No sign of political logjam in Delhi easing, AAP sets conditions

The political logjam in Delhi showed no signs of easing with Aam Admi Party setting conditions for Congress and BJP before it can decide on taking the reins during a meeting with the Lt Governor who subsequently submitted a report on the current political situation to President Pranab Mukherjee.

PTI| Updated: Dec 14, 2013, 23:39 PM IST

New Delhi: The political logjam in Delhi showed no signs of easing with Aam Admi Party setting conditions for Congress and BJP before it can decide on taking the reins during a meeting with the Lt Governor who subsequently submitted a report on the current political situation to President Pranab Mukherjee.

BJP has already declined to form the government in the national capital on the pretext of "lack of clear mandate".

Debutante AAP, whose chief Arvind Kajriwal today met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, sought time saying they would like to know answers from BJP and Congress before they stake claim for the government-formation.

As no clarity on government formation emerged even a week after election results were announced pushing the city towards possibility of the President`s rule, Jung has sent a detailed report to Mukherjee on the current political logjam.

Sources said Jung has mentioned in the report BJP`s reluctance to form the government as well as AAP`s position on the issue and that government-formation in Delhi was not possible now.

They said a report was also sent to Home Ministry on the current situation and the Lt Governor was now waiting for "directive".

Aam Aadmi Party, which was invited by Jung to discuss government-formation, set some new conditions for Congress and BJP before it can decide on taking their support to form a government.

In his meeting, Kejriwal had given to Jung the copies of the letters he had written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP President Rajnath Singh seeking their views on a list of 18 issues that included ending VIP culture in the capital, audit of electricity companies and removal of MLA local funds scheme.

In a surprise move, Congress had last night extended unconditional support of its eight MLAs to AAP for forming the next government.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Kejriwal said he had not sought any time from the Lt Governor for government formation. He claimed the LG told him he can come back when he has the majority.

A press release issued by the LG said "Leader of AAP
Legislative Party Arvind Kejriwal met Lt Governor. Referring to the letter of support received from Congress, Kejriwal said he would be in a position to form a government only after ascertaining the views of people of Delhi."

While the single largest party BJP with 31 MLAs had declined to from the government, the second largest party AAP with 28 seats has been saying it would not take from or give support to Congress and BJP in government formation.

Kejriwal asked why Congress and BJP were ready to extend their support to AAP which had not asked for it.

"Nobody gives unconditional support to anyone without any reason. There must be some reason that both parties are in a hurry to extend their support to us for free, what are their intentions," he told reporters.

Attacking BJP, he said its intentions were evident the moment they refused to form the government and stated they were not interested in "manipulative politics and horse trading" when they had allegedly done so in other states.

The AAP leader said his party`s stand was clear from day one that it would not take or give support to Congress or BJP.

AAP was formed by the common people due to alleged corrupt and criminal politics of both the parties and it was now not possible to join hands with these parties, he said.

"To understand their stand, I had written letters to
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP Chief Rajnath Singh seeking their parties` stand on 18 issues," Kejriwal said.

"I have asked them to provide categorical answers on the issues," he said.

During the last 15 years of Congress rule, problems of people have increased manifold. Similarly, BJP-ruled municipal corporation was involved in loot and mis-governance and common people were fed up with corruption, he charged.

In his letter, Kejriwal sought the views of Congress and BJP on the issue of ending VIP culture in the national capital. No minister, MLA or officer would use a red-beacon fitted vehicle, demand no security for themselves and not reside in big bungalows.

The other demands are ending the MLA or corporator fund scheme and allotment of the same money through Mohalla Sabha for development of local areas besides giving power to people to decide on expenditure.

AAP also sought their views on the passage of Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi and asked would they still support his government if their leaders were found involved in corruption.

Kejriwal asked whether Congress and BJP would support AAP
on giving more decision-making power to Mohalla Sabhas, giving full statehood to Delhi and audit of accounts of electricity companies.

He also asked whether they would be supporting AAP on issue of electricity meters, putting an end to tanker mafia, which he said is being run allegedly in connivance with a few leaders of both the parties.

He wanted to know whether the parties would support them on the issue of repealing of a law which allows increase in water tariff every year.

Would these parties support his government on regularisation of unauthorised colonies, rehabilitation of slums, ending of contractual appointments of nurses, doctors, sweepers, and teachers?

Would Congress and BJP support AAP government in simplification of VAT and promote trade and business, provide basic amenities in industrial area. Would they oppose FDI in retail in Delhi? Would they support AAP`s view of giving subsidy to farmers and not acquiring land without permission of gramsabha, Kejriwal wrote.

"After getting responses from BJP and Congress on these issues, we will hold public meetings and ask the people whether we should form government or not," he said.

Hours later, Congress` Delhi unit hit out at AAP for trying to "avoid responsibilities" and dared it to respect the mandate.

"Congress has extended support so that AAP can form the government as they got the mandate from the people of Delhi. AAP has sent the long list only to avoid responsibilities," Congress MLA and former Power Minister Haroon Yusuf said.

The party, which was routed in the Delhi assembly election after being in power for 15 years, claimed the 18 issues raised by Kejriwal in his letter to chiefs of Congress and BJP, had nothing to do with the legislature and showed his "lack of knowledge" in the field.

It also dismissed suggestions that it would hamstring the new government`s functioning.

Throwing the gauntlet, the party said AAP should have shown its competency to bring any Bill and get it passed in the assembly, instead of "misleading" people.

"Making promises and talking about giving freebies is one thing and to be actually delivering them is another...If things go on like this, then one day they may send letters to the US President and the UN Chief," Yusuf said.