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AAP against crony capitalism, not capitalism: Kejriwal

We are first class citizens victims of third class governance, Kejriwal said.

New Delhi | Updated: February 18, 2014 1:32 am
Arvind Kejriwal said that they are not against capitalism but they are against crony capitalism. (Photo: PTI) Arvind Kejriwal said that they are not against capitalism but they are against crony capitalism. (PTI Photo)

Former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal caught his audience by surprise on Monday saying he firmly believes all business in the country should be privately owned and that he nor his party agreed with colleague Prashant Bhushan’s view that all enterprises should be state-owned.

Addressing the National Council Meet of the Confederation of Indian Industry here, Kejriwal said, “Government has no business doing business, it only has to govern. Business should all be held by the private sector… The party disagrees with Prashant Bhushan’s view that all enterprise should be state-owned.

However, if the government is inefficient then private sector will loot. Who will then regulate the private sector.”

A section of the audience remained sceptical of the AAP leader’s pro-business pitch. Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Construction Company Ajit Gulabchand asked him whether he was really pro-business or whether his speech was merely pro-audience given the negative reference about business in his book Swaraj and comments from AAP leaders Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav.

“His speech does not impress me. People like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav have repeatedly made anti-business comments but Arvind Kejriwal made an effort to sound pro-business. He said his book was on politics that is why there is little on business. I cannot understand. Till I see AAP’s economic policy written down and passed in a party meeting I cannot comment,” Gulabchand said.

Quizzed about his decision to audit power companies and the tirade against Reliance Industries, Kejriwal clarified his party is against crony capitalism not capitalism.

Kejriwal, seen as having Left leanings, praised industrialists as the real engines of growth and appealed to them become party to the “revolution.” He promised to simplify tax structures and spelt out his party’s opposition to “licence raj”, claiming that in his 49 days at the helm in Delhi he solved many pending VAT issues of businessmen.  “We are first class citizens who are victims of third class governance,” he said.

Some in the audience were impressed. He was not grilled about withdrawal of Delhi government decision to allow FDI in multibrand retail. Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej did not agree entirely with the single point anti-corruption agenda but said, “I cannot talk about others but I came back reasonably convinced. He is not as much a socialist that I thought he was. A lot of council members had doubts on that count. It was a good speech but too short to outline an economic agenda.”

Some industrialists felt his single-point agenda of ridding the country of corruption was naive. They felt Kejriwal was deficient in providing a real roadmap for economic rejuvenation and job creation. “He took great pains to explain he is not anti-private sector and certainly moulded a lot of opinions in the room to his advantage. A single point agenda of cleansing the country of corruption may be a bit naïve. We look forward to a concrete roadmap,” said Binayak Chatterjee of Feedback Infra.

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  1. Ani Kerala
    Feb 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm
    know your pm aspirant - arvind kejriwalAfter b tech from iitk joined tata steel …spent most of the tenure on leave preparing for civil service exam….rank was low could get only irs tried second time still the same …..even while in service started some ngo work……went on paid leave for higher studies….don’t have any info on what studies were done but during that time made a lot of contacts that enabled foreign fund for the ngo he operated…..came back and did not complete the bond period in service ie bond was for 3 years quit after 18 months….still did not pay the bond amount for years….later while ociated with anna movement claimed govt harment because when he sought the relieving order from service perhaps to regularize the record before entering politics , govt asked to pay the bond money due ( that is , the ry he drew while on leave for higher studies !) made a lot hue and cry and invoked all kinds of loops but finally paid up after friends/supporters ‘donated’ the amount of over 9 lakhs !!......after leaving service he started operating a string of ngo’s for social reforms , each getting liberal funding from abroad……then switched on to political reform and lauched anna movement……once that lost its steam and sort of petered out started the political party with a group of close friends……a variety of factors like total digust with congress and communal/casteist appeal propelled them to become second largest party ( as per yogendra yadav at the time of election result, a third of those who voted for aap stood for modi for pm kejri for cm slogan ….now he may have a different song to sing) after formig the govt kejriwal never thought of staying on for any length of time…..he devised schemes to eject himself with a martyr halo…..and now he is hankering after pm post….....let us see !!
    1. J
      James Bond
      Feb 17, 2014 at 5:12 pm
      Mr.Kejriwal,You are useless.You do not know how to govern!Just to suspend few police officers you go to street and protest.You could have done more better than reseigning.Please go and take rest.Stop talking(mouna vrat) for few days.By telling everyone is corrupt except you is wrong.Of course 90% congress people and 09% of BJP is Corrupupt.You should have governed with the help of BJP and brought corruption under control.You failed.You made grave sin by taking help og Congress.Your broom stick cannot remove the dust 100%.Even LOrd Krishna did not kill the sinners in one go.You developed big ego thing you are pure uncorrupt everyone else is corrupt.This is your wrong idea.