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Friday, 17 July 2015

When Kejriwal does an Arnab

5 takeaways from the AAP leader's India Today interview

Delhi CM, AAP convener and forever belligerent Arvind Kejriwal, in an interview with Rajdeep Sardesai for India Today TV, was at his passive and aggressive best. Asking Sardesai to have the capacity to listen, directing an off-camera person to give his interviewer a pen, and even questioning his interviewing skills, Kejriwal was high on stress and temper. Looks like the LG Jung saga and the Tomar controversy has taken a toll on him. Here are five things to take away from his interview.

Kejriwal does an Arnab.

"Rajdeep, let me talk in your interview, do not interfere.. Itni bechani kyun hai?"

When Sardesai started off by quizzing Kejriwal on the rise of value-added tax ( VAT) in Delhi and pointed out that he had changed from an aam aadmi to a khaas politician, Kejriwal appeared to be bursting into a silent rage. He had not expected a hostile welcome.

Kejriwal claimed that six neighbouring state have almost the same VAT ( I am not the only one). He added that the Delhi government is working towards the simplification of VAT and in the next two to three years, Delhi will have the lowest VAT.

He later even went off to say this: "This is my interview, not your interview. Rajdeep, you must learn how to do an interview."

A defensive aam aadmi

Kejriwal, when questioned about spending Rs 526 crore on his ad campaign, which basically proclaims that Kejriwal is a combination of Anna Hazare, Baba Amte, Mahatma Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama and Bono, said that he wouldn't need to spend crores if media highlighted his good work. So he wants the media to do his PR for him.

"If TV channels starting running the good deeds of our government, then we will immediately shut this publicity budget. A government needs to publicise its work," Kejriwal told Rajdeep Sardesai.

"Do you know how much is Rajasthan's advertisement budget, how much is Uttar Pradesh's, Gujarat's and Swachh Bharat's budget?", he asked Desai.

Jung just Modi's puppet

Kejriwal then went on to blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his all-pit war with Delhi LG Najeeb Jung.

He accused Modi of trying to create obstructions in the functioning of the Delhi government and alleged that Modi was using Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung as a tool to create difficulties in the functioning of his government.

"The entire Delhi police is out to put AAP MLAs behind bars on Modi's order," Kejriwal alleged and said that LG Jung was just Modi's puppet placed to hinder their good work.

He further claimed the Centre changed the leadership of the Anti-Corruption Branch overnight because the BJP feared the Delhi government's anti-graft body was going to act against a Cabinet minister in the Narendra Modi government.

"The BJP feared that the ACB was trying to frame a Cabinet minister . The Centre's move was aimed at pre-empting our move," Kejriwal said.

Dragging Modi once again into the ACB row, the AAP convener said, "PM Modi is controlling the Delhi government's Home Department by sending Delhi Police personnel there. LK Advani was right in invoking fears of another Emergency. Why else does Modi say he will decide every post from the peon to the Chief Secretary? Is this right?"Ask Modiji to remove the paramilitary forces from the ACB office. We will start getting 15 lakh phone calls a day," Kejriwal told Sardesai.

Last month, Jung replaced government appointee SS Yadav with MK Meena as ACB chief. The move had drawn flak from the AAP government which called Meena's appointment illegal as there was no post of a Joint Commissioner of Police in the ACB.

Won't mind a Karan-Arjun's return

Kejriwal said he will be happy if dissident AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan return to the party.

"Agar aisa hua to bahut achcha hoga (If it happens, it will be very good)," the Aam Aadmi Party leader told India Toda.

"Their return will be good for the party," he added, denying allegations that his dictatorial attitude prevents their return.

A third Front?Kejriwal seems to have taken a liking for Nitish Kumar. He even thanked Nitish for sending ACB officers to Delhi. However, when asked whether he was going to campaign with Nitish in the Bihar Assembly polls and whether a third front was in the making, he only smiled and said nothing yet was discussed on the matter.

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