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Indian anti-graft activist launches new party

Publication Date : 03-10-2012


Social activist and chief of India Against Corruption (IAC) Arvind Kejriwal yesterday took the plunge into politics and released a draft vision document of his yet-to-be named party.  

From the dais with an imposing poster of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri as the backdrop, Kejriwal said they will announce the party's name on November 26, the day on which in 1949 the Constitution was adopted, as the group is yet to finalise the registration process.

Explaining the rationale behind his move, he said the government has become insensitive to the demands of the public. “Anna wrote three letters to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan. Not a single reply came. Congress today is not with the aam aadmi. Now there is no need to plead. We must contest elections,” he said.

“When we raised issues regarding Lokpal, leaders had asked us why cannot we contest elections and then attempt on making laws. Now we will show them by contesting elections. From today, (the) people are entering politics. Corrupt leaders, count your days...All the parties have cheated us. We will not now request, we will not plead. Now it is a full-throttle political battle,” he said.

He said there was a time when people who fought elections were considered patriots but now people contesting elections are seen as hungry for power. “All parties are corrupt...Our party will change the system and not just the faces in Parliament,” he said.

He said budgets should be made in streets and bylanes and not in Parliament and spoke about a Brazilian town which has adopted this method.

"While many people say that direct power to the people is a weird idea, I can say it with all confidence that this is very much possible. We are working on a model for this and will implement it if elected to power,” he said while unveiling his party's draft vision document.

He also announced a series of agitations against the Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government on the power and water tariff hike issue, threatening to gherao the Chief Minister's residence and snapping power to her house on November 4 if she does not withdraw the hike by then.

Kejriwal said his group will hold a press conference this Saturday to make public sensational allegations against “two big leaders”. Kejriwal left it to his colleagues to refer to Hazare, who had parted ways with the Kejriwal group 13 days ago and forbade them to use his name or photo in their campaigns.

The draft vision document released at the function terms the decision to launch a party as the "quest for swaraj (self-rule) - from subjecthood to citizenship."

It also seeks establishment of a Jan Lokpal, and electoral reforms to "eliminate role of money and muscle power" from elections. 

“Citizens must be consulted on any decision that affects their livelihood. Broad ranging and fundamental administrative, police and judicial reforms need to be initiated so that the interface of common citizen with public functionaries is not marked by bribes, delay and indignity,” said the document.

All public functionaries should be made accountable to people. Private monopoly on natural resources would not be allowed, it said. 


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