Kejriwal flays Lalu’s dynasty politics, says Modi regime ‘terrible’ (Roundup)

New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared on Monday that he had no love for RJD leader Lalu Prasad’s “dynasty politics” even as his AAP called the Modi government as “terrible” as the erstwhile Congress-led UPA regime.

And while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said it was not eyeing the next Lok Sabha election in 2019, it expressed confidence that it would win Punjab’s assembly polls of 2017.

Kejriwal’s remarks and the AAP’s intent became known at a meeting of its National Council that decided to retain the chief minister as its national convenor till May 2016.

Addressing the close-door meeting here, Kejriwal said he remained firmly opposed to Lalu Prasad’s corrupt past and dynasty politics despite hugging him publicly in Patna — an act which triggered a volley of criticism.

He said Lalu Prasad was on the stage in Patna where Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took oath on November 20.

“He shook hands, pulled me towards him and hugged me. And held my hand and raised it. This was projected (widely) and questions were asked,” a party spokesman, while briefing the media, quoted the chief minister as saying.

“We have not formed an alliance (with RJD). We are against his (Lalu Prasad’s) record of corruption and will always oppose it. We are against his dynasty politics.

“His two sons are ministers. We are against that too.”

Kejriwal added: “I am happy that questions are being asked because people have hope (in AAP), because they think we are different.

“Nobdoy asks (these) questions when other leaders hug Laluji. This is good for us.”

He took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he did not do whatever the AAP had achieved in Delhi.

The AAP regime, he said, was the first to oust one of its own ministers when it realized he was linked to corruption.

Nine months after he led the AAP to a sweeping victory in Delhi, Kejriwal called the growth of the country’s youngest political party “a miracle in itself”.

Saying the AAP didn’t believe in “power politics”, he said it was not eyeing the next Lok Sabha battle. “Don’t run after elections.”

But he quickly added that Punjab, which elected the AAP’s all four Lok Sabha members in 2014 and where assembly elections are due in two years, would be an exception.

“All indications are that you (are) going to get the same opportunity in Punjab (as in Delhi).”

A resolution passed at the meeting said the Modi government had proved “just as terrible” as the UPA it replaced last year. It was its strongest ever attack on the Modi government.

The AAP said people replaced last year “the most corrupt government in Indian history with an alternative that promised development and good governance.

“In the past 18 months, the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance), has proved just as terrible.”

The resolution said corruption pervaded all levels of the central government, economic growth was lacklustre, employment generation was negligible, social-sector spending had fallen, and the agrarian economy had been left to fend for itself.

“Politically, the BJP has stayed true to its past and gone on to try and tear the social fabric that delicately binds Indian society.

“The real agenda of the BJP is intolerance and the purpose is dividing society for political gains.”

The AAP said this “manufactured intolerance” had been rejected by people, first in Delhi and then in Bihar.

“But BJP’s continued attempts to make it the centre-piece of its political strategy is a grave threat to the Idea of India.”

The AAP vowed to “politically oppose all corrupt and communal forces which in our view are the primary danger to Indian society”.

It also accused the Modi government of diluting the country’s federal structure.

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