Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party have been in the news even before their stint with governance in Delhi. While its continuous attacks on governments and politicians kept the party in news before it marked a debut in the Delhi Assembly elections, the party did not miss even a day after forming the Delhi government and continued to make headlines. Here’s a list of the headlines made by Arvind Kejriwal and his 48-day-long Aam Aadmi Party government:
It was on this day that anti-corruption crusader-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal, after making a dazzling debut in the Assembly elections, was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Delhi. And on this day itself, he began his work in a style that was not quite in tune with his predecessors.
Moving swiftly to keep its poll promise of providing free water to every household in Delhi,the Aam Aadmi Party government announced 20 kilolitres of free water every month. It worked out to 667 litres a day to households with valid water connections and functional meters installed by the Delhi Jal Board.
A day after fulfilling his promise to supply free water, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal kept his word to slash electricity prices in the national capital and audit the private power distribution companies.
The minority Aam Aadmi Party government crossed the first hurdle in the Delhi Assembly when its confidence motion sailed through easily with the backing of the members of Congress,JD(U) and an independent.
Days after Arvind Kejriwal became chief minister, the Delhi government asked Delhi Police to immediately transfer over 40 senior investigators to the government’s ACB. The move was seen as a major step by the Kejriwal government to give the ACB teeth to act against corruption in government departments.
Education Minister Manish Sisodia seemed determined to bring about significant changes to the city’s education system, making college admission for Delhi students his priority. The minister’s announced a plan for 90 per cent reservation for Delhi residents in colleges that are fully funded by the government.
Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday warned power distribution companies that their licences may be cancelled if they didn’t abide by rules and cooperate with the CAG audit, a move undertaken by the AAP government.
In an unprecedented move, the Aam Aadmi Party turned buses that were out of use into night shelters for the homeless in Delhi.
In a step unprecedented in governance, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while announcing an anti-corruption helpline on Wednesday, said each citizen armed with a phone could “use audio or video to perform a sting” to entrap corrupt officials.
In what officials said was a complete violation of the Electricity Act, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced exemption for people who had defaulted on electricity bills and withdrawal of cases against those booked for power theft since March 23 last year when he launched the AAP campaign against power discoms in the city.
The first of Arvind Kejriwal’s planned daily janta durbars collapsed an hour after it started, after a crowd of over 20,000 people threatened to physically swamp the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues, and the meeting teetered on the edge of disintegrating into complete chaos.
After announcing a 10-month waiver and no action against power bill defaulters and pilferers who were “part of the (bijli-paani) andolan” last year, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal did a U-turn, saying his government was yet to take a final decision in this regard.
Claiming that global experience showed FDI leads to job losses and that Delhi is not prepared for FDI, the two-week-old Aam Aadmi Party government in the capital announced that it had withdrawn the approval given to FDI in multi-brand retail by the previous Congress government.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched a helpline, where parents can lodge their complaints on nursery admissions. A website, which will serve as an information bank for nursery admissions, was also launched.
Arvind Kejriwal may have refused security cover but the Chief Minister of Delhi is now getting police protection from two forces — Delhi Police and Uttar Pradesh Police. The Uttar Pradesh government started providing Z-category security to Kejriwal. This was over the Personal Security Officers (PSOs) of Delhi Police who tail the chief minister in plainclothes wherever he goes.
Hours after rebellion within the Aam Aadmi Party came to the fore with Laxmi Nagar MLA Vinod Kumar Binny threatening to hold a tell-all press conference, leaders of the BJP said they were in touch with four AAP MLAs, including Binny.
After he led a midnight raid and tried to bully police into arresting some “Nigerians or Ugandans” who he alleged were members of “a prostitution-and-drug ring”, Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti returned and asked residents to draw up a list of houses where “such people” live and said he would personally check each one.
Almost 20 days after he took over as Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal finally got a house in his constituency — New Delhi. The Urban Development (UD) Ministry on Friday allotted a three-bedroom flat at Tilak Lane in Lutyens’ Delhi to Kejriwal.
The Public Works Department was asked to submit all documents related to the Games, including the Shunglu Committee report and the CAG report, to PWD Minister Manish Sisodia.
