The story of Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party has been one of twists and several U-turns. He made yet another turnaround on Tuesday when he said his party was ready for fresh elections in Delhi.
The former Delhi chief minister also apologised to the people of Delhi for having quit his job in just 49 days.
On Sunday, the party had denied reports of backchannel parleys with the Congress to resurrect the Delhi government and had said it was ready for fresh polls.
Tuesday saw a departure from its earlier stand when Kejriwal met Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and urged him not to dissolve the Delhi assembly. “We wish to go back to the people and ask them if we should form the government again,” he had said in his letter to the L-G.
But on Wednesday, in a press conference, Kejriwal admitted that quitting the Delhi chief minister’s post in just 49 days was a mistake.
“We realised that many people were quite angry with us for having quit the Delhi government. We were asked why we left the government. In a meeting our legislature party held today, we have unanimously decided to seek a fresh election for the state assembly,” he told the reporters.
“Earlier, we had decided to hold a referendum and ask people if we should try to form the government. But chances of government formation in the current assembly are negligible. We will go to the people and hold various meetings with them in the coming days.
We will apologise to them, gain their trust and seek their support so that we can come back with a thumping majority,” said Kejriwal.
The AAP government had resigned on February 14 over the issue of the Jan Lokpal bill. Following a spectacular debut with 28 seats in the December 2013 polls, it had formed a minority government with outside support from Congress’ eight MLAs.
The BJP-SAD combine had won 32 of the 70 seats, four short of absolute majority, and had declined to form the government.
Ever since AAP relinquished power, Delhi has been under president’s rule. The party had filed a petition in the Supreme Court two months ago, challenging the Centre’s decision to not dissolve the assembly
After its rout in the Lok Sabha polls — the BJP swept all seven parliamentary constituencies in the Capital — several AAP MLAs expressed reluctance to go for re-elections. The reason: Assembly segment-wise balloting shows the saffron party is ahead in 60 of the 70 seats.