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Forgive the violence, was no need to protest at BJP office: Kejriwal

Posted on Mar 08 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, March 7 : AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal Friday said there was no need for his party workers to protest at the BJP office in Delhi Wednesday following his "detention" by Gujarat Police and sought forgiveness for "violence" by party members during the ensuing clash.

Speaking at the India Today conclave here, Kejriwal spoke on an array of issues and said the country was facing "leadership crisis".

The former Delhi chief minister said there was need to change the system and not merely the party which rules the country.

He asserted corruption had come down during the rule of Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi. The AAP government, which had outside support of the Congress, resigned last month after a 49-day stint following the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party blocking the Jan Lokpal bill in the assembly.

Naming two corporate houses, Kejriwal said if BJP's Narendra Modi becomes prime minister, they will run the country.

He slammed the performance of Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government, saying that the debt of the state had increased several times during his rule.

On his trip to the state, Kejriwal said he went to check the development claims of Modi as the "2014 elections are being fought on Gujarat model".

He said people wanted to get rid of corruption, price rise and communalism.

Answering a query, Kejriwal said he did not want to be chief minister or prime minister.

"That is not my purpose or ambition."

Asked if he would contest Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal said it would be decided later.

Asked about AAP workers Wednesday staging a noisy demonstration at BJP office which was followed by a clash, Kejriwal said "there was no need for this".

"Our fight is with corruption. Some people indulged in violence. I seek forgiveness. If we indulge in violence, the movement will be derailed. I was very upset about it. I talked to party workers," he said.

Asked if the workers had sought his consent before going to BJP office, Kejriwal said they do not ask him for everything.

"They protested but strategically there was no need for it. Our fight is not with the BJP or Congress. It is with corruption. Taking part in violence is completely non-negotiable. (I told them) if it happens again, I will come back from Gujarat."

Asked about alternative to Modi since he himself had no ambition to be prime minister, Kejriwal said he had no answer to the question.

Kejriwal said the 2014 Lok Sabha polls will throw up a fractured verdict but the next government will be stable.

He also faced a volley of questions about performance of AAP government and stance of party on various issues but dealt deftly with them.

Pitching for improving level in education in government schools, Kejriwal said that a child suffers only because he or she is born in a poor family.

"Children from poor families go to government schools. Why government schools can't be improved. These should be as good as private sector," he said.

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