Kejriwal also suggested that Modi as prime minister has brought some positivity in the country in the last five months, adding only time will tell whether the aspirations of the people will be fulfilled or not.
“He (Modi) is a great orator and he has spoken the right things. But delivery is very low. So let’s see what happens,” the former Delhi Chief Minister told PTI in an interview.
The leader of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), who had unsuccessfully challenged Modi in the Lok Sabha polls in Varanasi, criticised the NDA government for failing to keep its poll promises, saying people in the country were still yearning for change. However, he said the hopes of the people have not died down.
“They (NDA) have raised the hopes but they have been very poor on delivery so far. The hopes of the people have not died down. They still exist. People still feel things will change. But everybody says nothing has happened so far,” said Kejriwal, who had led AAP to a stunning victory in assembly polls in December last year.
Asked whether Modi dispensation was successful in bringing some positivity to the country, the 46-year-old Ramon Magsaysay award winner, who came into prominence from the agitation of Anna Hazare in support of Jan Lokpal Bill in 2011, said, “That is exactly what.”
“The previous government had done nothing. It was involved in all negative things. It was involved in corruption and price rise. The corruption and prise rise are still there. The old government has gone and this dispensation has given a new hope. Time will tell whether aspirations will be fulfilled or not,” the AAP leader said.
On whether he felt Modi emerged as a strong Prime Minister compared to his predecessor Manmohan Singh, the AAP leader said Modi, “speaks very well and sends the right kind of message. Lets see what happens on the delivery part.”
Kejriwal said the action on the part of NDA government was missing and gave example of high prices of essential commodities. He also alleged corruption in Delhi which is under the President’s Rule.
“In Delhi, potato is being sold at Rs 45 per kg. Nothing moves in Delhi without paying money. That is why people are asking when will they start work. Action is missing,” he said.
Queried whether AAP will face a stiff opposition from BJP due to Modi’s stature, Kejriwal said people in the city still remember his 49-day-long government which had drastically cut power and water rates besides bringing various reform measures.
“It (NDA) is low on action. AAP spoke very less but it was very high on action. The work we did in 49 days is in people’s mind. It was a dream for people,” he said.
Sounding confident of AAP’s victory if assembly polls are held in Delhi, Kejriwal said BJP was not ready to face the polls as they know the “reality”.
“We are confident of our victory. The BJP is not ready to face the polls as they know the ground reality,” he said.
Asked to comment on NDA’s ‘Swachch Bharat’ initiative, Kejriwal said it was high on symbolism and that there was a need to bringing “systemic reforms” to ensure proper cleanliness.
“It is high on symbolism. It is high on messaging because it draws everyone’s attention towards keeping your surroundings clean. They asked every person to take a pledge of spending two hours per week on cleaning. I do not think even their cabinet ministers are spending two hours per week on cleanliness. Nobody has done it,” Kejriwal said.
“We need systemic changes in municipal bodies. You have to give municipal workers right environment, right equipment. You have to solve their problems. You will have to fix their accountability. Till we address systemic issues, how can you expect cleanliness,” he said.
The government led by Kejriwal had resigned on 14 February after the party’s pet project, the Janlokpal Bill, could not be passed due to opposition from BJP and Congress.
Kejriwal later contested the Lok Sabha polls in Varanasi where Modi defeated him.