The Common Man Wants Kejriwal to be PM: AAP

Published: 12th January 2014 10:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2014 10:55 AM   |  A+A-


Amid lack of clarity in Aam Aadmi Party on declaring its Prime Ministerial candidate, senior party leader Gopal Rai said the common man wants Arvind Kejriwal to occupy the top post.

"It is the people who want (Kejriwal as the PM). Arvind Kejriwal doesn't want (to be a PM) but the aam aadmi wants.

(They want that) there should be a prime minister who is one of them. Even we would want that he emerges as the prime minister," Rai told PTI.

AAP has launched a massive membership drive after its declaration that it would contest the upcoming Gopal Rai from 20 states.

Rai, who was publicly rebuked at Ralegaon Siddhi by Anna Hazare last month, said despite the soured relationship with AAP, party members still shared an ideological relationship with the veteran activist.

Asked about party leader Yogendra Yadav's comment that he wanted to see Kejriwal as India's prime minister, Rai said what matters is what the common man wants.

"My will or that of Yadav or Kejriwal may not necessarily be the country's will. What matters is what the country wants.

The common man wants that India gets a prime minister like Arvind Kejriwal. He is a hope among the people," he said.

The AAP leader, who is overseeing the party's membership drive -- 'Mein Bhi Aam Aadmi' -- said although BJP won elections in four states last year, the Delhi assembly victory had an impact on the nation.

"In the five states that went to polls last year, BJP won in four while AAP won 28 seats in Delhi, but it had a huge impact on the whole country," he said.

He said people now feel politics is coming closer to them, which is why it is an important change.

The AAP leader said party members and Anna got along well because they shared a common ideology.

"We got together at Jantar Mantar... We had our own background and priorities based on our ideologies.

"He has played an important role in giving this whole movement a new change in the country... it has been registered in history. On a personal level, all of us respect him," he said.

Rai said the Lokpal Bill passed in Parliament was not the bill everyone fought for. The existing bill will not help curb corruption, he said.

"That is why, when Annaji said yes to the Lokpal Bill, we publicly said it is not the Lokpal for which people fought for so long.

"And we said to bring that Lokpal, we will continue our efforts. Because with the Lokpal that has been passed, there is going to be no change in corruption... In the Lok Sabha polls, bringing the Janlokpal will be one of our major issues," he said.

He also spoke about being publicly rebuked by Hazare in Ralegaon Siddhi and asked to leave the village.

"As far as that particular incident is concerned, we were forced to think that while Annaji was talking about the Janlokpal, there were people, who have internal links with certain parties, trying to divert this whole movement, and that is when I protested.

"Annaji was upset probably because it was an open programme. He asked me to leave the village. I said I will leave the village but will not leave the fight," he said.

Rai had on December 13 last year tried to interrupt former General V K Singh's speech at the venue of Hazare's indefinite fast for Lokpal bill in Ralegaon Siddhi and was soundly rebuffed by the activist for the unseemly conduct.

The AAP leader raised some objections, which led to a heated argument between him and Gen Singh, following which the septuagenarian asked Rai to immediately leave the village.


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