M A I N   N E W S

Team Kejriwal makes its formal entry into politics
Launches political party, name to be announced on Nov 26
Ananya Panda/TNS

New Delhi, October 2
Formally announcing its much-anticipated foray into politics, Arvind Kejriwal and his frontline India Against Corruption (IAC) colleagues today offered a credible political alternative, promising to usher in an electoral revolution and change the way of policy-making and governance.

“Today is a big day. We are going to contest elections and from now on all political parties should start counting their days. The agitation will continue. Earlier we fasted, protested and urged the government but not anymore. Henceforth, we will make laws. We will fight elections and dislodge the Congress-led government,” Kejriwal declared at a meeting held at the Constitution Club located a street away from Parliament.

Seeking to justify the need for a political party in the backdrop of sharp differences that led to the split of Team Anna and IAC members, Kejriwal asserted it was to accept the challenge that instead of agitating, they should contest elections and become lawmakers. Any delay in taking the electoral plunge would mean letting go of an opportunity that would be difficult to explain to the next generation.

Aware that Anna Hazare disapproving formation of a political outfit still rankles many supporters, Kejriwal and his team sought to underscore that the party would conduct its affairs on the principles of ‘Swaraj, Lokpal, Right to reject and Right to recall’ espoused by the crusader against corruption. The attempt was clearly to sustain the moral strength of Anna Hazare around whom the IAC campaign revolved till the recent split.

Kejriwal and his colleagues drew the contours of the new party as being inclusive with people directly deciding on every policy issue, suggesting that be it the Budget or policies, it should not be decided just by ministers but also by people, as practiced in Puerto Rico and Switzerland. The alternative model moves away from the existing parliamentary form where people’s representatives take part in the decision and law-making process.

“Democracy is not about holding polls every five years, but to make decisions as per the views of people. This will be a people’s party with already 20,000 people sharing their views on the party’s name,” he said, indicating the extent of engagement with people.

Admitting to the challenges of running into the risk of being like other high-command political parties or pre-poll funding means, team member Gopal Rai said: “There is a challenge before us that the party should not become one run by the high-command, but act as the representative of the people. Tickets will be given by people and the polls will be fought with people’s funds. We know that we cannot compete with others (political parties), but we’ll give an alternative and then oust those opposing Jan Lokpal.”

On his part, Shanti Bhushan expanded the rationale of associating people and contrasted it by hitting out at the high command structure of the Congress, while Kejriwal sought to paint the Congress and the BJP with the same brush of corruption.

Symbolism of the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri was amply demonstrated with speeches and announcements being made from a platform where portraits of these two leaders formed an impressive backdrop.

the road ahead

  • The vision document of the yet-to-be-named political party envisages a new model of governance
  • Kejriwal said the party would test the waters in the Delhi Assembly elections due next year





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