New Delhi: On the foundation day of the Aam Aadmi Party, it's National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal says his party will redeem the pledge in the Constitution of India and re-connect politics to patriotism. In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, Kejriwal says Delhi Assembly elections would be the party's first battleground.
Here is a transcript of the interview:
CNN IBN: What would be your message for and commitment towards the survivors of 26/11 terror attack?
Arvind Kejriwal: It is very unfortunate that the people who fought for the security and soverignty of India on November 26, 2008 have been given a very rotten treatment by the Government of India. Surinder is standing with me and he was one of those people who staked his life on 26/11 and today he is fighting for his pension. He is being mocked at, he is being questioned by the government, he is not getting his pensions, he is footing his own medical bills. We are going to raise all these issues today.
It is a historic moment today. On November 26, 1949, the Constitution of india was adopted and today on November 26, 2012, people of this country are redeeming that pledge why we fought for the country and the kind of India we wanted. Unfortunately, we have a completely different India today. Our freedom fighters did not fight for this kind of India. So, please come to Jantar Mantar and let's all form this Aam Aadmi's Party.
CNN IBN: On the foundation day, please tell us what are the three principles your party will not compromise on ever?
Arvind Kejriwal: Corruption, democracy and nepotism.
CNN IBN: Politics, they say is the art of compromise, the art of pragmatism. But you are known to be a person who is stubborn. Do you think you can compromise? It is essential to have the art of negotiating, of building coalitions, we have a coalition culture.
Arvind Kejriwal: In your opinion and popular opinion today, politics is a bad word. Politics is about compromises, politics is about corruption, politics is about coalitions, politics is about crime and therefore we should compromise. We don't agree with that, we are not into it for all that. We want to change the way politics is being perceived in this country. There was a time when Lal Bahadur Shashtri also fought elections. There was a time when Jawaharlal Nehru, Babasaheb Ambedkar also fought elections. They were in politics. And at that point of time when people used to fight elections it was perceived that they were doing 'desh bhakti' but today, the connotation of the word ' politics ' has completely changed. We want to change that. We want to connect politics back to patriotism.
CNN IBN: Your first battleground will be Delhi 2013 and then the General Elections in 2014?
Arvind Kejriwal: Yes. These are there. But, I can't say this right now because the party has to decide. But, certainly these are the things which have been discussing.
CNN IBN: You say you will not have a high command culture, but some people already say that you are the high command of your party?
Arvind Kejriwal: I don't know on what basis they say that.