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Congress, BJP slam Kejriwal over 18-point questionnaire

HT Correspondent & Agencies, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 14, 2013
First Published: 11:08 IST(14/12/2013) | Last Updated: 18:38 IST(14/12/2013)

The Congress and the BJP on Saturday slammed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder Arvind Kejriwal for the letters he has sent to both parties – asking them to clarify their stand on 18 issues.

Kejriwal, who met lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung on Saturday to discuss government formation, said the AAP had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP president Rajnath Singh.

Only after both parties spell out their views on the 18 points and the AAP seeks public opinion regarding the response, would the party decide whether or not to form the government with support from either Congress or BJP, Kejriwal said.

Read: Kejriwal's letter to the LG

However, Congress leader and former Delhi power minister Haroon Yusuf said the AAP was “shunning responsibility”.

“They owe it to their voters to form the government. I appeal to the youth who joined AAP to compel Kejriwal to fulfill the promises he listed in the manifesto,” Yusuf said.

“They wrote a letter to the Congress, tomorrow they will write one to the UN.”

Similarly, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vijendra Gupta said Kejriwal was unnecessarily “creating drama”.

“He is creating drama over this, though he has everything to form the government. The AAP has emerged as the second largest party in the Delhi polls. He has the unconditional support of nine MLAs. So, he has a chance to form the government in Delhi,” Gupta said.

However, Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said the party would respond to Kejriwal’s letter “in a day or two.”

While the Congress on Friday evening had written to the lieutenant governor offering outside and unconditional support to the AAP for forming the government, the BJP has so far maintained that it does not want to form an alliance with any party. But the BJP did offer “constructive support to AAP”, saying it was ready to sit in the opposition.

“We had not sought support of either Congress or BJP. They have come forward with unconditional support. There is no such thing as unconditional support. But if they are offering us support, here are our conditions,” Kejriwal said on Saturday, referring to the 18-point questionnaire sent to both parties.

The issues mentioned in the letters include passing of Janlokpal bill by December 29, empowering of mohalla sabhas to spend money on development works, audit of power discoms and eliminating the water mafia in Delhi.

Kejriwal said AAP would ask for the people’s opinion on the parties’ by conducting mohalla sabhas (colony-level meetings).

“We will take the two parties’ response to the people of Delhi and then ask them if AAP should form the government with their support or not” he said.

Lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung will now send a report of the situation to the President of India. However, it is not clear yet if Jung will recommend President’s rule in the national capital.

The BJP won the assembly elections with 31 seats but fell short of a majority in the 70-member assembly. The AAP won 28 seats, while the Congress got just eight seats as votes were counted on December 8.

Two days ago, the BJP had been invited by the lieutenant governor but the party had simply stated it could not form a government due to lack of numbers. Jung then invited AAP for discussion on Saturday.

Read: AAP's behaviour arrogant: BJP leader

(With inputs from agencies)

Read: AAP mobilises volunteers for Election re-run

HT Edit: By refusing to form a govt, the BJP and the AAP are being far too rigid

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