Launching an all-out war against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), expelled leader Vinod Kumar Binny on Sunday gave the Delhi government a 48-hour ultimatum to meet his demands on issues such as slashing power and water bills, women's security and fair probe into the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam.
Vinod Kumar Binny (ANI Photo)
The rebel Laxmi Nagar MLA said he had the support of four legislators, including Janata Dal (United) MLA Shoaib Iqbal and Independent legislator Rambeer Shaukin. The trio held a press conference on Sunday, spelling trouble for chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Kejriwal's AAP, which has 27 MLAs after the expulsion of Binny, runs the government with outside support from eight Congress legislators. If five rebel MLAs come together against the rookie party, it will be tough for the government to survive in the 70-member House, where the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party- Shiromani Akali Dal combine has 32 legislators.
Iqbal said people were not with the AAP anymore and hinted at forming a new party. The rebels will hold another press conference on Monday where they are likely come up with a comprehensive list of dissident leaders.
Binny said he was not driven to bring down the government, but added the rebels would take a decision after 48 hours, keeping in mind the government's commitment to fulfil their demands. Binny had earlier accused the AAP of deviating from its poll promises, triggering an ugly bickering in the party. He was sacked earlier this month.
Reversing the surcharge on power tariff, making water consumption up to 700 litre a day free without any rider, probe into the Commonwealth Games and women's security featured in the list of Binny's demands.
The AAP came to power just about a month ago, riding an anti-incumbency wave against the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government.
The party had promised a corruption-free Delhi and cheap water and electricity during the campaigning for the December 4 elections.
After coming to power, it had announced to provide up to 20 kilo litre water per month (approx 666 litre per day) free to consumers with functional metres. Besides, the government had slashed electricity tariffs by 50% for households that consumed up to 400 units a month.
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, however, had approved a quarterly power purchase cost adjustment sought by the three distribution companies last Friday.