Kejriwal says communalism bigger threat than graft

Kejriwal sidestepped a question about whether he would fight against Modi in the Lok Sabha elections.

New Delhi | Published:February 25, 2014 1:35 am
Kejriwal sidestepped a question about whether he would fight against the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections while other AAP leaders targeted the “communal” politics of the Gujarat chief minister. PTI Kejriwal sidestepped a question about whether he would fight against the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections while other AAP leaders targeted the “communal” politics of the Gujarat chief minister. PTI

Former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday said communalism is a bigger problem facing the country than corruption, the main platform of his Aam Aadmi Party and the central theme of much of his politics so far.

Addressing an audience comprising prominent Muslim academics and intelligentsia at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Kejriwal sidestepped a question about whether he would fight against the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections while other AAP leaders targeted the “communal” politics of the Gujarat chief minister.

“Communalism is a bigger problem in front of the country than corruption and it is never about people fighting each other. It is political parties who pit communities against one another for narrow electoral gains. But the truth is, neither has BJP ever done anything for Hindus nor Congress for Muslims,” Kejriwal said.

Although Kejriwal made a powerful pitch against communalism, the absence of Muslim candidates in AAP’s first list and his reluctance to commit to a face-off with Modi agitated some in the audience.

Accompanied by former journalist Ashutosh, who is set to fight on an AAP ticket from Chandni Chowk, and controversial former Delhi minister Somnath Bharti, Kejriwal said both Modi and the Congress stand for crony capitalism. 

“Do not trust a man who flies down from Gandhinagar to meet victims of the Patna blasts but in 13 hours does not visit Gulbarg Society barely a few miles away,” Ashutosh said.

All three repeatedly said AAP does not believe in treating communities differently on the basis of their religion.

Asked whether he would take on Modi in the Lok Sabha elections like he had done with then Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Kejriwal said: “There is no certainty yet on whether Modi is fighting elections or not. Traditionally, Congress and BJP have never fielded strong candidates against each other’s top leaders. We bucked that trend for the first time by giving a tough fight to Sheila Dikshit. Even now we have fielded Kumar Vishwas who is a very senior AAP leader against Rahul Gandhi.”

When his displeased audience persisted with the demand, he said: “I can leave you with this promise that we will field a very strong candidate against Modi.”

On AAP’s first list having no Muslim names, he said once all names were out, there would not be any cause for complaint, “although we do not look at caste and religion when distributing party tickets”.

