Arvind Kejriwal to be next Chief Minister of Delhi

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, December 23, 2013

AAP to form Govt in Delhi, Kejriwal to be CM
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal will be the next Chief Minister of Delhi and is likely to be sworn in at a ceremony at the historic Ramlila Maidan here on December 26.
Mr Kejriwal met Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung this afternoon and handed over a letter to him conveying his party's readiness to form the next government in the capital.
This followed a meeting of the party's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) at Ghaziabad near here to consider the results of a "referendum" conducted by it among the people of the capital on the question of whether it should form the government or not.
AAP ended up with 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly after the December 4 elections, three less than the 31 secured by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is the single largest party in the house. Both parties were short of the 36 seats required for a simple majority.
Mr Jung invited Mr Kejriwal to form the government after the BJP declined to do so, saying it did not have the numbers needed.
The Congress, which managed just eight seats, had, in the meanwhile, written to Mr Jung saying that it would extend support from outside to AAP if it formed the government.
After his meeting with Mr Jung at Raj Nivas, Mr Kejriwal told newspersons that he had handed over a letter to from AAP expressing its readiness to form the next government.
He said that the date for the swearing-in ceremony would be finalised after a formal approval is received from the President.
"This is not my victory but that of the aam aadmi (common man). The common man is the chief minister, not me," he said.
Mr Kejriwal, who had earlier this morning indicated that he would like the swearing-in ceremony to be held at Jantar Mantar here, said that it had been agreed at the meeting with Mr Jung that it would be held at Ramlila Maidan.
Both Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan were venues of the hunger strikes held by Mr Kejriwal and his one-time mentor and veteran social activist Anna Hazare for a strong Lokpal Bill for an anti-corruption ombudsman in the country. Since then, the two have fallen apart following differences over Mr Kejriwal's decision to float a political party.
Earlier, Mr Kejriwal told newspersons outside AAP's office in Ghaziabad that the results of the referendum conducted by it showed that an overwhelming majority people of Delhi wanted it to form the next government in the capital.
He noted that Lt Governor Najeeb Jung had, on December 14, invited AAP to form the government in Delhi and he had sought ten days to take a decision in this regard.
"We are not a small party, we are a party of the common man. We wanted to consult the people before taking a decision," he said.
On December 17, AAP, wary of the mixed signals that would go out if it formed a government with support from the Congress, urged the people of Delhi to vote on its website or send SMSs to help it decide whether it should accept the Lt Governor's invitation or not.
Mr Kejriwal also wrote letters to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP President Rajnath Singh seeking clarifications from them on the support extended by them to AAP if it decided to form the next government.
Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia said that 64 per cent of the people from Delhi who had participated in the referendum via the internet had backed the idea that the party should form the next government.
He also said that in a majority of the 280 public meetings held in different localities of the capital the people had supported the move.
Mr Sisodia also announced that Mr Kejriwal was the chief ministerial candidate of the party, as had been made clear by it even before the December 4 elections.
Mr Kejriwal said the names of the Ministers in the new government would be finalised in a couple of days.
Mr Kejriwal, 45, was expected to meet Mr Jung around 1230 hours today to convey his decision.
Responding to queries from mediapersons, he said the party would finalise the names of its Ministers in a couple of days.
Mr Kejriwal is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. He worked for three years for Tata Steel before joining the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) in 1995. He quit the service in 2006.
In between, he emerged as a vocal right to information (RTI) activist and won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership in 2006.
His newly-floated Aam Aadmi Party made its debut in the December 4 elections and he defeated Chief Minister Sheila Dixit of the Congress to be elected to the Delhi Legislative Assembly.

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