Banker Meera Sanyal quits job to join Kejriwal’s ranks

Priyanka Kakodkar
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‘Delhi victory shows that people with ideals can win elections’

Meera Sanyal
Meera Sanyal

She is not new to politics but India Inc’s Meera Sanyal has now taken the plunge, quitting her job as chairperson of the Royal Bank of Scotland (India) to join the Aam Aadmi Party.

She hopes to contest the Lok Sabha election from Mumbai South, where she, as an Independent, lost to Milind Deora of the Congress in 2009.

Ms. Sanyal says she decided to enter politics full-time because it was “essential to take a stand and participate constructively in the political process rather than just criticise the system.”

‘Natural choice’

The AAP was a natural choice after she met its convener Arvind Kejriwal in May and was impressed with his idealism. Her husband and she campaigned for the AAP ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections.

She feels optimistic after the Delhi mandate. “Corruption and poor governance affect all of us. The AAP’s success in Delhi has sent a message of hope throughout the country that people with ideals and integrity can not only stand [for] but also win elections,” she says.

How does the banker reconcile to the AAP’s economic policies and its electoral promises of free water and cheap power in Delhi?

“Their policies are pragmatic. They favour enterprise and education and focus on decentralised local governance and grass-roots accountability. Markets will function freely only when competition flourishes and there is a level-playing field. Crony capitalism and corruption distort markets,” she says.

Defends power policy

Defending the AAP promise of cheap power in the capital, Ms. Sanyal says the party believes that expenses “have been grossly exaggerated by the electricity distributor and that meters are faulty, leading to high tariffs. Once corrected, tariffs will decrease across the board.”

But her focus is the country’s financial capital, which she feels has become “a very difficult place to live and work in.” Improving infrastructure, housing and jobs will be her priorities.

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