Mumbai : The Mumbai literary festival on Sunday became an unusual platform for anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kerjiwal, who took his high-decibel campaign against top industrialists, who he alleges have secret Swiss accounts, a notch higher.
“The Swiss bank account numbers are 5090160983 and 5090160984,” he told an auditorium packed to the brim at Mehboob studio, but without specifying the respective account holders.
“If these are wrong, they (the Ambanis) can file a defamation suit against us. But the fact that they haven’t done that, even after the Swiss bank allegations made by us about a month ago, is an admission in itself,” he asserted.
Earlier in November, Kejriwal had alleged that the Ambanis had stashed away illegal wealth at Swiss banks, an allegation that both brothers had refuted. A reaction from the Ambanis to the fresh allegation was awaited.
The politics of the country can only be cleaned by entering the system, Kejriwal opined. “I used to think politicians are afraid of people. Lakhs had turned up for the Jan-Lokpal protests. But all the politicians did back then was drama. Last year, Digvijay Singh had asked us to contest the elections and then pass the laws. Now that we want to contest elections, the same people call us power-hungry.”
Effusive and confident in equal measure, Kejriwal elicited unanimous support from a thousand plus audience that cheered at every political barb, giving him a standing ovation at the end of the session.
When asked about his mentor Anna Hazare’s flip-flop on Aam Aadmi Party, Kejriwal said that he himself wasn’t aware about the reasons. “I intend to talk to him about the same soon,” he said. He, however, added later that Hazare had confided in one of his associates that the media had misinterpreted him.
At another event at the festival, best-selling writer Chetan Bhagat deftly fielded questions about Indian youth’s aspirations. Grilled by a news presenter, Bhagat defended his earlier statement about the country’s youths’ ambitions being restricted to ‘naukri aur chokri’ (a job and a girl).