“I am not trying to be toppled”, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said amid growing confrontation between him and the Congress party over a key anti-graft legislation.
Kejriwal, who heads the minority Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital, has threatened to resign if he is not able to get his pet Jan Lokpal Bill passed by the state Assembly. He has refused to get prior clearance of the Union Home Ministry for it as demanded by the Congress on whose support his government survives.
Responding to media speculation that he was itching to quit in order to be a “martyr” ahead of the Lok Sabha polls which AAP is going to contest a large number of seats, Kejriwal said on Saturday that this impression was wrong.
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“I am not trying to be toppled, that impression is wrong. I am doing my work. We are working day and night and working very hard,” he said.
At the same time, the Chief Minister said that he does not bother about his government. “I do not bother about our government. That is the last thing I have in mind. If the government is going to fall tomorrow then it should fall today.”
Asked if the fact that the Congress could pull the plug anytime weighed on his mind, he replied, “That is their problem. If they have a problem why did they support us?”
Responding to the perception that some of his actions were calculated to provoke the Congress to withdraw its support, the AAP leader said, “No, no why should I do that ?
“They had prior knowledge that we will do this. If they thought that we will not open corruption files of the previous (Congress) government and we will not investigate into them, it was their mistake because they did not know whom they were supporting,” he said.
Kejriwal said that his government would investigate every single case of potential corruption that may have taken place during the 15-year rule of the Congress led by Sheila Dikshit.
Describing himself as a small person, Kejriwal said that he and his colleagues had quit their careers to plunge into politics in order to rid the country of corruption. Most of his staff were drawing a token salary of one rupee.
“I am trying to say that all the people who have joined us are working for the country and not for power. Our motto is not to stay in power,” he said.
Asserting that he did not want AAP to become a “power centre”, the Chief Minister said, “AAP is not important in the long run. In the long run, AAP should vanish. It should not exist after we reach out aim.”
Kejriwal was sharply critical of large sections of the media and demanded that funding of the media houses should be made transparent.
“Ordinary journalists are very good. At reporter level, at the middle level, patriotism is there in everybody,” he said adding that in many media organisations money played a role which cannot be overlooked.
He said that he had heard that big industrial houses had huge stakes in some TV channels. “It should come out who is having how much stake in which channel.”
Another point was about political leanings of the media. “A channel is owned by a Congress MP. So there should be statutory warning like the one on cigarette packets that this channel is owned by this political party so that the public decides whether it wishes to watch it or not,” he said.