Exactly a year after he resigned from a 49-day tenure that was often embroiled in debates on the AAP’s promises to end VIP culture, Arvind Kejriwal began his new stint as chief minister with a similar promise, but asked for “time”. He said the Aam Aadmi Party had made a “beginning in their 49 day sarkaar” but asked the media “not to make fun” of their efforts.
“We want to start something new from Delhi. We want to end VIP culture. You tell me yourself. Do you like it when a big minister is passing on the road and the road is shut for an hour and all traffic is jammed? That with a red beacon car a minister goes past…? I have found out that in many developed countries in Europe, the Prime Minister can be found standing at a bus stand. Why can’t we bring that culture here? But it will take time.”
Addressing the media “with folded hands”, he said, “We say we won’t take red beacons, the media says we took cars. If we dont take cars, how will we go to work?”
Almost predicting that a controversy would erupt when he moves into a house in Delhi from his current residence in Ghaziabad, Kejriwal said, “Watch, in three days, it will be said that Kejriwal has gone into a big house. A great man once told me, wherever a person reaches, he should not forget his standing. I know my standing. I am a very small man. In my house today, there are four or five rooms. Wherever I go, why will I need more than four or five rooms? But I will need space for an office or how will a Chief Minister work? Everyday, you will all come to meet me, so will I not need space for 400-500 people? So will only take that much space, that house, will not take a bigger house, don’t worry.”
Sources within the party confirmed that the hunt for a new residence in Delhi was on, but said that there was no hurry. “We are looking because a new residence in Delhi will be required. The residence he lived in last time on Tilak Marg has now been occupied. It will not be an expansive bungalow but some space will be required as he pointed out in his speech,” a leader said.