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Not worried about floor test, ready for re-poll if needed: Kejriwal

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 26, 2013
First Published: 00:19 IST(26/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:21 IST(26/12/2013)

Delhi will finally get a government on December 28 when Arvind Kejriwal and his six ministers will take the oath of office, 20 days after making a stunning poll debut in the Capital.

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True to the Aam Aadmi Party style, the swearing-in ceremony will be a public affair, at the Ramlila Maidan, where a huge gathering is expected.

The real test will come next. AAP, which has been extended outside support by the Congress to form the government, has till January 3 to prove its majority in the House.

AAP has 28 MLAs and the Congress eight, together they just about manage to get past the half-way mark in the 70-member House. The BJP has 31 MLAs. The Congress is split on support to AAP, so the floor test of the Delhi’s first minority government — packed with first-time MLAs — will be closely watched.

“It (floor test) is the problem of other parties. Ours will be an issue-based government. All pro-people MLAs should support us,” Kejriwal said. “If the Congress and BJP join hands to topple our government, we are ready for a re-poll.” A session of the assembly is likely to be called from January 1. 

AAP on Wednesday seemed to have overcome the crisis created by Laxmi Nagar MLA Vinod Kumar Binny, who was upset on being left out of the ministerial team. There was no rift in the party and he would play any role assigned to him, said Binny, who had walked out in a huff after meeting Kejriwal on Tuesday.

The issue should not have become public, senior AAP leaders said. The party sent out a strong message by refusing to change the list of ministers sent to the lieutenant governor.  

Manish Sisodia, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Somnath Bharti, Rakhi Birla, Satyendra Jain and Girish Soni will be Kejriwal’s minister.

Kejriwal said decentralisation of power was on top of his agenda. The party would pass the Delhi lokayukta bill within 15 days of forming the government, he said.

Anna Hazare, Santosh Hegde and Kiran Bedi, who with Kejriwal were part of the 2011 anti-corruption agitation at Ramlila ground, had been invited to the oath ceremony, party leaders said. Kejriwal, who took the political route by forming AAP in November last, has grown apart from Hazare and Bedi.

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