Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, newly elected Aam Aadmi Party MLAs take oath in Delhi assembly
New Delhi – The first session of the new Delhi assembly began today with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and newly elected MLAs from his Aam Aadmi Party taking oath as legislators.
Congress leader Mateen Ahmed, who was named the pro-tem Speaker, administered the oath to Mr Kejriwal. Other members also took oath after him.
In the seven-day sitting, Mr Kejriwal has to prove that his party has the numbers to continue to govern Delhi. He is expected to seek a confidence vote tomorrow. AAP has 28 MLAs; Mr Kejriwal needs 36, over half of the Delhi Assembly’s 70 members, and will depend on the Congress’ eight legislators to take him to that number.
The Congress has seemed less than enthusiastic about the external support it has offered and Mr Kejriwal has repeatedly said he cannot vouch for the stability of the government and is ready to face fresh elections.
But, in the four days since he was sworn in along with his six-member cabinet, Mr Kejriwal, who has been unwell, has wasted no time in announcing executive decisions on several pre-election promises that he had made.
On Tuesday, he announced a 50 per cent cut in electricity tariffs for those in the capital who consume up to 400 units of power. He also announced that the three major power distribution companies in the capital will be audited starting today.
“Am going to the Secretariat to check if power companies have replied on the audit. Audit is important. We will get a permanent solution for the problem once the audit report is out,” he told reporters today.
On Monday, the chief minister had delivered on another commitment he had made to voters – free water. His government has said that every household in Delhi with a working meter will receive nearly 700 litres of free water everyday. Families that consume more than that will have to pay for the entire amount, with a 10 per cent increase over last year’s rates.
The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Delhi Assembly will be elected on Friday. AAP has named first-time legislator M S Dhir as its candidate for the Speaker’s post.
Lt Governor Najeeb Jung will address the House on January 6 and the session will close on Tuesday, January 7, after a discussion on Mr Jung’s address.