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Vinod Binny denies rift with AAP, says 'don't want to be a minister, here to serve people'

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 24, 2013
First Published: 22:44 IST(24/12/2013) | Last Updated: 13:25 IST(25/12/2013)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday put up a united front quashing reports that one of its MLAs was upset that his name was removed from the list of probable ministers.

Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal denied any rift within the party over naming of the cabinet which was overshadowed by anger over the exclusion of Laxmi Nagar MLA Vinod Kumar Binny's name.

"Binny came to me last evening. He told me he does not want a ministerial berth and that he was here for a mission. Binny said he has conveyed to the media that he was not upset," said Kejriwal.

In the first sign of dissent in the party, Binny who had walked out of a meeting convened at Kejriwal's house on Tuesday also said he was not upset because of his non-inclusion in the newly-announced cabinet.

"I am not here to become a minister, but to serve the people. I will fulfill the responsibility the party give me. I haven't spoken to Arvind (Kejriwal) as there was no occasion to talk, but will go to him when it is needed," he said.

Read more: Kejriwal names six ministers, faces rebellion from within

Read more: We will perform in Delhi, says Kejriwal

Binny said that it was chief minister designate Kejriwal's prerogative to decide on the cabinet ministers.

"There are 28 MLAs, different work has been decided by Arvind Kejriwal for all. There is no partiality with me."

Binny, who had defeated former Congress health minister AK Walia, had said on Tuesday that he would hold a press conference on Wednesday to make "certain revelations".

Sources said Binny was offered the post of parliamentary secretary to the chief minister, but he wanted a key department.

Senior party leaders Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas went to Binny's residence late on Tuesday night to pacify him.

"Sanjay and Kumar came to meet me and they spent some time discussing routine issues," he said.

Read more: Kejriwal rejects VIP culture, says no to bungalow

Read more: Kejriwal may announce power tariff cut after taking oath

The former east Delhi councillor is credited with AAP's mohalla sabha (neighbourhood meeting) plan that promises greater say to citizens in development works in their localities.

Asked if he was offered the post of parliamentary secretary as a deal, Binny said, "There is no deal."

A Delhi University graduate, Binny was with the Congress from 2009 to 2011 but left it to join the jan lokpal movement.

Questioned whether his Congress background worked against him, Binny said it is "unfortunate" if that's the situation because almost everybody has come from either the Congress or BJP into the AAP which is a new party.

Kejriwal insisted that his party does not have an alliance or tie-up with any party.

"We are concentrating on issues, not support. Whoever supports our 18-point agenda supports us," he said reacting to reports of a Congress rethink over extending support to the AAP.

HT Column | Yes, he can: how Arvind Kejriwal became people's champion

The Congress on Tuesday had said that the opinion was divided within the party on extending support to the AAP over government formation in the Capital, but ruled out any change of stand, for now.

Some leaders felt that the decision to offer support to AAP without the rookie party asking for it was unwarranted, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.

There is also a view that the party miscalculated in assuming that AAP leader and now Kejriwal would turn down the Congress and opt not to form the government.

Kejriwal also added that the swearing-in ceremony is unlikely to be held on Thursday.

"The date for the swearing-in ceremony hasn't been decided and once the date is decided only then can I send Anna an invitation," said Kejriwal.

(With inputs from PTI)

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