New Delhi: Delhi will finally get a government 15 days after the Assembly elections results with the Aam Aadmi Party, which had a spectacular debut in the polls winning 28 seats in the 70-member House, staking claims to form the government with the outside support of the Congress.
AAP National Convener Arvind Kejriwal said the decision was taken after a meeting of the party's Political Affairs Committee on Monday morning in which the results of the referendum were discussed.
Kejriwal met Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and conveyed AAP's decision to form a government in Delhi. Jung will now meet President Pranab Mukherjee, inform him about AAP's decision and ask him to withdraw notification that put the House in suspended animation.
Kejriwal said the swearing-in ceremony will be held at Ramleela Maidan.
Dismissing all the rumours, the party said Kejriwal will be the chief minister of Delhi. Kejriwal, however, said, "I am not becoming the chief minister of Delhi but the common man is becoming the chief minister." Kejriwal will take oath on December 26, sources said.
He added, "I will request Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to allow swearing-in ceremony at Jantar Mantar." Jantar Mantar was the place where Kejriwal and his associates started the fight against corruption two-and-a-half years ago and announced AAP's formation a year ago.
AAP arrived at the decision after 10 days of seeking public opinion through SMSes, web and jan sabhas. AAP received a total of 6,97,310 responses through its webs and SMS poll. After removing the duplicate IDs and numbers, a total of 5,23,183 votes were found to be geniune of which 2,65,966 were from Delhi. Out of the votes from Delhi a total of 1,97,086 people or around 74 per cent asked AAP to form a government in the national capital.
The party had sent letters to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her BJP counterpart Rajnath Singh highlighting 18 issues and sought the party's response as both the parties were ready to support AAP from outside.
Due to delay in forming the government in the national capital, Delhi was on the verge of President's Rule as the term of the last government ended on December 18.
Former chief minister Sheila Dikshit congratulated AAP and wished the party good luck. She said, "I wished AAP good luck and now it is their turn to fulfil all the promises they made in their manifestos." She also clarified that it is not an unconditional support but an outside support to AAP.
Not leaving any chance to hit out at AAP, the single-largest party BJP accused AAP of political opportunism as it was ready to take Congress's support. Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, "Political opportunism should have no place in alternative politics dictated by idealism. AAP may be concerned with the fact that many MLAs including the AAP MLAs do not want early polls. It may even be strategising on how to capture power, announce a few popular decisions and carve out a further positioning for itself. It has, therefore, decided to enact a farcical referendum. In effect, political opportunism is being masked with the idea of popular sanction behind it."
BJP which won 32 seats in the recently concluded elections did not stake claim to form a government and said it will sit in the opposition. BJP Delhi in-charge Nitin Gadkari said, "The party will not indulge in horse-trading. It will not take outside support and are ready for re-election."
BJP leader Harsh Vardhan, who was also party's Delhi chief ministerial candidate, called the AAP's decision a betrayal to the people of Delhi. "Kejriwal has compromised his principles for power. This is a betrayal to Delhi as Delhi voted against the Congress," he said. "AAP should now fulfill promises made," he added.