A year later, the tweak: Desh to Dilli

On February 14, 2015, exactly a year to the day he resigned, Kejriwal spoke again, as Chief Minister.

Written by Apurva , Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi | Updated: February 15, 2015 3:03:36 am
AAP supporters at Ramlila Maidan on Saturday. AAP supporters at Ramlila Maidan on Saturday.

A year and 48 days separate the two speeches. In December 2013, Kejriwal was taking charge of a minority government with 28 seats, he and his ideology having evolved into a political party from a popular movement. On February 14, 2015, exactly a year to the day he resigned, Kejriwal spoke again, as Chief Minister. But many things were different.

Consider these

Corruption to governance

In 2013, Kejriwal spoke extensively about corruption in his 19-minute speech and repeatedly used the phrase “sacchai” and “brashtachar”. It was clear that party was born out of an anti-corruption movement.  On Saturday, Kejriwal mentioned corruption only twice. First, when he issued the same instructions as 2013, asking people to record request for bribes. And second, when he spoke about passing the Jan Lokpal Bill. The 31-minute speech instead mentioned many more issues of governance such as education, the promise of colleges, schools, CCTV cameras, full statehood for Delhi, harassment by government departments and collection of tax.


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Desh to Dilli

In 2013, much of the emphasis was on “desh”, and how the AAP’s victory was a method to make the country “sone ki chidiya”. This time, however, though the term “desh” was mentioned six times in his speech, the emphasis was clearly on Delhi. In fact, Kejriwal warned his own party members to not give into arrogance with claims of contesting elections in other states. “For five years, I will stay in Delhi, and serve only the people of Delhi.”

On communalism

In 2013, Kejriwal mentioned “Ishwar, Allah and Waheguru” once, when offering thanks for the victory.  On Saturday, the danger of communalism was a running theme in his speech, reminding people that Delhi was a peaceful city and condemning attacks on churches. He concluded with the song “Insaan se ho Insaan ka ho Bhaichaara”. “The words of this song are very good. These days, in society, people are trying to poison the atmosphere in the name of religion and community. We want to change this politics of poison into the politics of love and compassion.”

On politics

In 2013, Kejriwal was clearly at odds with politics despite being chosen Chief Minister. Words like “keechad” were used to describe politics. In a dig at the BJP then, Kejriwal said the then BJP CM candidate was a good man, but “he did not know about the rest of his party”. Much like his campaign, the anger in Kejriwal against politics seemed to have ebbed away. Kejriwal on Saturday called Kiran Bedi his elder sister and said the government will consult with her and Ajay Maken because of their administrative experience.

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