‘Being outsiders in the political system gives us a distinct advantage’

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Rajmohan Gandhi | 79 Author & Academic | East Delhi. Photo: Pushkar vyas
Rajmohan Gandhi | 79 | Author & Academic | East Delhi. Photo: Pushkar vyas

My decision was not to enter politics. Rather, my decision had to do with providing support to what I saw as an unexpected and remarkable movement in the country, and I had to support it.

I saw the involvement of thousands of young people and I said to myself that I cannot stand by the sidelines. Though I was enjoying my academic life, I knew I had to join them.

AAP has created this feeling that anybody, anywhere in the country, regardless of whether they belong to a big political party or have a huge vote bank, can enter politics. There is this growing realisation that, yes, you can be a professional and not necessarily renowned for you professional achievements, but you can still join and win in politics.

As for issues, corruption is not only a national issue but a local issue as well.

Whether it is the quality of education, hospitals and infrastructure or day-today harassment, it is the common man who feels the pinch of corruption. There is also an urgent need to look into the poor state of infrastructure in East Delhi as well as the horrible living conditions within the JJ Colonies.

If I am elected, I will work closely with the multiple authorities in Delhi (MCD, DDA, MLAs) to bring about effective change. However, I feel this is dependent on two factors. Firstly, a great deal would depend upon whether AAP is part of the next government or I am in the Opposition. The role would be different, but in either scenario, infrastructural problems as a whole have to be addressed.

The second factor is that I fully expect the Opposition to create hurdles in our ambitious reform agenda, but we will work regardless.

At a time when there is great disappointment with the Congress and a sense of uncertainty about the BJP, I think being “outsiders” in the political system gives us a distinct advantage. The two major parties have records to live down, whereas we have done well in our 49 days of governance. Not one minister, not one MLA took a rupee from anyone when we were in power and that claim has not been refuted. It is not a claim that any state government has been able to make in recent years. So, when AAP gets another chance in Delhi or if it gets a chance at a national level, that is the foundation that we will have to defend and build upon. It will be terrible for us if we allow this reputation to be sullied.

As told to Avalok Langer

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