Resigning as Delhi CM was a mistake, says Arvind Kejriwal
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday admitted that his decision to resign as the chief minister of Delhi was a mistake, but added that his party would return to power with a majority.
Kaushambi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday admitted that his decision to resign as the chief minister of Delhi was a mistake, but added that his party would return to power with a majority.
"I admit that my resignation was a mistake, we should have asked the people before doing so... As soon as I resigned, all the initiatives that I took were reversed. There is something wrong with the system. The Congress and the BJP came together and did not let us work in the city. I resigned anticipating the dissolution of the state assembly and with the idea that we will come back to power in the re-election," Kejriwal told ANI in an exclusive interview.
"What I did not anticipate was that President's rule would be imposed and that the elections would not take place for over eight months," he added.
Kejriwal also took umbrage over the media projection that his sitting in protest as the chief minister was a ploy to gain public support.
"I think the media has projected me in a negative light as far as the protests are concerned. I went on a protest because the safety of women is not something I can compromise upon. The first move I made when I was the chief minister was to summon the Police Commissioner and told him firmly that I would hold the police accountable for incidents of rapes. When three such incidents took place, I went on a protest," he said.
"It was not a ploy. Sitting on the road in the winter in Delhi cannot be a ploy. People called me an anarchist for doing so. Narendra Modi had sat on a three-day protest in 2007 to support the Narmada Dam, but no one said anything. Nitish Kumar sat on a protest, but no one said anything," Kejriwal added.
Kejriwal further said that he was confident that the AAP would come to power with an absolute majority this time.
"I am confident that we will get full majority. I am expecting that we will win around 45 seats. If you go to Uttar Pradesh, people are crying out for the resignation of the Samajwadi Party, similarly in Punjab, they want the Akali Dal to go. However, in Delhi, they ask us why we resigned. People were so happy with our government that they want us to be voted back into power," he added.
With the Union Cabinet recommending the dissolution of the Delhi Assembly and setting the stage for fresh elections in the days to come, political parties have begun finalizing their poll campaign strategy to grab power here.
President's rule was imposed in Delhi since February after the Kejriwal-led AAP government stepped down after remaining in power for 49 days.
In the assembly polls, AAP had secured a vote share of 29.49 per while BJP and Congress got 33.07 percent and 24.55 percent respectively.
Congress' vote share came down to 15.1 per cent in the Lok Sabha election while BJP's support base went up to 46.1 per cent and AAP's vote share increased to 32.9 per cent though the party lost in all the seven seats in Delhi.
Kejriwal also rejected criticism that he quit the government as he had had prime ministerial ambition.
"I didn't leave chief minister's chair to become prime minister. That is a BJP propaganda. A chief minister does not require to resign constitutionally to become prime minister. Did Modi leave the post of CM while contesting, aiming to become PM? If I had such ambitions why would I fight against Modi? I would have chosen a safe seat. This is complete bunkum," the AAP leader said.
Admitting that contesting over 400 seats in Lok Sabha was a mistake, he said he took full responsibility for the defeat. "I take full responsibility for the defeat."
AAP had contested over 400 seats and won in four in Punjab.
Kejriwal said BJP will be AAP's main opponent in the polls as Congress was not in a position to offer a strong fight. He also said BJP and Congress do not have any credible face to project in the elections.
He came down heavily on BJP for the delay in facing the polls saying the party has played "dirty politics, dirty tricks with the people of Delhi which is not right".
"We wanted to make systemic changes through law and rules like Lokpal bill and various other laws but we did not have a majority. Congress and BJP ganged up. That is the reason we resigned. We thought we are resigning today and elections will be held tomorrow and people of Delhi will vote for us.
"There we committed a mistake. Our political estimation was wrong. Assessment was wrong. We did not foresee that President's rule will be imposed," he said.