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Political culture

'Political parties can’t be run on small change'


Who's afraid of the K-word ? Certainly not the BJP, party president Nitin Gadkari tells TOI-Crest.

Arvind Kejriwal seems to have stolen the BJP's thunder with his allegations against Robert Vadra. Your party had the same documents last year but you didn't raise the issue. Why did you develop cold feet?

I had heard some talk about Robert Vadra last year but I didn't get any documents or papers to substantiate the allegations. If someone in my party had the papers, I had no knowledge of it.

Aren't you concerned that Kejriwal has seized the opposition space and could also take away your middle class voter base?

I am not worried, not even one percent. Let the elections happen. Then you'll see where he is and where we are.

Has Kejriwal changed the rules of the game by attacking Sonia Gandhi's family? Has he violated an unwritten code of ethics in politics?

Look, Atalji and Advaniji created a political culture in the BJP that we try to maintain even today. We don't believe in this type of personal attacks on leaders.

Kejriwal is trying to take politics back to the streets by trying to gherao the PM's residence and threatening to gherao Sonia Gandhi's residence. The BJP seems to have lost the stomach for agitations like these.

Who says we haven't held street agitations? We have done so many of them. We just did a nationwide bandh on price rise. But we don't believe in gheraoing the residence of the PM or Sonia Gandhi. If we adopt the same tactics as Kejriwal, you will accuse us of personalising our politics.

He seems to have taken away your anti-corruption plank quite effectively.

Who raised the 2G Spectrum scam, the Commonwealth Games scandal, Coalgate? Are you saying the BJP didn't raise these issues? To say that Kejriwal has walked away with anti-corruption plank because of one press conference is misrepresenting the facts.

Do you see any challenge from Kejriwal's new party?

I have no problem with his party. Regional parties have emerged in some states but in most of India, the fight is between the Congress and the BJP. Kejriwal's party has no meaning in this political scenario. I have seen lots of individuals like him wanting to make a mark in politics. Do you remember what happened to a big farmer leader like Sharad Joshi when he formed a political party? He flopped. Anna Hazare was absolutely right to warn Kejriwal against forming a party. It's not easy to run a political party. It can't be done on small change. I wish him well. oo

Reader's opinion (2)

Thilak7777 Oct 16th, 2012 at 20:22 PM

Politicians like Gadkari have no clue about what new generation of Indians can do. We will teach the old corrupt parties and Congress, BJP, BSP, DMK, Sharad pawar a big lesson. I ll vote for Kejriwal. I ll ask my family and friends to vote for Kejriwal.

Gautam VaidOct 15th, 2012 at 02:54 AM

When Gadkari says 'small change' he obviously means money. For our politicians, politics is nothing but a type of 'business'. Invest money in elections, and then reap the rewards by abusing your power after geting elected.

I will completely and fully support Arvind Kejriwal/IAC (and vote for him).

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