Monday, December 23, 2013

Newcomer Indian party to form government

File photo of Arvind Kejriwal, AAP chief (Pic: Rediff)
NEW DELHI (AA) - Ending a two-week deadlock, the debutant Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man’s Party) has decided to form the government on Monday with support of the Congress Party after receiving an overwhelming approval in the referendum conducted by the party in last few days among capital’s voters.

Hundreds of AAP supporters cheered and waved brooms, the election symbol of the party, after the Parliamentary Affairs Committee (PAC) decided to form a government as a result  of a two-hour meeting on Monday morning.

Addressing reporters at AAP's office after the meeting, party chief Arvind Kejriwal addressed the approval of the referendum by saying, "We received responses from citizens through the website, phone calls, SMS and by holding public meetings, and most of them favoured a government formation by the AAP. We are now going to give the Lieutenant Governor a letter saying AAP is ready to form the government.”

Out of 280 public meetings, 257 gatherings wanted AAP to form the government, the party said in a press statement.

Kejriwal went to a meeting at Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung's office by a modest Indian-made car.

Sources told AA that the new government's swearing-in ceremony will be held on December 26.

AAP spokesperson Manish Sisodia said Kejriwal will be the next chief minister of Delhi as he was projected as the party’s chief ministerial candidate.

On his Facebook page, Kejriwal wrote, “The opinion of the people who participated in the referendum process was overwhelmingly in favour of the formation of the government in Delhi. Respecting this message, AAP has decided to form the government. AAP leaders met the Lt. Governor of Delhi and conveyed this decision. We thank the people for their faith and support. We look forward to your continued support. Thank you.”

Talking to a private news channel, Keriwal said the common man has become the chief minister of Delhi today.

“Today the ‘aam aadmi’ (the common man’) has become the chief minister. Our priorities are going to be electricity and water,” he said.

Kejriwal said that AAP will fulfill all of its election promises to the people, most of which have been bitterly criticized as “impractical” and “unimplementable” by the BJP and Congress party.

BJP, the single biggest party in Delhi, criticized AAP for taking the Congress Party's support  to form the new government.

“AAP accused the Congress Party of being the most corrupt. Today they have compromised on their principles. This is gross betrayal,” said BJP's chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan.

Sheila Dikshit, Congress leader and outgoing Delhi chief minister, congratulated Kejriwal but said it's impossible for AAP to fulfill its promises.

"I congratulate him. I hope he can fulfill all the promises he has made. We were aware that it’s impossible to fulfill those promises. But his belief has got a chance to show potential,” Dikshit said.

AAP made a spectacular debut in Delhi elections by winning 28 of 70 seats in the new Assembly, whose elections results were declared on December 8. BJP emerged as the single largest party with 31 seats but refused to form a government as it was short of a majority.

AAP was born out of a country-wide anti-corruption movement spearheaded under the leadership of Gandhian social crusader Anna Hazare which demanded strong anti-corruption legislation against elected representatives and public officials. Kejriwal, a former government bureaucrat, rose to prominence in recent years as the ‘right-hand’ of Hazare.

Both Hazare and Kejriwal parted ways after the latter decided to join politics a year ago, citing differences in political views.

Hazare refused to comment on AAP’s alliance with the Congress Party.

“Let him do whatever he feels like, I don’t wish to comment,” he said.

Anadolu Agency, December 23, 2013

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