Arvind Kejriwal's AAP to rule Delhi: No congratulations, 'no comment' from Anna Hazare

Arvind Kejriwal's AAP to rule Delhi: No congratulations, 'no comment' from Anna Hazare

'Don't want to comment' says Anna Hazare after Arvind Kejriwal stakes claim to power in Delhi

Ralegan Siddhi, Maharashtra:  After Arvind Kejriwal made it official that his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will form the government in Delhi, his one-time mentor Anna Hazare was not among those who offered either good luck or congratulations.

In his village in Maharashtra, Anna, 76, said, "Let them do what they think is good. I don't want to comment on (Arvind Kejriwal)."

Mr Kejriwal will become Chief Minister of Delhi later this month; his one-year-old AAP romped to second place in the state elections earlier this month; it will form a minority government with external support from the Congress, the party Mr Kejriwal decimated in the polls. Left out in the biting cold is the BJP, which emerged as the largest party but was prevented by AAP from getting a majority.

The former tax inspector will be sworn in at Ramlila grounds, one of the sites of the massively popular anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal in 2011.

The BJP had refused to stake claim to form the government because it said it respected the decision of the people, which did not give it the mandate to rule. But its demurral was guided largely by the need to present itself as a party that would not resort to typical machinations to grab power - an approach attributed by many to the 'AAP effect.'

It was AAP's promise to cleanse a corrupt and turgid political system that resonated with the voters across Delhi. After the BJP ruled itself out of the race, Mr Kejriwal made the same declaration. But last week, he decided to hold a referendum to ask the public if AAP should ally with the Congress to form the government.

In public gatherings and via SMS and Facebook, AAP was urged to take office.

The BJP today said Mr Kejriwal had delivered a "gross betrayal of the people."
Story First Published: December 23, 2013 12:45 IST

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