Under fire for carrying out a midnight raid last week targeting African nationals, during which Ugandan women were allegedly held against their will and assaulted, Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti attacked the Congress and BJP, saying “it could not be helped if there were pimps in their midst”. Bharti said the two parties did not seem to care about the problem of drug racketeering.
It began as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s protest to demand the suspension of four police officers, but soon descended into chaos. The Delhi secretariat moved to outside Rail Bhawan, the call for the suspension of the policemen metamorphosed into a demand for control over Delhi Police, and then, even full statehood.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called off his protest demanding action against four Delhi Police officers after agreeing to a compromise formula, whose contours were worked out and pushed by the office of Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung.
The private power distribution companies of the city — BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd — filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court, challenging the “legality” of the CAG audit announced by the AAP-led Delhi government.
As the law came down on Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti and some from his own party endorsed calls for action against him, the top brass of the Aam Aadmi Party decided to stand by him. Emerging from a meeting of party leaders, Yogendra Yadav told reporters that there were three issues before them: whether Bharti’s actions violated procedure, whether his remarks smacked of racism, whether he misbehaved with women. And based on “evidence so far”, he said the answer was in the negative on all three counts.
Stressing that every individual holding a constitutional post is also governed by the constitution, the Supreme Court raised questions about the propriety of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet sitting in protest in violation of prohibitory orders and put them on notice over the constitutionality of their actions.
Countering the Supreme Court which had raised questions about the propriety of his protest demanding action against Delhi Police officers, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the constitution does not prevent him from staging dharnas and he would continue to take to the streets if necessary.
The Delhi Cabinet approved the setting up of Mahila Suraksha Dal, a commando force that will be responsible for ensuring the safety of women in the capital. Setting up a special security force for women was one of the election promises made by the Aam Aadmi Party.
The Delhi government announced formation of a Special Investigating Team to probe the 1984 riots cases. Hours later, the Delhi Congress hit back saying the AAP government was “playing political games in the name of religion”. But the AICC maintained that it would accept such an investigation “with utmost humility”.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday named 28 politicians he alleged were “corrupt” and said fielding strong candidates against them in the Lok Sabha elections will be his party’s priority.
The Aam Aadmi Party alleged that representatives of senior BJP leaders Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley had attempted to bribe an AAP MLA into defecting. The BJP was quick to rubbish the allegations, saying it was an attempt to spread “false propaganda”.
With the Congress refusing to support the Delhi government’s controversial Jan Lokpal Bill, the stage was set for a major showdown with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party it has propped up, threatening the survival of the five-week-old minority dispensation in the national capital.
Raising a red flag over the move by Delhi’s AAP government to bypass the Centre on the Jan Lokpal Bill, Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said the Bill must be presented to the Lieutenant-Governor before it was tabled in the state Assembly.
Slamming Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung for seeking the opinion of the Solicitor General on the constitutionality of the Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by his government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit back, reminding him that “you have taken an oath to protect the constitution, and not to be loyal to a party or the home ministry”.
Acknowledging the role auto-rickshaw drivers played in his party’s victory in the Assembly elections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced sops ranging from annual fare revision to easing of rules for GPS installation. Any auto driver, on his way home at night, can now refuse a commuter.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he would resign if the Jan Lokpal Bill fails to pass in the Assembly. “The Jan Lokpal Bill is very important for me. If it is not passed in the Delhi Assembly, I will resign. Jan Lokpal Bill ke liye 100 CM ki kursi kurbaan (I can sacrifice the CM seat a hundred times for the Bill),” he said.
Firing A high-profile salvo in what he called was the Aam Aadmi Party’s battle against corruption, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ordered the state government’s Anti-Corruption Branch to register FIRs against Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, former minister Murli Deora and former DG of Hydrocarbons V K Sibal in a long-running controversy over alleged irregularities in the pricing of natural gas from K G Basin.
Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily, RIL Chief Mukesh Ambani, former Union Minister Murli Deora and retired Director General of Hydrocarbons V K Sibal were named in the FIR filed by Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi government in the Reliance gas issue.
What began as an experiment in participatory politics 48 days ago ended Friday where it started — the Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi headquarters at 41, Hanuman Road. After the Congress and the BJP blocked the tabling of Jan Lokpal bill in Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal announced the resignation of AAP government.
He will leave for Bengaluru on March 5 and undergo naturopathy treatment there for 10 days.