New Delhi, Feb 15: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday denied his move to quit was with an eye on the general elections, and said he was undecided about contesting the Lok Sabha polls.
In an interview to NDTV, Kejriwal, who submitted his and his council of ministers’ resignation Friday, also refuted arguments that his government failed.
Kejriwal also said he was ready to face legal proceedings launched by Reliance chairperson Mukesh Ambani in the wake of the Aam Aadmi Party government filing a police complaint against him over the gas pricing row.
The 45-year-old chief minister, whose resignation is yet to be accepted, said he was not in a hurry to resign.
“I wasn’t in a hurry to resign. It was a message to the voters that we wanted to keep the corrupt out,” said Kejriwal.
The chief minister also refuted allegations by the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that they were not given enough time to study the Jan Lokpal bill.
“They are lying. We were ready to give them more time,” he said.
The Congress and the BJP voted against introduction of the bill, a key poll promise of the AAP government. In the voting, 42 members voted against the introduction of the bill, while only 27 MLAs – all AAP leaders – voted for it. The Delhi assembly has a total strength of 70.
Kejriwal had said that if his government was not allowed to pass the Jan Lokpal bill, he would resign as the fight against corruption was more important.
On the reported move by Ambani to file a legal case against him, he said: “I am ready to face legal proceedings over the FIR against Mukesh Ambani. I can even go to jail for the country.”
He also proposed that the AAP will write to both Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and to BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the issue of gas prices.
Earlier this week, Kejriwal had ordered filing of a police complaint against Oil Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Reliance Industries (RIL) and its chairman Mukesh Ambani for creating an artificial shortage of gas in the country and raising prices.
Asked by the channel about accusations that the AAP government failed in governance, Kejriwal said that because of the anti-corruption helpline and asking people to conduct sting operations on officials demanding bribes, many officers had stopped asking for bribes and touts had disappeared.
He said surprise inspections at hospitals led to government hospitals stocking up on medicines and other essentials. “And you say we failed in governance? We achieved this in the short period we have been in the chair,” the chief minister said.