NEW DELHI: Ending days of uncertainty, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has declared that the party is ready to form a government in Delhi, with crucial support from one of its two main enemies, the Congress.|
Arvind Kejriwal on Monday met Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and staked a claim to form the next government in Delhi.
"I have handed over the letter to the Lt. Governor stating that we are ready to form a government in Delhi," Kejriwal said.
"As soon as the President orders it, the date for the oath ceremony will be fixed. The oath will be taken at Ram Lila Maidan," he said.
The party has also announced that Arvind Kejriwal will be the chief minister.
AAP leader Manish Sisodia said that Kejriwal, under whom the party won 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly, "will be the chief minister".
"We fought the elections under his leadership and it is the opinion of all the 28 MLAs that he (Kejriwal) will be chief minister (of Delhi)," said Sisodia.
"There are some rumours that someone else might become the chief minister, and Kejriwal might play a different role.
"But the party has decided that he will be the chief minister," added Sisodia, a senior figure in the AAP who is tipped to become a minister in the new government.
Sisodia added that of the hundreds of thousands who responded to the AAP referendum, around 157,000 people in Delhi, or 74 percent of those who took part in the exercise in the capital, wanted the party to take power.
Besides soliciting responses on the social media and through SMS, the AAP also held some 280 public meetings across Delhi. In 257 of them, the majority voted for an AAP government, he said.
After five days of a referendum when people were asked to say 'yes' or 'no' on whether AAP should take power, Kejriwal announced that an overwhelming majority in the capital had given their thumbs up.
"Majority of the people wanted us to form the government, and now I am going to meet the Lt. Governor to inform him that AAP is ready to form the government in Delhi," Kejriwal said.
Arvind Kejriwal said: We will request Lt Governor Jung to see if swearing-in can be done at Jantar Mantar.
Arvind Kejriwal, the former civil servant who led AAP to a shock victory of sorts, has already said his one-year-old party would fulfil its strong manifesto, declaring some of the things in it can be implemented within hours of forming the government.
As the party's campaign to elicit a 'yes' or 'no' from people in the capital on government formation entered its final phase, the AAP said that most voters favoured an AAP government.
"Majority of the feedback we have received is 'yes'," spokesperson Ashwathi Muralidharan told IANS.
AAP thus begun with breaking one of its very first promises, which was to not form an alliance with either the BJP or Congress. The overwhelming public response — via SMS, IVRS, emails, and at public meetings — in favour of taking support from the Congress to form a government in Delhi.
The weekend just gone by alone saw 272 videographed public meetings where the people were asked if the Congress’ help should be taken. According to party sources, an overwhelming majority, almost 80-90 per cent, of the people said AAP should form the government.
The party has got responses from over 6.5 lakh people through SMS, interactive voice response (IVR), Facebook and the AAP web site, she said.
"We have held public meetings in all the wards. The promises made by Arvind ji were read out to the public and they were then asked to raise their hands if they wanted AAP to form the government by taking support of the Congress. Almost everywhere, barring a few places, people were in favour of AAP forming a minority government. However, we will be able to make an announcement only on Monday after going through all the video recordings,” an AAP spokesperson said on Sunday.
“There are around 1.19 crore voters and we have collectively received around 10- 12 lakh responses, which in a way give an indication of the view of the electors,” Kejriwal said.
The AAP won 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly, and was invited to try form a government after the Bharatiya Janata Party, which finished with 31 seats, declined to do so as it lacked majority support.
The Congress, in a bid to slight the BJP, announced that its eight legislators would prop up the AAP. The AAP then said it would seek public views on whether or not it should take Congress support.
On Monday, the Congress gave its "best wishes" to the AAP and asked it to fulfil the promises it made to the voters. A miffed BJP denounced the AAP decision, terming it a "betrayal of the people".
Arvind Kejriwal’s 18 demands
1 To bring an end to the VIP culture in Delhi.
2 Passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill — the version for which Anna Hazare held fasts.
3 Swaraj in Delhi: People will take decision directly in mohalla sabhas, which will be held in every locality and colony.
4 Complete statehood for Delhi; central government’s hold on DDA and police should end.
5 Special audit of all power companies in the Capital from the time they were privatised.
6 Electricity meters should be checked.
7 Availability of water to every household in the Capital.
8 Regularisation of unauthorised colonies.
9 Clean and affordable houses for those living in slums.
10 Support to give regular jobs to those working on contractual basis.
11 Infrastructural facilities like roads, electricity, water and basic facilities to ordinary trader and simplification of VAT system.
12 No FDI in retail should be allowed in Delhi.
13 Providing facilities and subsidies to farmers in the villages in the Capital.
14 Opening 500 government schools, stopping donations in private schools and making the fee system transparent.
15 Opening new government hospitals with better facilities.
16 Special security units for women and all harassment cases need to be tackled within three months.
17 Setting up enough courts and appointing judges so that all cases are dealt with within six months.
18 Support from the municipal corporations on all these issues.