Arvind Kejriwal ends fast, leaves issues to elections
06 April 2013
Social activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal today ended his 15-day-long fast in protest against 'inflated' electricity and water bills in Delhi and announced that he would instead fight the Delhi assembly elections on these issues.
Kejriwal, who heads the Aam Aadmi arty (AAP), however, claimed that his protest was over the issues that the common man faced and that he was not for power.
On Friday, Kejriwal had announced plans to end his fast on Saturday.
The AAP chief, once closely associated with Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement, has been on a hunger strike since 23 March over what he thinks are excessive charges for water and power in Delhi.
"Tomorrow is 6 April; and it is a very auspicious day as Mahatma Gandhiji broke the salt law in 1930 after the Dandi March to launch the civil disobedience movement. I will break my fast at 5 pm tomorrow.''
"Had I been power-hungry, I would not have sat on fast," he said.
Kejriwal also said that days of Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government in Delhi are numbered.
"I am grateful to all those who participated in the movement. After my fast, one thing is certain that assembly election in Delhi will be fought on the issue of power and water," said Kejriwal, who was given coconut water by a girl called `Neeru'.
Kejriwal also said that he wanted to end his 14-day hunger strike in the presence of Anna Hazare.
"I wanted to break my fast with Anna Hazare but he is busy with his nationwide tour. He has sent his blessings," said Kejriwal.
Earlier, addressing AAP supporters in Sunder Nagri in East Delhi, he had said over a million people had signed the petition against the Delhi government fleecing citizens with inflated electricity and water bills.
"More than the number of people who voted for her (chief minister Sheila Dikshit) are now asking her to reduce the rates for electricity and water. If she believes in democracy, I think she should do what they are asking for," he said.
Kejriwal said AAP volunteers would help residents of Delhi to reconnect power supply to homes, which are without electricity because of unpaid bills.
"The party's volunteers would go door-to-door for restoring electricity connections of poor people in Delhi," he said.
Kejriwal is now increasingly being seen as a common enemy by both the Congress and the opposition Bhartiya Janata Party.
While a Congress spokesperson said his fast was only a political stunt the BJP wanted him to fight against inflated bills from within the system and not through "illegal means".