P. Chidambaram to Arvind Kejriwal: If you don't know how to govern, quit

Written by PTI | Davos | Updated: Jan 23 2014, 03:53am hrs
P ChidambaramFM P. Chidambaram (L), Nikesh Arora (C) of Google, Sunil Bharti Mittal (R) of Bharti speak during the opening panel session of World Economic Forum, in Davos. (AP)
In a scathing attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram today said that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) should quit if they don't know how to govern.

"That (holding two-day long dharna on Delhi streets) is not governance. That is abdicating governance. If you don't know how to govern, quit," he said.

Taking a dig at Arvind Kejriwal during a session on 'India Outlook' at a NDTV panel discussion at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Chidambaram said, "Somebody sent me an SMS. It said Vishnu told Arjun go do your dharma, but he told Arvind Kejriwal, go do your dharna."

The Minister said: "I hope he is not advocating the chaos we are seeing in Delhi today. That's not a call to action."

On why the Congress party was continuing to support the minority AAP government in Delhi, Chidambaram said, "Opinion in the party was divided. Local unit took that decision, right or wrong. The point is whoever is in government, must govern.

"You can't mask your inability to govern by street agitations. The line that divides agitation and anarchy is a very thin line and they may have crossed that line in the last few days," he said.

Answering questions on the prospects of the Congress party in the forthcoming general elections, Chidambaram said, "I think it is too early to call what the next elections will be. There is still two and half months. Much can change.

"I admit that the Congress party appears to be the underdog today, but I think it is good to go into an election as an underdog rather than in a triumphant mood."

On whether there is a leadership vacuum in the UPA government, Chidambaram said, "I don't agree there has been any vacuum of leadership. There has been certain lack of decisiveness, but that doesn't mean there has been any vacuum."

The next elections, he hoped, will throw up a new class of young leaders. "Time has come to hand over the government to a younger generation, where people from various areas like doctors, lawyers engineers can come forward and lead this country", he said without naming Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

The government had done a lot to lead the country on the path of growth and fiscal consolidation, he said, adding that foreign investors have come in big way in areas like pharma and telecom though domestic investors, specially big corporates, were still hesitant.

"The despondency that was there a year ago, that has got lifted", he added.