Launching his party’s Lok Sabha election campaign, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on Friday named several leaders across the political spectrum who, according to him, represent “corrupt, criminal and dynastic politics.”
Inaugurating the opening session of the AAP’s National Council meeting here, Mr. Kejriwal read out a list which included Suresh Kalmadi, Sushilkumar Shinde, Kapil Sibal, P. Chidambaram, Kamal Nath, M. Veerappa Moily, Pawan Kumar Bansal, G.K. Vasan, Tarun Gogoi, Naveen Jindal, Anu Tandon and Avtaar Singh Bhadana (all Congress); Nitin Gadkari, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Ananth Kumar and Anurag Thakur (all BJP); Mulayam Singh (SP); Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel (both NCP); M.K. Alagiri, Kanimozhi and A. Raja (all DMK); H.D. Kumaraswamy (JD-S); Jaganmohan Reddy(YSR Congress); Mayawati (BSP) and Farooq Abdullah (National Conference).
The AAP, he vowed, would put up candidates against each of them in the Lok Sabha election.
The Delhi Chief Minister also took a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for spending over “Rs.500 crore on branding” and an image-building exercise.
“Can these people who are spending so much for branding themselves provide an honest government? The expensive branding of these leaders will not only fuel inflation after they come to power, they will recover the money from us, tax-payers,” he said.
Mr. Kejriwal’s charges invited a sharp response from the Congress, which said that “making a list [of corrupt politicians] requires only a pen, paper and a subjective mind.”
“We are not justice, jury and prosecutor rolled into one. We do not have to confess that we are anarchist, as this Chief Minister seems to have done,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.
But, the party said it would continue to give outside support to the minority AAP government.
Former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari threatened to sue Mr. Kejriwal if he did not apologise, while Mr. Abdullah said he would give him “fitting reply in court.”
Mr. Kejriwal told the National Council: “Our aim is not to seize power or play power politics… We want to change the corrupt system that prevents an aam aadmi from entering Parliament.”