Kejriwal has 'no intention' of becoming PM if INDIA wins Lok Sabha polls

Kejriwal has 'no intention' of becoming PM if INDIA wins Lok Sabha polls

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said he is not interested in becoming the Prime Minister if the INDIA alliance wins the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said his goal is to protect the country and democracy from "dictatorship".

“I have no such intention. We [AAP] are a very small party contesting only 22 seats," said Kejriwal on Wednesday.

Asked if he would accept Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister, Kejriwal said: “There has been no such discussion. It's a theoretical question. We will discuss it when we sit together.”

About the INDIA bloc not having a prime ministerial candidate, Kejriwal said, “The concern of all right now is that they will not spare anyone.” He meant that the BJP-led government would harass the Opposition if it returned to power. The Opposition's prime ministerial candidate would be decided after Lok Sabha election results are announced on June 4.

Kejriwal said he is hopeful of a wave of support for AAP and the INDIA. “There is such a wave of AAP and INDIA bloc that I would not be surprised that the previous records of Vidhan Sabha polls in which we [AAP] won 67 seats [in 2015] and 62 seats [in 2020] are broken this time,” said the Delhi CM. It is to be noted that AAP won those by itself and is contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the Congress.

Kejriwal said he was confident that the INDIA bloc would secure 300 seats in the Lok Sabha election. “It will form the government on its own. The alliance will give a good, stable government,” he said.

“The current Lok Sabha polls were for saving the country and democracy from the prevailing dictatorship. They will finish democracy if they come back to power," he said.

Kejriwal, who was given interim bail by the Supreme Court on May 10 in a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped excise liquor policy, said his arrest and time in jail is an emotional issue for Delhi voters and will hurt the BJP. “We are hearing about dictatorship and people saying that they have to vote against this dictatorship. This sentiment is very strong," he added.

He further said that people had “tremendous anger” as they felt a “good man” had been arrested. He added that his release was like a “miracle of God”
“When I go campaigning, people have moist eyes," he added.

Kejriwal said he feared that India would become an authoritarian state if the BJP-led government returns to power. “Elections will not be held, and even if it takes place, it will happen as in Russia. Putin either sent the entire Opposition to jail or finished them and then held elections and got 87 per cent votes," said Kejriwal, referring to the Russian president.

Kejriwal cited the incarceration of Opposition leader Imran Khan in Pakistan as a cautionary tale, suggesting similar trajectories under BJP rule. "They [BJP] will also do it... will send AAP [leaders] in jail, Mamata Banerjee in jail. No one will be left out. All will be in jail and then they will keep on winning elections," he said, referring to West Bengal’s Chief Minister.

Blaming the BJP for his legal travails, Kejriwal asserted that the party's machinations had inadvertently strengthened AAP's resolve. “They [BJP] thought after my arrest, the campaign will be affected and our party will disintegrate, MLAs will break away and the government will topple. But the opposite happened. Our party became more unified, our leadership worked like a family and our workers were encouraged to work harder when they saw their leader was in jail,” said the AAP chief.