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Arvind Kejriwal launches new ‘mission’: ‘Will not rest until India becomes number 1 country’

Arvind Kejriwal asked the BJP and Congress to join the “mission” to make India “super rich” and the “best country in the world, free of hatred and enmity”.

"All Indians fought together to kick the British out of India and got us Independence. Similarly, we can take India to the top if we all work together," Arvind Kejriwal said. (PTI)

SENDING A political signal ahead of the 2024 general elections, with the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls around the corner, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal launched a ‘Mission to Make India number 1’ campaign on Wednesday. His five-point “vision” comprised free education; healthcare; employment; respect, dignity, equality and safety for women; and a fair price for farm crops.

Speaking at the Talkatora stadium, Kejriwal asked the BJP and Congress to join the “mission” to make India “super rich” and the “best country in the world, free of hatred and enmity”.

“It is not my party’s mission, I want to tell you that it’s a mission of 130 crore people… All parties should come together. We can’t fight anymore. We have wasted 75 years in these fights. Congress is fighting with BJP, BJP is fighting with AAP. Hindu is fighting with Muslim, Muslim is fighting with Christian, Pandit is fighting with someone… End all fights… If we keep fighting like this, we won’t become the best. We have to live like a family,” he said. “I will travel across the country to make people join the mission.”

Addressing a gathering of about 2,500 people, including cabinet ministers, MLAs and AAP workers, Kejriwal said, “To take India to the top, we need to provide excellent education; healthcare for free; jobs for all youths; respect, dignity and safety for women; and fair price for crops for all farmers.”

Kejriwal said that due to lack of development and opportunities, people are dismayed about India lagging behind and being among third-world countries even after 75 years of Independence.

“We have to open schools and hospitals in every corner of the country if we want to provide proper education to every child. We need to open hospitals, hire teachers, and doctors to make the country rich… Every woman in the country should be treated with respect, dignity, and have equal rights. We need to create a safe environment. To make this a reality, we need to start from our houses,” he said.

He also said that farmers remained weak in India. “We have to create such a system that ensures the right price for their crops. A farmer’s children should say that they also want to become farmers. A lot of work needs to be done but these five steps should be our topmost priority if we want our country to achieve progress,” he said.

Kejriwal’s “pran (resolution)” of “not resting in peace until India becomes the number 1 country” appeared to be carefully chosen with striking parallels to the speech made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day.


But the differences between the two speeches were equally stark. While Modi’s articulation of “panch pran” stands on the ideals of culture and civilisation, Kejriwal’s “panch sabse zaroori kaam (five immediate tasks)” are rooted in everyday life.

“These are areas where Kejriwal has demonstrated administrative competence. People have endorsed this brand of politics of work. Modi’s political project goes well with his larger-than-life personality. Kejriwal has to frame his vision differently,” an AAP leader said. “It is clear that AAP will not play to the strengths of BJP. The idea is to pull them back to seemingly mundane issues of practical value in a person’s life,” said a functionary.

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In his speech, Kejriwal also made it clear that the possibility of AAP joining any Opposition alliance in the run-up to the 2024 elections was slim. “If we leave our country anymore in the hands of these politicians, India will never reach the top. In the last 75 years, some did ‘dostwad’ politics and some ‘parivarwad’ politics and filled their coffers and that of their friends and families by looting public money and indulging in corruption. It’s time that the citizens take control and not let these politicians loot this country anymore,” he said.

First published on: 17-08-2022 at 10:42:40 am
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