Millions of Indians want to see Arvind Kejriwal as Prime Minister but his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will take a decision on projecting him for the top post only after two months, a senior leader of the party has said.
“It is my dream and that of all AAP workers, and I believe that of millions in this country, that Arvind Kejriwal should take the reins of the country as he has taken charge in Delhi,” said senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav.
“The Prime Minister’s post can be claimed only in two situations, one that you are confident of achieving 250 seats in the Lok Sabha and second, that we make 35-40 seats somehow. The second is not our way. We can’t see the first situation as of now. If after two months we sense it, we will consider it.” (AAP to launch national membership drive)
“Whether Arvind Kejriwal fights the Lok Sabha elections or not, AAP will fight the elections under his leadership,” Mr Yadav added.
Yogendra Yadav’s comments indicate that AAP is leaving open the possibility of Mr Kejriwal’s entry into this year’s Lok Sabha election, which many believe would add a third dimension to the perceived Narendra Modi-Rahul Gandhi contest.
The AAP chief has said however that he will not contest the Lok Sabha election, describing Mr Yadav’s suggestion as a gesture of affection. (I am not contesting Lok Sabha elections, says Arvind Kejriwal)
“How can I consider myself a PM candidate? I am an ordinary man. In our party we don’t discuss Chief Ministerial or Prime Ministerial candidates,” Mr Kejriwal told reporters on Monday.
Some AAP leaders have reportedly expressed the view in internal meetings that Mr Kejriwal is the party’s face across the country, especially after the year-old party’s stunning success in the Delhi election, and it would be a mistake not to project him for the top post.
The AAP placed second in the December Delhi polls, decimating the incumbent Congress and preventing the BJP from winning a clear majority.
The party says it will put up 300 candidates in the national election due by May, and hopes to win enough to rattle seasoned players, on the back of a national wave against endemic corruption.