Arvind Kejriwal Apologises For Delhi Exit, Says Polls Inevitable
New Delhi – Arvind Kejriwal, the chief of the Aam Aadmi Party, today said he had debated forming a government in Delhi again but realized that there was no option but fresh polls. “I apologise to the people of Delhi for resigning mid-way. I will ask them to forgive us and give us another chance,” he said.
Mr Kejriwal had yesterday asked Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung not to dissolve the Delhi assembly as his party wanted a week to invite public opinion on whether it should form a government again. This morning, the party took a reality check.
“We discussed it. Chances of our forming a government under the circumstances are negligible, so there is no point asking for advice. We are prepared for polls,” he said.
AAP’s rethink on governing Delhi came after its dismal debut in the national election, in which it fielded over 430 candidates but won only four seats. The party assesses that its abrupt exit in Delhi after just 49 days in power disappointed its supporters and lost it many voters who had backed the party in the December Delhi polls.
“People are angry with us because they think we ran away. People tell me I made a mistake once, I should not make it again,” Mr Kejriwal said.
After a spectacular debut in the December Delhi election, AAP quit the government on February 14 after failing to push its anti-corruption Jan Lokpal Bill.
AAP’s plan to retract its move was stymied by the Congress, which had provided the external support of its eight legislators earlier but ruled out backing Mr Kejriwal’s party again.
The BJP’s Harsh Vardhan, who was the party’s chief ministerial candidate for Delhi, said, “If Arvind Kejriwal tries to form a government with the Congress, it’s a ‘ghanghor paap’ (grave sin) of politics. The people of Delhi have given them a 7-0 result. I think this was a referendum but they think their referendum is talking to their own people.”
The BJP won all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, in a complete reversal of the 2009 results in which the Congress had swept all seats. AAP won none.