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A 27-min speech, but no mention of CAA-NRC — how Kejriwal is fighting Delhi elections

Less than 48 hrs after PM Modi spoke on CAA-NRC from Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, CM Kejriwal chose to skip the issue at party event to present 'AAP Ka Report Card'.

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New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday skipped any mention of the contentious CAA-NRC issue as he presented a detailed report card of his AAP government’s five-year term at a function at the party headquarters in the national capital.

The CM’s decision to steer clear of the polarising debate came less than 48 hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a two-hour long speech from Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan to launch the BJP’s Delhi election campaign and focused primarily on CAA-NRC.

In his nearly 27-minute speech, Kejriwal launched the party campaign for the Delhi assembly elections expected early next year.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (C) and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia (second from left) at the presentation of AAP government's report card Tuesday | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (C) and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia (second from left) at the presentation of AAP government’s report card Tuesday | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Kejriwal’s silence on CAA-NRC, which has sparked protests across the country, signalled the party strategy to not involve itself with this issue. AAP has been on a tightrope walk with the CM opposing the move during interviews, but the party has stayed away from the agitations and public discussions so far.

On Tuesday, the AAP national convener limited the event’s focus to key governance promises fulfilled by his government besides an indirect comment on Modi’s rally.

Baat toh bahut hoti hai Ramlila Maidan par, par kaam nahi hote (A lot of talk happens at Ramlila Maidan, not work),” said Kejriwal.

The passage of the Modi government’s Citizenship Amendment Act — which provides for citizenship to six non-Muslim communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan — in Parliament, and fears over the proposed National Register of Citizens have sharply divided the political class.

In private interviews, the Delhi CM has said NRC will affect the poor the most, regardless of religion, especially at a time the Indian economy is facing a significant slowdown.

Also read: Citizenship law, NRC ploys to divert attention from serious issues, says Sharad Pawar

Education biggest win, says CM

Arvind Kejriwal released ‘AAP Ka Report Card’ Tuesday to list out the top 10 achievements of his government in the last five years. The event saw all cabinet ministers of the state government in attendance as the CM announced key accomplishments.

Calling education AAP’s biggest success story, Kejriwal said the changes brought by his government helped state-run schools to provide as good if not better facilities than private schools, along with regular checks on rise in admission fee at private institutions.

Kejriwal then highlighted the free healthcare facilities provided to Delhi residents. He also spoke of free electricity and no power cuts in these five years.

“Delhi was known for scams,” he said, adding now people laud Delhi for its schemes — be it free public transport and bus rides for women or installation of CCTV cameras to ensure public safety.

He also referred to AAP’s effort to ensure doorstep delivery of basic services, by drawing a parallel to pizza delivery at our homes.

However, he acknowledged that while things have improved, the government plans to do more to address issues of water, tanker mafia and lack of city buses.

“It was the most honest government in post-Independent India. Today, we have a clean chit from all — CAG, Delhi Police, CBI, Income tax department,” he said.

Responding to rumours about CBI opening a new case against the party, he said, “Aap ka swagat hai, hum chahte hain aap aaiye please, hum kissi cheez se nahi darte (Come, we are not scared).”

AAP minister Gopal Rai said a formal door-to-door campaign will also begin from 26 December and go on until 7 January. Under this, AAP will undertake various campaigns over the next two weeks including seven town halls by Kejriwal, 700 mohalla sabhas by AAP MLAs, and door-to-door campaign by party volunteers.

Also read: Modi govt needs to give up its ‘stubborn stand’ on new citizenship law & NRC: Mayawati


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  1. The prime minister has laboured hard to divert attention from his massive failures by talking loud and long about the CAA. And Kejriwal has cleverly avoided the trap by not talking about it and instead focussing on what his govt has done and delivered – precisely what Modi did not want to be talked about !

    Poor chap Kejri! He cannot take a stand because the Delhi’s middle classes are throughly communal Muslim haters.
    These imperfectly educated half literate Hindus, housewives and uncles, Hold the keys to election victory in Delhi.
    The role for a honest AAP politician is to take a stand on what is best for Delhi and INDIA.
    While fighting fascism it best to take a moral stand and stick to it. You bring people to your side by educating them and exposing the insidious ideology of the RSS.
    The AAP will get the votes of the very poor due to their policies on education and other benefits.
    The other electorate of Muslim haters need to be enlightened, so get off the fence Kejri.

  3. Here is a leader who has truly understood the survival tactics required for political parties post the Modi-Tsunami. Gone are the Modi-bashing days, and Kejri and team are quietly going ahead doing their work, without getting into unnecessary controversies. While the nation will still look at AAP with skepticism, the fact that Kejri has prove himself to be a fast learner, will go a long way in salvaging his personal as well as his party’s reputation. He may not get the same brute majority in the upcoming assembly elections, but he will be back again for sure. A rabble-rouser like Manoj Tiwary will be no match for this guy.

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