On Friday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sounded the poll bugle and asked AAP workers to go to every household in the national capital to tell people about the “conspiracies” of the BJP and ensure that it doesn’t get a single seat in Delhi in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
Kejriwal, while addressing a congregation of AAP workers (‘karyakarta sammelan’) told them to ask people in every household if they want him to continue to serve as the chief minister from jail in case he is arrested or if he resigns.
He said, “I have no lust for the chief minister’s post. I am probably the world’s first chief minister who resigned after 49 days without anyone asking me to do so.”
“I have held meetings with councillors and MLAs who said that I should continue being the chief minister if I am arrested. I am assigning you a task — go to every household, talk to people, ask them whether I should continue as the chief minister from the jail and tell them about BJP’s conspiracies. Ensure that they do not get a single seat here. This will be campaigning for Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
Kejriwal, who is also the national convener of AAP, said that the BJP knows it cannot defeat the AAP in Delhi; that’s why it is “hatching conspiracies” and putting AAP leaders in jail.
He alleged, “Four of our leaders are in jail today. They are an inspiration. Don’t be scared of going to jail. If Sanjay Singh and Manish Sisodia leave AAP today, they will be out of jail within 24 hours.”
Kejriwal also said that the BJP had plans to target leaders from different regional parties in the lead-up to the Lok Sabha polls in order to derails their election campaign.
He said, “They have planned to put me in jail to ensure that AAP cannot campaign in Lok Sabha polls. They have planned something similar in Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand. But I challenge you, you put these leaders behind bars and you might just be cleaned up.”
The Delhi chief minister also said that the AAP had become a national party in a short span of 10 years and had gone from strength to strength.
“We have got the status of a national party. There are 1,350 registered parties and we left them behind and are only behind BJP and Congress. The way it is growing, one day the AAP will rule the country leaving behind BJP and Congress,” he said.
How The AAP Was Formed
In April 2011, a civil society movement was born in the backdrop of big ticket corruption scandals that came to light during the Congress-led UPA regime. A group of activists from varied backgrounds had come together to demand the enactment of the Jan Lokpal Bill – a legislation that had been stuck in Parliamentary committees for decades.
With public anger against corruption building up with every expose that came from the news media, the demand for a strong law that could deal with a corrupt political establishment found widespread support among ordinary Indians. Under the banner of India Against Corruption, Indians rose up in protest against the government of the day, demanding the Jan Lokpal be passed immediately.
Spanning over two years, across hundreds of cities, towns and villages, lakhs of people mobilised themselves for this cause. Protest marches, gheraos of politicians, social media campaigns – a revolution had begun. Led by social activist Anna Hazare, thousands of people in several locations sat on fasts on three separate occasions to build support for the Jan Lokpal Bill, and pressure the government into acting on people’s demand.
At the end of the third and final fast, despite all efforts of the IAC, the Parliament had still not come around to passing the Jan Lokpal.
The failure of the government to agree to the people’s demands was the result of the deeply entrenched corruption that had decayed India’s political establishment.
A Jan Lokpal was directly detrimental to the interests of the political parties and their leaders. That’s when one section of IAC activists, led by Arvind Kejriwal, decided that the only way to rid this country of corruption was to join politics, enter government and clean up the system from within. Thus began the journey of the anti-corruption protest towards the political revolution called the Aam Aadmi Party.