Won't be surprised if Arvind Keriwal's AAP got quite a few seats in Lok Sabha polls: Amartya Sen

Written by PTI | Jaipur | Updated: Jan 18 2014, 02:32am hrs
Amartya SenRajasthan Governor Margaret Alva with Nobel laureate Amartya Sen during the Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur on Friday. PTI
Lauding Arvind Keriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for its victory in the Dehi Assembly elections, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said that the young party stands a fair chance in the Lok Sabha polls as well.

"I imagine that they do stand a chance of a reasonable showing at Lok Sabha polls... I won't be surprised if they got a quite few seats in Lok Sabha polls," Sen said on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival, which got underway today.

Asserting that the party had broken the ice by bringing in a new style of politics in the country, Sen said, "AAP has shown that it can win an election without appealing to caste and communal divisions. It has also shown thatit is able to raise serious issues of governance...that is a major achievement."

"They also have to find out how to govern, what their qualities should be, the policies catering to the very 'aam aadmi', the very ordinary people rather than the relatively better off who have a greater voice in the electoral and political context," he said.

In his keynote address at JLF this morning, Sen had said that AAP had set a good example for Indian democracy.

"They (AAP) have a long way to go, but the ice has been broken and the dire need to witness some administrative reforms can't be denied," Sen had said.

Sen said AAP had set an example of how grassroots problems could be rightly raised as electoral issues.

"Democracy is an important part of our country, we have to put it to apt use. The power of democracy has been skilfully used by AAP," he said.

The Nobel-laureate economistsaid that the need for the government was to introspect on certain issues.

"Do subsidies waste economic resources What is 'fiscal responsibility' of any government Will subsidising diesel, electricity, food and offering low-cost cooking gas help the country grow both democratically and economically We really need to think deeply on these," he said.

He called for smarter use of available resources to help build a healthy environment which would sustain growth.

Sen also referred to the recent Supreme Court judgement criminalising homosexuality and said, "The apex court 'reversed a reversal' and made a strictly private behaviour, a public crime. Is it democratic"

The seventh edition of the five-day festival is set to host another Nobel laureate, Harold Varmus.

The line-up of speakers for the 175 sessions spread over the six venues at the historic Diggi Palace here includes, among others, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jim Crace, Jonathan Franzen, Shashi Thraoor, Irrfan Khan and Javed Akhtar.