New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal surely does not believe in resting on his laurels. Bolstered by its ‘sweep’ in the Assembly elections, he is looking at expanding the AAP footprint beyond the catchment areas of Delhi by projecting the results as the ‘‘beginning of a new kind of politics.’’
He signalled the expansion, saying in his short speech after the oath taking that a time will come when India's fame will resonate all over. ‘‘I have a dream that India's fame will resonate in the whole world, be it London, Tokyo, Australia, Africa or America. This will be possible with our new kind of politics, which you have ushered in this election," Kejrwal said while addressing the gathering.
This is not the first time the AAP has expressed its desire to emerge as a pan India party. But the baby steps had floundered the last time, with the party losing direction in Punjab in its tearing hurry to build a base for Assembly election in that state.
But this time Kejriwal is not only talking about widening AAP’s political horizon but is also talking about its political philosophy of "positive nationalism".
Recently, senior AAP leader Gopal Rai, a confidante of Kejriwal, said in an interview to PTI that BJP’s nationalism was "negative," since it was based on hatred and divisive politics."
‘But ours is positive nationalism which gives guarantee of good education, health care and livelihood to every section of the society, including farmers," he had said.
Kejriwal underscored this sentiment when he said that his is ‘‘politics of performance, of setting up schools, healthcare facilities, providing water, power, and women's security."
Hinting at this ‘nationalistic’ agenda and, at the same time, having a dig at the BJP, Kejriwal said once every Indian gets security, health, education and employment, only then will the Tricolour flutter proudly.
He will not stop providing free facilities to the needy – a mantra that gave the AAP a rich political harvest. Hitting out at the opposition for criticising him, he said, "God, too, provides us many things for free," and demanded: "Should I extract from children who are studying in government schools or from those poor people who make a beeline for Delhi hospitals?"
Changing gears and dropping his confrontationist stance, Kejriwal also assured that he would work in tandemk with the Centre without discriminating against those who did not support his party.
"I am the Chief Minister of all those who voted for the AAP, the BJP or the Congress. I want to tell the two crore people of Delhi that you all are my family. It does not matter which party you belong to; nor does your caste, creed or region matter. Nor does it matter if you are poor or rich," he said.
Kejriwal also extended an olive branch to the Centre, indicating his eagerness to work with the BJP-led government for Delhi's development. "I had invited the Prime Minister to today's event, but he could not make it. I seek his blessings for Delhi's progress and development," he said, indicating his intention to let bygones be bygones.