As Ramlila 2.0 enacted itself out in Hisar on Sunday,Anna Hazare associate Arvind Kejriwal addressed crowds across his home district with large fluttering Tricolours,I am Anna topis and patriotic songs. Meeting after meeting,he stressed the sole point of his campaign: defeat Congress candidate Jai Prakash.
He told the crowd in Sisai: We do not have any ill will against the Congress. But,if you Congresswallahs do not pass the (Jan) Lokpal Bill,we will destroy the very foundation of the Congress in this country.
At Bawani Khera,he told voters to hand Congress a historic (itihaasic) defeat.
Kejriwal,along with Manish Sisodia,has embarked on a campaign on behalf of Anna Hazare and the NGO,India Against Corruption,in the constituency,to ask people to vote against the ruling party. On the other hand,the IAC has no stake in the elections neither is it fielding or endorsing any candidate.
Sunday was the second day of the three-day trip,which began at Narnaund town. Kejriwal made four stops at Nalwa,Bawani Khera and Sisai villages,and Hisar town. Kiran Bedi is scheduled to join the duo on Monday.
In Bawani Khera as well as Sisai,the template remained the same. Kejriwal even repeated most of his statements word-for-word. Like most of his Ramlila addresses,he began with a short explanation of the Jan Lokpal Bill,boiled down to two key points. He told the crowd that the Bill would ensure that a corrupt person would be punished in two months,and that there would be a specified time period to deliver essential services.
Then,he turned to the Congress. Yesterday,Digvijay Singh gave a statement. Hisar poll results are not important for us, he said. Even I am from Hisar. It is an insult for us. If we are not important for you,you are not important for us, said Kejriwal,to applause and slogans of Vande Mataram.
However,he seemed to be in danger of losing momentum after that,when he began an extensive discussion of how taxes are being misused by the government,only to be saved by Sisodia,who intervened to place a piece of paper on the pulpit. Kejriwal read from the chit,and said,Now,Chief Minister Hooda has also said that Hisar is not important for us. Why has he been camping here for 15 days then? In that case,we wont give them even one vote.
I dont even know Jai Prakashji. I havent even met him. I dont have anything against him. But I know one thing for sure: he will lose (this election), said Kejriwal at Khera.
At Sisai,he repeated this,but improvised: Do you know how he can be a national hero? By stating in public that he is leaving the Congress and not competing.
He added: If the Congress does not pass the Bill in November,we will try to get the Congress defeated in all the five states which will have elections soon. Anna Hazare has said that he will go around in all these five states,trying to defeat the Congress. How will the defeat be? That the people of Hisar will show them.
Kejriwals Sisai speech was about half of his 22-minute address at Khera,but more comprehensive: Dont you want to know why we are agitating against the Congress? It was their duty to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill,but they did not do it. At the same time,he said that if the BJP came to power and did not pass the Bill,the IAC would oppose it too.
In both speeches,Kejriwal named four Congress leaders: Kapil Sibal,P Chidambaram,Manish Tiwari and Rahul Gandhi. If Rahul Gandhi opens his mouth at least once,the Lokpal Bill will be passed immediately, he said.
Kejriwal also tweaked facts slightly to give the impression that Hazare was kept in the same cell as Suresh Kalmadi and A Raja in Tihar Jail. …..after his arrest,Annaji was placed in the same cell as Kalmadi and Raja, he said,as the crowd chuckled. Hazare was in the same jail block,which also had 2230 other inmates; not the same cell.
At both places,a number of people asked Kejriwal whom to vote for if not the Congress. Except the Congress,give your vote to any of the other 44 candidates in the fray, Kejriwal said. Do not worry excessively that there are corrupt individuals among the candidates. If they win,the Lokpal Bill will send them to jail.
He urged all of them to register their votes. If you sit at home,the Congresswalas will vote in your name; there will be 100 per cent polling, he said. He added that if Hisar had an option for voters to press on a napasandi (none preferred) button,then napasandi would have won.
Kejriwal said their agitation has always been political. All I have to say is that our agitation has always been political. It is not party politics; but the politics of the people, he said.