New Delhi : Notwithstanding all the hurdles, internal as well as external, the first non-Congress, non-BJP government to be formed by the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi city-state is all set to take the oath of office on December 28.
Chief minister designate Arvind Kejriwal along with six other ministers will be sworn-in by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung at a public ceremony at the historic Ramlila Maidan.
AAP has doused a row ignited by its newly elected legislator Vinod Kumar Binny, who reportedly revolted after being left out of the list of ministers. It is understood that he has been pacified after a late night meeting. On Wednesday morning, Binny denied any rift.
Though there have been some differences within the Congress party on the issue of extending support to the AAP government, right now there is no threat to the yet to be formed government.
Congress spokesperson and Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit made it amply clear that there would be no rethinking on the question of extending issue based support to the AAP. Dikshit, who is the son of the outgoing chief minister Shiela, stressed that for 15 years the Congress had provided a transparent government, and the party would have no problem in supporting the AAP if it continues to do the same.
“If AAP is able to maintain the same level of transparency, then the Congress is ready to work with the AAP government,” he stated.
As the AAP keeps talking about pursuing corruption cases, the Congress has also made it clear that there should be no witch-hunt. But the real pressure on AAP would be in terms of fulfilling the election promises that have been described as unrealistic; both by the Congress and the BJP. In this respect, Kejriwal has assured that necessary steps would be taken immediately.
“We are working on the water issue first. After doing a thorough study, we found that different colonies have different issues. While water will be made free within 24 hours of the government coming to power, making sure that the water reaches all over Delhi will take some time. We are working on the logistics of the same,” he said.
There is speculation as to whether Kejriwal’s one-time mentor Anna Hazare would be attending the swearing-in ceremony or not. Hazare was against the formation of a political party, and after AAP’s success there have been reports of the widening differences between the two.
The maidan has been the venue of many a protest demonstrations by the Jan Lokpal movement that was the forerunner of this political party. The AAP remains focused on this issue and has set a 15-day deadline to pass the Jan Lokpal bill. “We will bring Jan Lokpal Bill within 15 days…The constitution says Delhi Assembly can formulate laws except on some issues mentioned in the state list. The state cannot make any law in violation of the Centre’s law,” said Kejriwal in a media interaction.
The date of swearing-in was finalised after President Pranab Mukherjee formally accepted the proposal by the AAP to form the government. The AAP has 28 members in the 70-member assembly and banks on the outside support of 8 Congress MLAs to pass the trial of strength slated to be held by January 3.