"I am happy that this is being debated now," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said while reacting to President Pranab Mukherjee’s veiled criticism of the Aam Aadmi Party

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday favoured a healthy and all-encompassing debate in public and among political parties on President Pranab Mukherjee’s remark that “populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance.”

In his customary Republic Day-eve address, Mr. Mukherjee said “the government is not a charity shop” and cautioned against hypocrisy in public life. “Elections do not give any person the licence to flirt with illusions. Those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is possible,” the President said in an apparent reference to the AAP. Asked about his comments on the President’s observation, Mr. Kejriwal, who attended the customary At Home reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan, said: “This is one view which was expressed by the President. There should be an open discussion and debate on it. This will also be healthy for our democracy.”

Referring to his two-day sit-in protest near Rajpath, Mr. Kejriwal told journalists that his ‘dharna’ was to demand accountability of the police. “I and my government are here to ensure safety of the people, particularly women, in the Capital. Whatever we are doing is happening for the first time, we are taking up issues of common people. Our attempt is not to weaken democratic institutions but to strengthen them and make them transparent and accountable to the people,” the Chief Minister, who took over the reins of the Delhi government barely a month ago, said.

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