Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday “gave” a week’s ultimatum to the Lt-Governor of Delhi to dissolve the Delhi Assembly. Addressing thousands of supporters at Jantar Mantar, he threatened to launch a campaign for conducting fresh elections in the capital if the Lt-Governor does not take any action in the next seven days.
In his first major public address after the Lok Sabha polls, the former Delhi chief minister said, “We are giving the government a week’s time. If the Delhi Assembly is not dissolved by then, we will go from door to door and collect signatures demanding the dissolution of the
Assembly, so that fresh elections can be conducted.”
Coming just three days after the AAP’s public meeting with auto-rickshaw drivers, Sunday’s rally is being seen as renewed efforts by the party to woo supporters.
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Instead of referring to earlier rallies conducted by the party at Jantar Mantar, Kejriwal made references to the India Against Corruption movement and Anna Hazare. At the beginning of his 30-minute long address, he said, “I remember April 4, 2011, when the Anna movement began. Annaji was sitting here. I remember during that movement, all parties used to make fun of us. They used to say that if you have the courage, contest elections. The people of Delhi have gathered here today and they are challenging other parties — if you have the courage, contest polls. We challenge the BJP and the Congress.”
Having met the L-G several times on the issue of government formation in Delhi, Kejriwal said, “Delhi is under the Lieutenant-Governor’s rule right now. The L-G should state in writing that elections should be conducted in Delhi. If the Delhi Assembly is dissolved, then elections will take place. But the L-G is also a human being. He has to save his chair. If he does not listen to the BJP, it will take five minutes for the BJP to throw him out. His control is in BJP’s hands.”
Not sparing too many words for the Congress, Kejriwal reiterated that the battle in Delhi will be a two-way contest between the AAP and the BJP. “I should tell residents of Delhi that whenever elections happen in Delhi, don’t vote for the Congress. You’ll waste your vote,” he said.
He said, “The BJP has conducted an internal survey. It has found out that if elections are conducted in Delhi today, BJP would suffer a terrible defeat. That is why the BJP does not want elections to be conducted today. The eight Congress MLAs know that if elections happen today, they are not sure if they will survive.”
“The AAP wants elections but we are not in a hurry. As time passes, the AAP seats will increase and the BJP’s seats will decrease. If elections are conducted now, AAP will get 40 seats. If they take place in October, we will get 50 and 55 in February,” he said.
He further alleged that a deal had been struck between the BJP and some Congress MLAs to form the government. “But their plan was hampered because of the AAP,” Kejriwal said.
The rally saw the AAP chief praising his party’s 49-day government in Delhi. Waving electricity bills of a resident under the Congress, AAP governments and the President’s rule, Kejriwal said the bill had increased three times under President’s rule. He said, “There is no power half the time, bills have gone up to be three times what it was during our government.”
“The BJP is hand in glove with the discoms. We conducted audits and even brought down the electricity bills…While we were in power, we had cracked down on tanker mafia, but now tanker rates have rose to Rs 4,000,” he said.