Am I worse than Pakistan?: Kejriwal questions PM Modi's commitment to cooperative federalism

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif a happy birthday but attacks me, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said, questioning Modi's commitment to "cooperative federalism".

"You go and wish Nawaz Sharif happy birthday and attack me. Am I worse than Pakistan?" Kejriwal asked in an interview to Outlook magazine ahead of the first anniversary of his AAP government.

Kejriwal squarely blamed the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) for the AAP government's unending impasse with the Centre and said the Modi government had turned the concept of cooperative federalism on its head in Delhi.

"Cooperative federalism is a sham. Bewakoof bana rahein hai saari duniya ko (They are fooling everybody)," Kejriwal told the magazine.

Am I worse than Pakistan?: Kejriwal questions PM Modis commitment to cooperative federalism

Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

"The Centre sent paramilitary forces and annexed our Anti Corruption Bureau. Is this cooperative federalism?

"The Lt. Governor declares my orders on raising circle rates for agriculture land null and void. Is this cooperative federalism?

"If I transfer an officer or take action against him, they declare it null and void. Is this cooperative federalism?"

Although Modi hosted him for tea after his election as the chief minister of Delhi in February 2015, Kejriwal said it took him two months to get an appointment with the prime minister in August.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader said he and Modi had not met formally in the last six months.

Asked why he thought the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in a confrontation mode with him, Kejriwal said: "There is no answer... Other than vengeance (for the 67-3 drubbing the AAP gave the BJP).

"It does not make political or logical sense. It does not make any sense at all.

"It is the PMO, especially Nripendra Misra (Principal Secretary to the PM), who is masterminding the entire operation (to derail my government)."

Kejriwal also hit out at Modi's governance since he became the prime minister in May 2014.

"The events of the last two years are scary. The issue of intolerance ... people call it religious fundamentalism, communalism. I call it 'goondagardi'.

"They are not concerned about any religion or community. If you say or do anything they don't like, they will teach you a lesson. That's the lesson they want to give.

"What was (Bollywood actor) Aamir Khan's fault? He just said his wife doesn't feel safe. As a PM, he should have sent two guards. Instead, they cancelled all his contracts and ads."

Kejriwal denied he had national ambitions but predicted that the AAP would sweep the Punjab assembly election in 2017 — as it did in Delhi.

But he denied he would vacate the Delhi chief ministership to concentrate on the Punjab election.


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Updated Date: Feb 12, 2016 20:04:38 IST

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