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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Quitting as Delhi CM was a 'mistake', admits Kejriwal

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 11, 2014
First Published: 11:33 IST(11/4/2014) | Last Updated: 16:13 IST(12/4/2014)

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal has said for the first time his decision to quit as the chief minister of Delhi after running a government for 49 days was a "mistake" adding he should have taken more time to "explain the rationale" behind it to the people.

Kejriwal's resignation had come hours after his government could not introduce the jan lokpal bill in the Delhi assembly in February as 42 MLAs — 32 of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), eight of the Congress and one of the Janata Dal (United) and an Independent — opposed it in the 70-member assembly.

"I don't regret forming the government and quitting on principle. Those decisions were right. The mistake we made was to assume that the people will celebrate our decision to quit on principle. We thought that people would understand our reasons on their own," Kejriwal said in an interview to The Economic Times.

He said there was a communication gap after that and that "gap was filled by BJP and Congress who told people that we ran away from responsibility" adding he should not have quit the same day after the BJP and Congress blocked the passage of the bill.

"We should have waited for a few days, held public meetings to explain the rationale behind our decision. We quit suddenly and people could not understand why we did it. It was perceived negatively. We made a mistake on the communication front and we'll have to be more careful in future."

Kejriwal has been under attack from all quarters after he took the decision to quit.

BJP's prime ministerial pick Narendra Modi had in March called him 'AK-49' taking a jibe at his 49-day tenure as the Delhi CM.

Modi had said at a poll rally in Jammu’s Hiranagar, barely 5 km from Pakistan border, three AKs — AK-47, AK Antony and AK-49 (Arvind Kejriwal) — had emerged as Pakistan commanders on the Indian side.

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