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THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 10 SEPTEMBER, 2014

Kejriwal Out Manoeuvres BJP

Arvind Kejriwal


NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi party seems to have succeeded in putting a spoke in the BJP wheels for forming a government in Delhi without fresh elections. The sting operation that captures BJP state president Sher Singh Dagar trying to bribe AAP legislators to leave and join his party is being perceived in political circles as the final straw on the camel’s back as it will now be difficult for the BJP to form the government and get support of the additional five legislators it needs without inviting strong charges of horse trading.

In a calibrated campaign AAP has been protesting against this from the very beginning, sounding the alarm as soon as the BJP moved to set the wheels of government formation in motion. Kejriwal told The Citizen that the BJP would have formed the government if it could have broken the legislators from his party or the Congress. And clearly by keeping the spotlights on this issue he has made it extremely difficult for the BJP to approach the legislators, and even for the MLA’s to cross over without facing the charge of accepting a bribe for switching loyalties.

In yet another move AAP has handed over a copy of the sting CD to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung urging him to watch the video and realise what kind of ‘negotiations’ will be unleashed if he gives in to the BJP’s demand of inviting it to form the government. The BJP had 31 legislators of which three were subsequently elected to the Lok Sabha leaving it with 28 MLA’s. Even with the support of the sole Akali Dal MLA the party is well short of the halfway mark and in an atmosphere where the movement of every MLA has been brought under the scanner by AAP, it will be difficult for it to wean away the legislators at this stage.

Kejriwal has asked for elections, and currently after the sting operation that has left the BJP totally red faced, this seems to be more likely than not. BJP leaders are also conceding this, even though till a few days ago the party seemed to be determined to form the government as the single largest party. AAP had decided too that if this was to happen it would immediately ask for a confidence vote on the floor of the House in a bid to prove that the BJP did not have the requisite majority to form and run the government in Delhi.

AAP leader Manish Sisodia told reporters after meeting the LG, “we requested the LG to watch the video. We also asked him to revise the September 4 letter he sent to President Pranab Mukherjee in which, in a way, he has sought permission to invite BJP for government formation.”

AAP is confident of doing well in Delhi if there are elections. Kejriwal insisted that the party had the support of the 70 per cent of voters in the state that comprised the backward and marginalised groups. He said that AAP had been working hard in all the areas and expected to be voted into power by Delhi. “Delhi might have wanted Modi for PM, but the people definitely want Kejriwal for CM,’ he said.

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