Sunday, March 09, 2014

AAP leader came to know of Narendra Modi's "real face" after the two met in 2010: Kejriwal aide

By Our Representative
Following his Gujarat trip, and what would some term as his unprecedented attack on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi during his four-day visit to the state, has Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal's “liking” for the BJP prime ministerial candidate come to a final end? As earlier reported (click HERE to read), Kejriwal was quite “impressed” by Modi ahead of the launch of India Against Corruption (IAC) in 2011, so much so that he, after great difficulty, managed an appointment with the Gujarat CM. It is quite another things that tables have turned now; he went to Modi residence straight dare the CM and ask difficult questions, without the need for an appointment, only to be stopped by cops 5 km away.
If a top Kejriwal aide is to be believed, the AAP leader “realised” that he cannot go along with Modi after he met the Gujarat CM in 2010. Revealing what exactly happened during the meeting, which lasted for two-and-a-half years, the aide, Dinesh Waghela, who formed part of the Kejriwal team which came to Gujarat, told Counterview that the two sides discussed the Jan Lokpal Bill, for which the IAC was planning to campaign.
“Kejriwal met Modi to find out what the Gujarat CM had to say about the Bill. Modi gave Kejriwal his version of the Bill, which differed from the one that the IAC was to propose. Both differed sharply and parted”, Waghela said, adding, “With this ended Kejriwal's view that Modi could in any way be helpful in the fight against corruption. Things became clearer when Gujarat government came up with its Lokayukta amendment bill a little later. Gujarat's Lokayukta bill sought to undermine whatever good things were there in the existing Lokyaukta Act were there.”
In fact, according to Waghela, Gujarat's Lokayukta bill is “even weaker than the one that has been jointly passed in national Parliament”. Reflecting Kejriwal's view on it, he said, “Here, the chief appointee of the Lokayukta is the chief minister, which is not the case with the Lokpal Act passed in Parliament. The right of the chief justice of Gujarat high court to suggest names for Lokayukta have been cornered, under the Bill, by the chief minister.” The Bill has been returned twice by the Gujarat governor for review, because the governor believes it is “weaker” than the existing Act.
Answering a series of questions, Waghela suggested, in Kejriwal's view, communalism was a bigger danger than corruption in India. “We do not believe in seeking support in the name of religion, caste or creed”, he said, though adding, “Any attempt to curb religious freedom, which is a fundamental right of an individual, should be opposed.” He was referring to Gujarat's anti-conversion law, which makes it mandatory for any individual seeking to change a religion to take the permission of the state. “Why should state come in the way of anyone following a particular religion? This is very dangerous”, he wondered.
Asked how did he expect support in Gujarat where AAP had no base, he banked on what he called the “surprise element” in Arvind Kejriwal which, he was sure, would attract the voters. He disagreed with the view that there was no movement in Gujarat in favour of AAP, one reason why it was not possible for the party to gain any support. “I have moved around in Gujarat. I find much more support in this state than what I found in Delhi during the assembly polls last year. People in Delhi used to laugh at us when we said we would fight polls and win. But they later voted for us. Gujarat is far better”, he opined.
The “surprise element” he was referring to related to Kejriwal's sudden decision to visit Gujarat, where he was able to create considerable flutter in North Gujarat, Kutch and Ahmedabad. His decision to “meet” Modi to ask him 16 simple questions took everyone aback. His popular support at the rally in Bapunagar, known to be BJP base, suggested that AAP seemed to be gaining more strength than what many had presumed. Observers, however, wondered if Gujarat's fledgling and divided AAP would be able to capitalise on the support that Kejriwal has been be muster for the party.

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