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  1. S
    Samanya Aadmi
    Feb 24, 2014 at 11:45 pm
    Face of Congi B Team slowly being exposed.
    Reply
    1. R
      R
      Mar 13, 2014 at 11:17 am
      So finally AK-47 has become His Mistress's Voice. DER AYE PAR DRUST AYE. You have put us Aam Admi in a dilemma, AK. How do we distinguish between the dynasty and it's keeps?
      Reply
      1. A
        ankesh
        Feb 25, 2014 at 8:50 am
        I guess last time sushma swaraj contested against sonia hi.. wasn't that putting a strong candidate..seems like mr. kejriwal is not aware with fact...
        Reply
        1. A
          Atma
          Feb 25, 2014 at 2:20 am
          So Kejriewal has also joineed gang of secularists to hide his failures and condone corruption which was his reason of agitation itself. Shame on him.
          Reply
          1. A
            avaya
            Feb 25, 2014 at 10:56 am
            First unite bsp, ljp &congress with AAP.
            Reply
            1. S
              sam
              Feb 25, 2014 at 10:52 am
              how?
              Reply
              1. D
                Deepak Batra
                Feb 25, 2014 at 7:45 am
                It is evident that Modi is an irresponsible politician. He is biased and has negative approach. I know Kejriwal is a waste of time, he is a failure. Modi has no answer to any question.
                Reply
                1. H
                  Hari Shankar
                  Feb 26, 2014 at 1:57 am
                  Kejri has joined ranks of pseudo-secularists.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Supporter
                    Feb 25, 2014 at 7:41 am
                    For the first time in this country there is someone who is there to unite muslims and hindus.may god bless you Arvind, this nation really needs you.
                    Reply
                    1. W
                      WEAREBHARTIYA
                      Feb 25, 2014 at 8:18 am
                      So following the congress track to appease certain minority... Gain votes and become PM of India, I used to think you are corruption crusader, now you are more like other parties
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        amar
                        Feb 25, 2014 at 1:33 am
                        “although we do not look at religion when distributing party tickets”. Yes.They only look at winnability.Who can bring in the votes.Is this party any different from other parties?
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          Mango Chaiwala
                          Feb 25, 2014 at 2:52 am
                          Good work Arvind. You are really scaring the Bhrastachar Janata Party (BJP) and Italian National Congress (INC) fellows now!!!
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Aman Mehra
                            Feb 25, 2014 at 7:34 am
                            Even young professionals, students, businessman from several areas are aware of Modi , they know that Modi is a danger to the nation and they also know that Kejriwal is a total waste of time.
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Aman Mehra
                              Feb 25, 2014 at 7:40 am
                              Modi has insulted the poor and made a mockery of them.He pla a joke with people. Why has't Modi apologized to what happened in Gujarat in 2002 ? Modi has no accountability and responsibility.
                              Reply
                              1. J
                                Janardhan Rao Maddu
                                Feb 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm
                                AAP and KEJRIWAL keeps on changing stands.What is he fighting right now CORRUPTION or COMMUNALISM ?
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                                1. M
                                  MV Saxena
                                  Feb 27, 2014 at 6:55 am
                                  Madhav rao Scindia fought against Atal Bihari and won also. Amitabh bachan fought against Hemvati bahugana and won.
                                  Reply
                                  1. N
                                    narayan
                                    Feb 25, 2014 at 7:48 am
                                    Let him join the secular Congress syndicate .Lately he understood that anti corruption slogan alone may not win a single parliament seat. All Indians are not fool.
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      Sunitha
                                      Feb 25, 2014 at 6:01 am
                                      So the 12th member of the Congress team is finally donning on its true team uniform before going to its play-position. Corruption is not anymore a major problem for AAP. Neither, of course, is it bothered by the tanking economy, the sinking rupee, the out of control inflation, or the stalled growth and development. Those minor problems can be tackled at a later stage. Right now the AAP must first wage war against communalism. In other words, join hands with Congress and its allies to cut down to size that Modi fellow who is going around the country talking about jobs, employment, growth and development without ever mentioning the cherished ideals of secularism. Look at the audacity, the gall of the man. That bothers AAP's cadre and leadership to no end. More than corruption ever did. After all curbing corruption is no big deal. Kejriwal can accomplish that c any Sunday afternoon, especially when he is ured of the willing and cheerful help of other members of the team that includes such seasoned players, as Soniaji, Rahulji, Mulayam, Maya and Laluji, and CPI and CPMji. Of course, it can also call upon many other Jis, like, for example, Raja ji and Karunaji from Tamil Nadu, Hooda and Vadra ji from Haryana, Bansal ji from Punjab and Vibhadraji from HP.
                                      Reply
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                                        Naresh Khatri
                                        Feb 25, 2014 at 12:03 am
                                        This guy (AK) is out of his mind. Worse still is the fact that there are many out of mind followers.
                                        Reply
                                        1. P
                                          Purush
                                          Feb 25, 2014 at 7:37 am
                                          The Chamelion Kejri. All these years he did not see communalism as a threat. Today he sees BJP as the main contender and he has started to see communalism as bigger threat than Graft. And he feels people are naive to believe him. Poor chap. He must remember there were others who felt the same way and today are seeing things differently. Kejri is fast going into the realm of no mans land and is likely to to be wiped out after the LS elections.
                                          Reply
                                          1. Q
                                            Qabirn
                                            Mar 7, 2014 at 4:33 pm
                                            Still on same old divide and misrule !
                                            Reply
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