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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

A wish speech of inclusivity, by Arvind Kejriwal

Kiran Bedi   December 29, 2013
First Published: 23:54 IST(29/12/2013) | Last Updated: 16:28 IST(30/12/2013)

"Bharat Mata ki Jai. Inqualab Zindabad. Friends, let me begin by thanking all those who voted for the Aam Aadmi Party and all others without whom we would not have reached where we are today.

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It is an occasion for gratitude, civility and harmony.

Friends, this electoral victory is not the result of only the last one year of our political formation but a struggle which goes back several years, which had innumerable fellow architects. Hence allow me to recall a collective gratitude towards them.

In my experience, nothing is achieved alone. Every man is a product of huge investment. In reality, nobody is self-made. All of us are also made by others. We are instruments of success. Success apparently is a collective force. It may culminate through a few faces. Remember, every bamboo does not become a flute. This is my learning from Indian ethos and my upbringing!

Let me begin with by bowing before my family for unstinted support they gave me to follow my heart, to be an activist and engage myself into activities which were less travelled. They stood by me through thick and thin. Even when I was basically unemployed.

I wish to recognise my journey with my friends, whether it was the RTI movement or my close associates in Parivartan cause (including mohalla samiti causes).

Anna movement

Most recent of all, of which most of you were an integral part, is the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption movement. It was Anna's personal sacrifice through his indefinite fast, along with several others all over the country, and our coming together in unprecedented numbers that placed Lokpal on the national agenda. It finally brought Parliament to its knees when it passed a unanimous resolution accepting Anna's key demands. It's regretful that our demands like Citizen Charter, Grievance Redressal, Judicial Accountability and Lokayukts are awaiting closure. It is this architecture which will complete the framework of anti-corruption in the country. And we shall raise these demands now.

However, I wish to thank Parliament for having finally passed a Lokpal Bill, after a wait of 46 years, which ensures that the CBI reports only to Lokpal for matters referred by it. This ensures functional autonomy to the CBI and sets the 'parrot' free. Officers investigating the case cannot be transferred without the clearance of the Lokpal. No government sanctions will be needed to prosecute senior public servants. It will have its own budget, own panel of lawyers and a prosecution wing. We as a civil society achieved this. In fact, this anti-corruption movement for which we struggled together gave us political and social victory.

Now we need strong Lokayukts in the states to ensure all state government employees get similar relief. The onus now is on people of states to strive and demand it from their respective governments. Please do not depend on one 76-year-old Anna to do it for all.

We in Delhi will soon pass a strong Delhi Lokayukt Bill on the lines of the Uttrakhand Bill which was passed by the Uttrakhand Assembly unanimously, and already granted consent by the President. This will be on our priority agenda.

Let us thank the Supreme Court for the key judgments they delivered, particularly unseating the convicted elected MLAs and MPs from elected bodies; the comptroller and auditor general for relentlessly exposing one scam after another; the chief information commissioner for their ruling that political parties also come under the RTI; the chief election commissioner for their strict watch over the adherence of the model code of conduct; the Association for Democratic Reforms for keeping the people well informed of electoral issues; the Right to Information activists for unearthing valuable information and placing it in public domain; Justice Verma Committee and other NGOs for raising their voice on women's safety; writers for keeping the readers informed by their writings, the media for massive proactive coverage of the movements and people's views, leading to mass awakening! You are all product of that today! We thank them all.

And how can I not fully credit the change to people of three major states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and our own Delhi to tell the political parties that it cannot be politics as usual. It has to change! It has to be accountable and transparent.

While in other states there are clear majorities to form the government, we in Delhi did not get it. We had no choice but to sit in opposition and wait for the next round of elections. We checked with you and majority of you wanted us to govern even without having the adequate numbers of confidence. We have taken the risk. We did not ask for help. We have been extended conditional support by the Congress to administer. A challenge we have accepted. As you know that all along our anti-corruption movement was directed against the ruling party in particular. Had they acted upon our demands in 2011, even up to July of 2012, we would not have been a political formation today. You have punished them for neglecting the demands of the Aam Aadmi!

Uncertainty

We do not know how long our relationship with the Congress would last. We were a movement and as a political party we are only a year old. We do not have past experience. But we have the will. We are here to honour all our commitments made during the election campaign and given in the party manifesto. For instance, an immediate helpline to report corruption and appointing honest bureaucrats will be started forthwith.

All change is not comfortable but when it is for larger good it has to be done. And we will.
Beginning with doing away of VIP culture! We are not taking any big bungalows, pilot cars, PSOs or escorts. Security will be only threat perception-based. We are here to challenge the status quo of which the Aam Aadmi is disgusted!

Now that you have voted us to power, we pledge to serve you with integrity and commitment. You will see us perform and give us a constant feedback.

But it's equally now your responsibility to be better citizens. By being law abiding, and conscientious people in neighbourhoods.

We are committed to meeting your essential needs of water, power, schooling, health care and other issues. With your help we will catch the corrupt red-handed.

We shall soon work to scrap the old Lokayuta Act and replace it with a new one which brings the anti-corruption wing of the Delhi government to Lokayukta. This will strengthen our system. This is for your information.

Friends, let all well-meaning people come together and value each day of governance. Government administration and self-governance!

The fight is long as it's not just about Delhi, but across India for this message to go, that elections can be fought with integrity and transparency. And persons of simple means can also be elected provided they believe in themselves.

We thank the Almighty for having given us this opportunity to serve you. Now Aam Aadmi will serve Aam Aadmi and will be made to feel like Khaas Aadmi.

I once again thank all those who brought us to this level of service. We shall work with harmony, civility and gratitude as long as we continue to be supported in numbers. We shall leave as soon as we are not. We are not here to hang on. We shall come back to you when the time comes, sooner or later!

I can assure you we will convert each hour into hours of work, with the right intention and will power.

Thank you all. Jai Hind. Bharat Mata Ki Jai!"

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