New Delhi: It pays to get your feet dirty, they say. Ten years after he launched Parivartan, an NGO in North East Delhi, to bring transparency to government schemes in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has entered politics with the stated objective of changing the system.
It has been an interesting ten years for the ex- IRS officer from Hisar. The interim period saw him working for the RTI Act, engineering the Jan Lokpal movement with Anna Hazare, and then finally losing the support of the veteran activist when he made the decision to go political.
Kejriwal and his associates released the draft vision document of their political party at Delhi's Constitution Club. The party name, the final vision document and party constitution will be announced on 26 November.
Explaining the reason behind his political foray, Kejriwal said,"There was a time when people who fought elections were considered patriots. Now, such people are seen as hungry for power. We have to change this scenario."
The nine point draft vision document contained the objectives of the soon to be launched party. These included ensuring power to the people, fighting corruption, containing inflation, promoting education, introducing the right to reject and right to recall, as well as fair prices for farm products.
According to the document, citizens will be able to suggest probable candidates for the political party which will then be scrutinised by a screening committee. Short-listed names will be put on the Internet for people to comment. Once the candidate is finally selected, he or she will have to take a vow saying among other things, that they will not accept or travel in vehicles with red beacons, and will not reside in government allotted bungalows.
Commenting on the party's ideology, Kejriwal said, "While many people say that direct power to the people is a weird idea, I can say with all confidence that this is very much possible. We are working on a model for this and will implement the same if elected to power."
In the backdrop of differences with Anna Hazare over the anti- graft movement turning political, volunteers at today's event ensured that there were no Main bhi Anna and Main bhi Arvind slogans at the venue. Anna caps were replaced by the caps with Main hun aam aadmi (I am common man), highlighting the people-centric objectives of the party.
Kejriwal also upped the ante against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, with an eye on assembly elections scheduled for 2013. He announced that on 7 and 8 October, he would organise protests in Delhi against the hike in water and power tariffs. He also threatened to conduct a gherao of her residence if the tariff was not withdrawn.