Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal Sunday said his party has gained popularity for its “work-centric politics” and asserted the party workers should be ready “to go to jail for the paths we have chosen for the public good”.
Chairing the National Executive and 12th National Council meetings of the party, held virtually on Sunday, he said, “The Aam Aadmi Party has risen to the third place among 1,350 political parties in these 10 years.” “If we were not successful and did not do anything good, then none of our party leaders would have gone to jail and today everyone would have been happy with their families,” he said.
Mr Kejriwal’s remarks assume significance since the Enforcement Directorate has asked him to appear before it on January 3 in connection with the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case.
The Delhi CM said that two major parties have ruled this country for 75 years and said “these people will not relinquish power so easily”.
“I think we are facing a struggle, but there’s no need for us to be saddened. Our five leaders who are in jail today are our heroes. We are very proud of all of them. I am continuously in touch with lawyers. It’s a very good thing that even while in jail, all our leaders’ spirits are still very high.
“On the day Manish Sisodia’s bail was cancelled, he sent a message saying, ‘It’s okay, I’ll stay in jail for as many days as needed. This entire case is fabricated, and my struggle will continue’,” he added.
At the National Council meeting, Mr Kejriwal asserted that the AAP has given the country a viable alternative in electoral politics and has gained popularity for its “work-centric politics”.
Addressing the party workers, he said, “If you give good education to children, you will have to go to jail. If you provide free treatment to the poor, you will have to go to jail. We will have to go to jail for the paths we have chosen for public good.” He also praised Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for the remarkable progress in the state.
“We have shown what work can be done that other parties couldn’t accomplish in 75 years. In the last two years, the work done by the AAP government in Punjab shows that if our government is in full power in a state, we can work very swiftly and do wonders,” he asserted.
He further said that AAP has made a significant impact on national politics in 10 years. For the first time in the country, opposition parties have been compelled to discuss schools and hospitals, he opined.
“Now, these people have replaced manifesto with ‘guarantee’ term stolen from us. They have started talking about ‘Modi’s guarantee’ and ‘Congress’s guarantee’. These people have given guarantees to the public, but none of them fulfilled them because their intentions are not right, whereas we are fulfilling all our guarantees,” he added.
He also informed the AAP officials about the national council and executive meetings of the party in physical mode in Amritsar in view of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Explaining the hurdles faced by the Delhi government and the freedom enjoyed in full-fledged state Punjab, Mr Kejriwal said, “In Delhi, due to obstructions created by the LG and the Centre, we set up 550 Mohalla Clinics but in Punjab 662 Aam Aadmi Clinics (Mohalla Clinics) are operational now and by January 26, 2024, the number will reach 750 in just two years.” He also asked the party workers to build and strengthen the organization across the country. Elections cannot be won without a strong organization in states, he said.
“The AAP is a part of the INDIA alliance in the Lok Sabha elections. We must contest well on the seats we get in seat sharing, and our entire effort will be to win all those seats. Volunteers of the party from states where the AAP isn’t contesting Lok Sabha elections will come and help in the places where elections are being contested,” he added.
After the Lok Sabha elections, the Haryana Assembly election is the most significant for the party, he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)