Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
New Delhi: Amid criticism that he wanted to wriggle out of governing Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he was `not trying to be toppled`.
Kejriwal is at loggerheads with the Centre over the Jan Lokpal Bill and has refused to get prior clearance of the Union Home Ministry for it as the Congress has been demanding. Denying speculations that he wanted his government to fall so that he could project himself as the `martyr` ahead of the 2014 General Elections in order to gain political mileage, the Delhi CM told PTI Editors on Saturday that he was not trying to be toppled.
"I am not trying to be toppled, that impression is wrong. I am doing my work. We are working day and night and working very hard," he had said.
The confrontation between Kejriwal and the Congress has been growing for the past few days over the Jan Lokpal Bill, with the Delhi CM threatening to resign yesterday over the matter. He told a TV channel that he would resign if the bill was not passed by the Delhi Assembly due to lack of support from other parties.
The Jan Lokpal and the Swaraj Bill is to be tabled in the state Assembly on February 15 and 16, respectively. The Jan Lokpal Bill seeks life term as maximum punishment for government servants, including the chief minister if found guilty of corruption. On the other hand the Swaraj bill intends to decentralise power by segregating the city into 2,700 mohalla sabhas.
The Congress has made its stand clear that it was not ready to support the bill. It was reported that he grand old party may chose to abstain from voting.
And a day earlier he had told a news agency that he can "go to any extent" over the "huge" issue of corruption, adding that he had no right to stay in office if the contentious legislation does not get the approval of the state Assembly.
The bill is opposed both by the Congress as well as the Opposition BJP. “To remove corruption from the country, can sacrifice CM seat a hundred times," Kejriwal was quoting as saying, adding that his government would fall if the Jan Lokpal Bill and the Swaraj Bill was not passed.
Kejriwal-led AAP government has 27 MLAs in the Delhi Assembly. Earlier they had 28 but MLA Vinod Kumar Binny was recently expelled from the party. He later withdrew support to the AAP government. The Congress with 08 MLAs in the 70-member House is supporting the AAP from outside.
Meanwhile, another MLA Rambeer Shokeen today declared that he will pull the plug on Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government. He is an independent MLA from Mundka and has accused the AAP government of going back on the promises made to the people. If he withdraws support then the AAP government`s strength in the 70-member Delhi assembly would drop to 35, one short of a majority.