Hours after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted a link to a particularly mean video spoof on industrialist Mukesh Ambani, the former Delhi CM on Monday was telling India Inc that his party was not against capitalism. It was merely against “crony capitalism”, he assured.
Business leaders present at meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) national council members were all ears. After all, this was the man who overturned his previous government’s decision to allow foreign direct investment in retail, led a concerted campaign targeting the private power distribution companies, and filed FIR against Ambani and senior UPA ministers on gas pricing during his 49-day brush with power.
On Monday, however, the AAP leader – who is pitching his young party as an alternative to the established Congress and BJP – sought to show corporate India a difference face.
He asked the industry for help to “write” the party’s economic policy document and criticised the UPA for not offering policies for the aam aadmi despite having so many "Harvard-educated economists".
"Let me make a categorical statement here today: The government has no business doing business and it should be left to the private sector," he said.
"I come from a business family. So how can I be anti-business? This impression is wrong," said Kejriwal in his new conciliatory avatar. "We are not against capitalism, we are against crony capitalism."
On the 2G scam, he said, “This is not called business; it is called dacoity."
The government, he said, should concentrate on governance and create an enabling environment for industry. "The primary task of the government is to provide security, justice and an honest administration," he said.
Kejriwal said his party stood for a simple tax regime, simple laws and fewer court cases. “Some of our policies could be wrong, but not our intentions,” he said.
“If there is problem in education sector, it is because of dishonest politics, if the hospitals are not running it is again due to dishonest politics. We have to weed out corruption in politics and that is what AAP is doing," he said. "Until politics is fixed, economic policies won’t work."