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Arvind Kejriwal accepts divisions in AAP over government formation in Delhi

Arvind Kejriwal accepted on Wednesday that a section of his party wanted to form the government in Delhi.

Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh

New Delhi: While saying that he personally was not in favour of any kind of arrangement with the Congress or the BJP, Aam Aadmi Party convener, Arvind Kejriwal accepted on Wednesday that a section of his party wanted to form the government in Delhi.

In an interview to a news channel, Kejriwal said, "I am not in favour of any arrangement with either the BJP or Congress. But within the party, we have divided opinion on whether we should form the government with alliance."

He added that many felt that they were shirking responsibility by not forming the government. The Congress has offered unconditional support to the AAP to form the government in Delhi. The AAP has 28 seats in the 70 member Assembly, while the Congress has 08. The BJP won 31 seats in the recently concluded state polls and the SAD 01.

With no party able to form the government, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung LG in his report to the Union Home Ministry, has recommended President`s rule as one of the options in Delhi. Jung first invited the BJP to form the government as it was the single largest party. But the party`s CM candidate, Dr Harsh Vardhan declined the offer saying that he could not prove majority on the floor of the House.

Next it invited the AAP, who also informed the LG that it did not have majority. However, at the same time, AAP sought some more time from the LG so that it could ask the people of Delhi whether they should form the government in Delhi with Congress` support.

On being asked whether it was the right method to seek people`s opinion on government formation and why the AAP could not take a decision on its own, Kejriwal accepted that the whole exercise was preliminary and raw. However, he added that as there was no other mechanism in place, they had to do this to get a sense of the people.

He also said, "I agree that for all decisions one cannot go to the people but on some critical issues we need to go to the people." Kejriwal added that the Congress replying to AAP`s letter on 18 points raised by them had no purpose.

Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed had said on Monday said that 16 out of 18 issues raised by the AAP were totally administrative and to implement them no party needed any support or approval from the state Assembly. The Congress said that the remaining two demands - Jan Lokpal Bill and full statehood for Delhi - were outside the purview of the Delhi government.

The AAP last week had asked Congress and BJP to clear their stand on 18 issues it listed in letters to Sonia Gandhi and Rajnath Singh. The points included: Regularisation of unauthorised colonies, pukka (concrete) houses for slum dwellers, 500 new schools, regular jobs for those working on contract basis with the Delhi government, full statehood for Delhi and control over Delhi Development Authority and Delhi Police by the state government and not the centre, and provision for people to make decisions at "mohalla sabhas" or neighbourhood gatherings.

Meanwhile, on being asked about the relationship between him and social activist Anna Hazare, Kejriwal said that crores were being spent by vested political interest in the country to keep them apart. "They feel that if we come together, then it will have the power of an atom bomb," he said.

"Anna ji is in my heart. He is my guru. He can scold me. He has that right over me," he added.

On the issue of the difference between him and Anna on the Lokpal Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha yesterday and the Lok Sabha today, Kejriwal said, "There can be a difference of opinion. We feel that the present Lokpal Bill is weak. However, if Anna and his team are happy with it, then they are entitled to their opinion. We will continue with our fight to press for the Jan Lokpal Bill."

Anna and his one-time key aide, Arvind Kejriwal, who was by his side, when the social activist had launched the movement in 2011 to get the anti-graft bill passed, parted ways after the launch of AAP. Infact, Anna has been taking digs at Kejriwal recently, even asking him to fast if he found the Lokpal Bill had shortcomings. While, the social activist is happy with the government`s version of the bill, even though it differs from Team Anna`s version in many ways, the AAP has called it a `jokepal bill`.

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