AAP indicates it’s ready for power in Delhi

New Delhi, Dec 22: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems set to form a government in Delhi, with party leader Arvind Kejriwal saying Sunday that “a major announcement” will be made Monday.

As the party’s campaign to elicit a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from people in the capital on government formation entered its final phase, the AAP said that most voters favoured an AAP government.

It also said that AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, who is tipped to be the chief minister, will address the media at 11 a.m. Monday and then proceed to meet Delhi’s Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung.

“Majority of the feedback we have received is ‘yes’,” spokesperson Ashwathi Muralidharan told IANS.

The party has got responses from over 6.5 lakh people through SMS, interactive voice response (IVR), Facebook and the AAP web site, she said.

Separately, AAP held public meetings in some 270 municipal wards of Delhi, covering the entire city, where too most people said they were for an AAP government, party leaders said.

Kejriwal, a former Indian Revenue Service official, indicated earlier Sunday that his year-old party was preparing to take power with Congress backing despite a split election verdict.

“We will deliver whatever assurances we made in our manifesto. It (manifesto) was prepared after wide consultations, and a lot of thought went into it,” he said.

“Moreover, the people of Delhi are expecting much more from us, and we will perform.”

Later in the evening, Kejriwal told a public meeting in Sarojini Nagar in south Delhi that his party will keep “returning to the people” on major issues — even after forming a government.

“This is democracy, this is real democracy,” he said, denying criticism that the AAP’s decision to seek a referendum on whether or not it should take power was “nautanki” (drama).

But AAP leaders made it clear that there would be no alliance with the Congress, which has only eight seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly but which agreed to prop up a government of AAP (28 seats).

The BJP, which finished as the largest group with 31 seats, decided not to form a government after falling short of the half-way mark by five.

The BJP’s ‘no’ forced the Lt. Governor to invite the AAP to try form a government. Kejriwal then said he was in a moral dilemma on whether or not to take power with Congress help, and decided to seek people’s views.

The AAP’s ‘yes’ or ‘no’ campaign was announced Dec 17. The campaign ends Sunday midnight.

The AAP initially said it would be happy to sit in the opposition but was forced to reconsider following accusations that it had developed cold feet over fulfilling many of the promises it made in its manifesto.

These included providing 700 liters of free water to residents and a 50 percent cut in power tariff.

IANS