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AAP spokesperson Prithvi Reddy on why Arvind Kejriwal quit

Prithvi Reddy |

Updated: February 15, 2014, 9:26 PM IST
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AAP spokesperson Prithvi Reddy on why Arvind Kejriwal quit
While there are very many things to be changed in our country, AAP's primary fight is to fight against corruption.

AAP's spokesperson Prithvi Reddy explains the party's stand on why Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet resigned.

Why AAP quit government. To explain this, let us rewind a bit.

In 2011, people of our country said, "enough is enough" and came together to fight for a strong Anti-corruption law. After many protests, numerous hunger strikes, millions of people coming out on the streets followed by broken promises of politicians across parties, we were mocked at and told that laws are not made in "streets or maidans" and if we wanted to make laws, we needed to contest elections, form the government and then write laws.

Aam Aadmi Party was formed and we decided to first contest elections in Delhi. Citizens of Delhi not just supported us by voting without the usual electoral considerations of religion, caste, money and muscle power but helped us redefine "winnability" in politics.

Is it true that BJP and Congress wanted to support the Bill, but only wanted to us to do it in a "constitutional way"?

Before forming the government, we were offered "unconditional support" by the Congress and "issue-based support" by the BJP. We had listed out an 18-point agenda which contained promises we had made to the citizens of Delhi and asked them to specifically confirm their support of the same. The Congress said that for most of the issues their support was not required as it was the prerogative of the government and they would support the issues wherein their support was necessary. The BJP, instead of clarifying their position, said it was unheard of for a party to put up conditions for the support that they were offering. Now both the parties have gone back on their assurances.

As a part of the Jan Lokpal Bill, we had written that the law passed at the Centre would be applicable to all the states in the form of a Jan Lokayukta Bill. This was strongly opposed by all parties in Parliament, saying it was against the Federal structure and every state should have the option of passing their own bill. Now, when AAP government in Delhi tried to introduce Jan Lokpal bill, Congress and BJP joined hands and have been saying that the bill cannot be introduced without consent of the Governor acting on behalf of the President of India.

Interestingly, Sheila Dikshit's government passed a resolution in 2002 (details below) preventing meddling by the then BJP led Central government in the matters of Delhi state government. Now, the same Congress Central government is meddling in the affairs of Delhi.

Citizens of our country have seen a new phenomenon in the recent past wherein parties who have all along opposed each other and their respective policies, have come together to oppose the passing of the bill to bring political parties under the ambit of RTI and also to oppose the Supreme court's directive to keep "criminal out of politics". Yesterday, was another classic example of the nexus between such parties which seem to be making laws based on vested interests who hold their purse strings.

Why did we not go to courts and seek directives against the Governor's order ?

This suggestion is being given knowing fully well, the time required presently for courts to decide on such matters. Rather than going to courts for the next many years, we prefer going to the people and seeking a mandate which will allow us to form a majority government both at the state and the Centre.

Why did we resign without consulting our voters ?

Against all expert predictions, we won 28 seats. Since we did not have a majority and required outside support of, one of the two parties we had fought against, we consulted with our voters as to whether we should take up the challenge thrown at us. In the case of the resignation, however, as we were not able to deliver on our main promise of passing an equivalent of the "Jan Lokpal Bill " in Delhi, there was nothing for us to go back to people with.

Are we running away from Governance ?

Although we have been in power for only 49 days, the Aam Aadmi on the street has experienced reduced corruption and improved governance due to several initiatives of our government a list of the same is given below.

While there are very many things to be changed in our country, our primary fight is against corruption, since it is the root cause of all other problems. We now recognise that there is no way for us to achieve this, being a minority government, with outside support from the existing political parties.We therefore have chosen to go back to people and seek a mandate that will allow us to deliver on the promises we have made to them.

ACHIEVEMENTS IN 49 DAYS OF AAP DELHI

1 End of VIP, Red-light Culture
2 Half Electricity Bills for those consuming upto 400 units
3 Free Water for those consuming upto 20 KL per month
4 Retail FDI stopped
5 58 new Night Shelters added in One month to existing 175 old Night Shelters
6 Ordered CAG Audit of Discoms
7 Transferred 800 and Suspended 3 Delhi Jalboard Employees
8 Started Corruption Helpline No. 1031
9 Started Nursery School Admission Helpline No. 011-27352525
10 Stopped Donation for Admission to Schools
11 Action on Corruption fast-tracked
12 Checked Ration Mafia
13 Rs One Crore given to wife of Delhi Police's Martyr
14 Checked Water Tanker Mafia
15 Delhi Janlokpal Bill and Nagar Swaraj Bill cleared by Cabinet
16 Government Schools given Rs One Lakh each for improving Infrastructure
17 Issued Permits to 5500 Auto-rickshaws for plying in NCR
18 Ordered formation of SIT to probe 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots
19 Formed Committee to devise Women Security Force
20 Formed Committee to look into Permanency of Contract Labour and Guest Teachers
21 Surprise Checks of Govt Hospitals, Schools, Night Shelters and Transport Buses
22 Reward to Sportsmen
23 Bus Pass facility to Students
24 Recruited several Govt Employees
25 Ordered checking of faulty / fast Electricity Meters
26 Registered FIR in Commonwealth Lights Scam
27 Registered 3 FIRs in Jalboard Scams
28 Registered FIR in Reliance Gas Price Scam
29 Simplification of VAT and tax rebate on small scale industries upto 1 crore turnover.??

Text of the motion passed by Sheila Government in 2002 :

The House condemns this decision of the Home Ministry taken without consulting the popularly elected Delhi Government. This House is of the view that these orders are in total violation of all democratic traditions and harmonious relations between the Centre and the States. This House resolves that there can be only one definition of the government for legislative and any other purpose and this is the 'Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi'. Moreover, amendment of rules 23 & 55(1) cannot take away what the Constitution (69th Amendment) Act and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1992 have sought to give to the people of Delhi. This House therefore resolves that the above two unilateral orders aimed at curtailing the powers of a duly elected popular government should in the first instance be immediately withdrawn by the Central Government.

(The article is written by Prithvi Reddy, national spokesperson of the AAP. He is based in Bangalore.)

First Published: February 15, 2014, 9:26 PM IST
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