Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal seems to be keen on creating a situation where the Congress will be forced to withdraw outside support to his government so that he can play the martyr and return with a bigger majority whenever a repoll is held.
During his dharna near Rail Bhavan to protest inaction by the Delhi police, Kejriwal blamed the Prime Minister, home minister and the Centre for the situation that forced his protest.
“We will teach the Congress a lesson in the Lok Sabha elections,” he told his MLAs and supporters, making it clear he that he doesn’t care if his government survived.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which does not have the grassroots spread and depth of a Congress or BJP, knows it will be spreading itself too thin if it were to go into the Lok Sabha elections while running the Delhi government.
When Kejriwal took over as Delhi CM in December he “assumed” the government would only last 48 hours.
Kejriwal addresses supporters and media as Delhi Police prevent him from reaching the home ministry. (AFP photo)
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“Even on Saturday, when asked how long Congress support would continue, Kejriwal told HT: “Wait for a few days. When we file FIRs in the Commonwealth Games scam and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) cases, they will realise…” Asked if the Congress will try to topple his government, he said: “When we start the investigations, they will have to.”
At the time, he also said that his government would last five years, “but not with Congress support. Elections will be held soon and I am confident we will return with a thumping majority. How? When? I don’t know.”
His comments are significant as there are already rumblings within a section of the Congress that supporting AAP was perhaps not the brightest idea. “We lost our vote bases when we supported RJD in Bihar and BSP in UP. We never recovered,” said a senior leader. Another camp, however, was of the view that if they had not helped AAP form the government, the rookie party would not have been exposed.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on a protest near India Gate, in New Delhi. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT photo)
“It is unfortunate that the CM, instead of delivering, is busy cribbing and sitting on dharna,” said Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken.
With 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, AAP formed a minority government with the support of the Congress, which has eight seats. The principal opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Akali Dal combine has 32 seats.
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