Arvind Kejriwal, the top man of the Aam Aadmi Party, released its manifesto for the national election today, and underscored the party’s focus on combating corruption and decentralization of politics.
The manifesto promises swift punishment for corruption, a law for a Jan Lokpal or anti-corruption ombudsman, a citizen’s charter that will punish officials who don’t finish work in time, decentralisation of power and self-rule.
Mr Kejriwal, who made a stunning debut in the Delhi assembly election in December with promises of clean governance and cheaper water and electricity bills, quit as Chief Minister in February, after failing to push his Jan Lokpal Bill.
Police reforms are also on AAP’s agenda after several clashes with the Delhi police during its 49-day rule.
“Our government will put CCTV in police stations. We will put cameras in interrogation rooms. Anybody can ask for that footage using Right to Information,” Mr Kejriwal said, adding that his party would fight for the transfer of Delhi police to the state government.
Women’s security, pushed to the centrestage in the capital after a string of rape cases, figures prominently in the manifesto. “Safety for citizens is a huge responsibility for us. Since the Delhi chief minister sat on a protest to support women’s safety, it shows how serious we are,” Mr Kejriwal said, referring to the dharna undertaken by him in January.
The AAP leader reiterated his party’s opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail. After he occupied the Delhi chief minister’s post, among the first steps taken by him was to scrap his predecessor Sheila Dikshit’s decision to give the go-ahead to foreign retailers to set up shop in the capital.
He also asserted that “Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, and will continue to do so,” remarks that were seen as a rebuttal of Narendra Modi’s jibe that AAP’s official website showed that J&K was a part of Pakistan.