AAP National Council meet: Kejriwal to remain party chief till 2020, attacks Modi over 'graft'
The National Council of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "corruption" and "dictatorship", and decided to extend the terms of all its office-bearers, including party Convener Arvind Kejriwal, by a year.
Addressing the media after the meeting, AAP National Secretary Pankaj Gupta said that the proposal to extend the term of the current council by a year was passed unanimously and without amending the party's constitution.
"With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and Delhi Assembly elections around the corner, the members have decided to extend the tenure of the National Council for a year. The elections for the new council will be held before the end of the extended tenure," Gupta told the media.
The tenure of the National Council was to end on April 23, 2019. Now Kejriwal will continue to remain party chief till April 2020. Kejriwal was elected as the National Convenor of AAP for a second time in April 2016 for a period of three years.
According to the AAP's constitution, no member can hold the same post as an office-bearer for more than two consecutive terms of three years each.
The National Council also decided that the party will utilise all its power and energy for contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Goa and Chandigarh, AAP Delhi Convener Gopal Rai told the media.
The AAP also hinted at the possibility of an alliance with other parties for the 2019 elections as Rai said: "The party will contribute in whatever way it can to ensure the end of the Modi government, including cooperating with others."
The party leaders in their speeches attacked Modi and the Central government for their scams, non-fulfilment of promises and his "dictatorship".
Addressing the National Council meeting, Kejriwal accused the Central government of scanning over 400 files related to the Delhi government and dared Modi to show four files of the Centre, including those of Sahara-Birla and Rafale deal.
"The Centre took and examined our 400 files to find irregularities, but could not find any. Modi himself gave us a certificate of honesty. I always say if PM Modi shows us four of his files, he will end up in jail," Kejriwal said.
"You took our 400 files, show us Sahara-Birla and Rafale files and we can send you to jail with just these two files," he challenged Modi.
Kejriwal also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the past four years has not left any stone unturned to ensure that the AAP government does not perform.
Calling the Rafale jet fighters deal "a mega scam of Rs 36,000 crore", AAP MP Sanjay Singh in his address said the Centre is misleading the people and is not telling the people as to "why the country has to buy the jets at the cost of Rs 1,670 crore instead of the earlier cost of Rs 540 crore and why they preferred a private firm over the government firm".
He also said the Centre is also misleading the Supreme Court over the Rafale deal.
Rai, too, attacked the BJP over corruption, saying: "The BJP said that they will not allow corruption, but Rafale has turned out to be the biggest scam. The (party) members have agreed to expose the truth of the BJP before the public."
The meeting also finalised the issues to target the ruling BJP on during the 2019 elections.
"AAP, in its campaigns, will take up the issues related to farmers before the public. The BJP had promised to implement the Swaminathan Commission report after coming to power. The Modi government should fulfil its promise soon.
"The Modi government has also failed in ensuring women's security. The BJP leaders themselves were found involved in crime against women. This shows the BJP only gave slogans of women's safety and not worked on it. The AAP members have condemned the acts of BJP and demanded that it should clear its stand on women safety," Rai said.
Singh added to expose the pseudo-religious policies of the BJP, the AAP will run a campaign from Ayodhya to Kashi on January 12 and 13.
The members have also decided to target the dictatorship of the Modi-Shah duo by contesting on seats where the party can win the elections on its own including Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Goa and Chandigarh, Rai said, adding that the party has asked the other states' heads for a report to assess the party's status there.
"The state committees will submit their reports to the political affairs committee, which will decide about the seats to contest the elections," he said.
Speaking about the hardships faced by the AAP government in Delhi, Kejriwal said: "The public has voted for us but powers are with the Centre. Only we know how we handled the dictatorship of the Centre. They also used all possible agencies against us including the police and the CBI to humiliate us."
He said that the Central government posted the worst officers in the education and health departments, soon after the two departments started doing good work. "But Manish (Sisodia) and Satyendar (Jain) ensured that these officers delivered."
He accused the two parties -- the BJP and the Congress -- of not doing any work in the last 70 years.
Kejriwal said that the country can become number one in the world if a good party comes to power at the Centre.
He said the formation of the party was not an end to the revolution.
Echoing the same sentiment, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the common intention of the party formation was to stop corruption, "be it corruption in a Rafale deal or in a ration scam".
"We wanted to check the misuse of political position. I am happy that we have stopped this in Delhi," he said.
"The Anti Corruption Branch was with the Delhi government from the past 20 years, but soon after we came to power, it was taken away. This shows that we were hitting at the right place."-IANS