Indian Express

Sri Sri’s latest: Bar regional parties from national polls

Why can’t we keep changing parties like America does?” He urged voters to consider national security as a factor when they go out to vote. Tweet This
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People who claim to be secular play a lot of religious politics, the spiritual guru said. (PTI) People who claim to be secular play a lot of religious politics, the spiritual guru said. (PTI)

Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, describing coalition governments as ‘khichdi’, on Sunday said regional parties should not be allowed to contest national elections.

“We should have a rule that regional parties should not contest national elections,” Sri Sri said at an India First Speakers’ series event organised at Hotel Palladium in Lower Parel.

He said another spell of coalition government would be disastrous for the economy. “We don’t need a khichdi. If there is a weak government, the dollar may touch the 100-rupee mark to make the economy extremely weak. We need a strong and corruption-free government.”

He did not publicly endorse Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the prime ministerial post and targeted the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.

“People who claim to be secular play a lot of religious politics,” the spiritual guru said.

Citing concern over economy and national security, the Art of Living founder said, “We need change. We change security guards every eight hours. Jab ghar ka guard aath ghante change karte ho, then desh mein ek hi guard 10 saal se hain. (When you change security guards every eight hours, the country has the same guard for 10 years).”

“Why can’t we keep changing parties like America does?” He urged voters to consider national security as a factor when they go out to vote.

Refusing to endorse Modi for the post of PM, he said he did not want to influence voters and rob them of their freedom of selecting a candidate. Sri Sri took a dig at AAP claiming “this was not really the time to experiment like in Delhi with the economy in such a sorry state.”

Comparing AAP to a toddler in politics, Sri Sri said, “Ek saal ke chote bacche ko tum driver ke seat par bitha doge (if you make a toddler sit in the driver’s seat), then he won’t be able to reach the brakes and the clutch.” He added, “I like Arvind (Kejriwal). He is a nice person. But he should not have resigned. He should have given good governance.”

When someone asked what voters should do to ensure Modi comes to power, Sri Sri said, “Opponents want you to relax when they say you will get many seats. You must not relax. Put in all your effort.”

He also criticised Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar for his controversial comment on double voting.

He said the Election Commission should consider announcing elections six months to a year in advance and parties should declare candidates six months before elections.

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