AAP rally fails to budge Centre, set to begin stir

  • Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 11, 2014 12:35 IST

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal’s one-week ultimatum — pave the way for elections in Delhi or face agitation — has failed to budge the Centre.

The party will now undertake signature campaigns and “get the whole of Delhi to rise and demand immediate elections”.

Addressing party volunteers during a Google Hangout session on Saturday, Kejriwal said, “The deadline is over. Now we will have to go to each household in Delhi. For us election campaigning has begun.” There are about 30 lakh households in Delhi.

“We will leave one pamphlet in each house. We have shot three videos. Our volunteers will transfer these to the cell phones of people they will be visiting. The videos will go viral. We’re launching the signature campaign from Wednesday morning,” he said.

“Sooner or later they will have to hold elections. I have done my calculations. My own political assessment says elections will be held in December,” Kejriwal is heard saying in a video seen by Hindustan Times.

Though Kejriwal doesn’t talk about the content of the video clips and pamphlets to be distributed, he does say in his address that this time the party wouldn’t run a negative campaign [against other political parties]. “We would focus on highlighting the achievements of our 49-day rule in Delhi. Even in my speeches, I’m doing so,” he is heard saying.

Speaking at Jantar Mantar, packed with party volunteers, Kejriwal had said a week ago, “We are giving one week to the Centre, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and the BJP to dissolve the Delhi assembly or else we will go to every house, undertake signature campaigns and get the whole of Delhi to rise and demand immediate elections.”

Kejriwal had earlier also met President Pranab Mukherjee and Jung to press for fresh elections. Plea not heard, he is back to basics — taking to streets.

In December last year, AAP won an astounding 28 of the 70 assembly seats. However, in February, it gave it all up for the Lok Sabha polls. Since then the city has been without an elected government and the assembly has been in suspension for over five months.Asking why the assembly continued to be kept in suspended animation, the Supreme Court on Tuesday told the Narendra Modi government to decide on its dissolution ‘one way or another’, adding that legislators cannot sit idle at the expense of taxpayers.

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