm of the people, eagerly waiting for Kejriwal, was at its peak. Donning the “Main hu aam aadmi” caps, and shouting “Vande Mataram”, the crowd was a mix of men and women, young and old. All the arrangements were in place and the AAP workers were scurrying around, maintaining discipline to avoid any disorder.
Finally, Arvind Kejriwal, accompanied by Meera Sanyal, Mayank Gandhi and other leaders reached at around 7.30 pm among the cheering crowd and impatient photographers. Sanjeev Sane, AAP candidate from the Thane constituency addressed the crowd first, followed by Vijay Pandhare (AAP candidate from Nashik), Nandu Madhav (Beed), Naresh Thakur (Kalyan), Medha Patkar, Mayank Gandhi and the most-awaited speaker Arvind Kejriwal.
Medha Patkar is contesting Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North-east constituency. Her speech highlighted the prevalent levels of corruption in Maharashtra and how Aam Aadmi Party can bring in Jan Lokpal and revamp the nature of democracy in this scams-hit state. According to her, if the face of politics changes, the economy will change too. The power and wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few and majority of the people are poor and victims of corruption. Maharashtra has a malaise of inflation and rising prices on one hand, while on the other hand the corrupt-few are walking away with thousands of acres of lands at a cost as low as 40 paise per acre. People pay 40,000 crores of tax and still 72% of them are slum-dwellers. She accused the BJP and Congress of teaming together and pocketing huge sums of money.
Arvind Kejriwal, too, played the same blame-game.
“Congress broke all records of corruption in the last 10 years,” he said. He claimed that the country is not run by Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi nor by Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi; it is being run by Mukesh Ambani. He also stated that the BJP is an expert in fixing the media. According to him, no one dares to write anything negative about Modi. The businessmen, media everyone is under the influence and control of the politicians.
However, Aam Aadmi Party is the new ray of hope for the people, they claim. “Delhi will be repeated in the Lok Sabha too and the Delhi miracle will happen even at the national level”, said a confident Kejriwal. According to Medha Patkar, “Everyone is turning into a patriot and the credit goes to AAP.” They made big promises to people and tried to win the trust of people.
“We will replace the corrupt-politics with honest-politics, politics of hate with politics of love”, Kejriwal promised. He is hopeful of winning more than 100 seats in the Lok Sabha. A miracle is happening in the country, and he urged the common man to utilize this opportunity to bring about a change.
But, many questions still linger over the minds of people. Will the AAP really make a difference to the country or is it just another party fooling people to get into power? Is it really a party of the “aam aadmi” or will the aam aadmi suffer more and more? Are these the same blame-games or is there a glimmer of hope?