When most Delhiites were yet to wake up on Monday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal was busy interacting with AAP supporters across the globe, especially from the US and Canada.
Using ‘Google Hangout’ to reach out to his NRI supporters, talking about party’s priorities, he also asked for their time and money (donation) for fighting the December 4 election “with clean money.”
Hosted by AAP supporters from the US and Canada, the session was held at 6 am IST Monday to suit US and Canada’s Sunday evening timings. About 11,000 people participated in the session and hundreds of others viewed it later. In all there were 235 questions, as per the Google moderator, “participants were simultaneously voting for these questions, after which we chose top 11 questions for Kejriwal to answer.”
Clad in simple shirt and the trademark ‘Aam Aadmi’ cap, Kejriwal spoke in a soft, clear tone. He answered all questions and made no efforts to duck any of those, be it about selection of candidates or the issue whether AAP is indulging into vote bank politics.
“Corruption, Education and Health are the three focus areas for us,”
Kejriwal told the Google Hangout session (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCj2-jwJqiI&feature=share) that lasted a little over half an hour. He also spoke about party’s efforts to start financial transparency in funding of political parties.
Others who have used Google Hangout to interact with supporters include Narendra Modi, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, P Chidambaram, finance minister and Shashi Tharoor, junior HRD minister. AAP’s Manish Sisodia too has interacted with his constituency people.
Where will AAP get money from for the good quality and affordable education for all, Kejriwal was asked when he emphasized, “Government has huge money, there is no dearth of money. It is spending on arbitrary projects, such as pipeline replacement project in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar. Delhi Jal Board’s honest insiders have told us this is not needed at all.”
“If we can change this, we can do something about it, it will be a huge thing. We can’t remove people’s poverty by giving them rice for R2 or R3 per kg. Only education can provide a solution and take them out of poverty.”
To a question about AAP’s claim of remaining away from ‘identity politics’ and allegations that some of the recent actions were directed towards appeasing minorities, the AAP leader said, “Religion is extremely important, but question is do you want to use religion in positive or in negative manner.”
Employment, education and sporting facilities are three things on AAP’s agenda for youth. He also promised more hospitals and dispensaries to bridge the gap of inadequate infrastructure. AAP will try to bring in Delhi’s law and order situation under Delhi government, he reiterated.
Commenting on other parties’ ‘last night tactic’ too woo voters, Kejriwal said, “We are demolishing every one’s vote banks. It is a huge challenge to counter liquor and money. We are talking to people in slum clusters and they are telling us, ‘we will take money and liquor from them, but vote for AAP’.”