Arvind Kejriwal quits over Lokpal Bill

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 15 2014, 04:01am hrs
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal resigned on Friday after suffering a defeat in the assembly on the Jan Lokpal Bill and, in a political gamble, recommended dissolution of the assembly and holding of fresh polls.

Bringing to an end a 49-day rollercoaster ride in power, during which he received bouquets and brickbats in equal measure, the CM and his cabinet met for one last time when he decided to resign and make the recommendation to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, whose advice against the anti-graft Bill he had defied in the assembly. The two shared a good equation but today he attacked Jung, saying he acts like a viceroy of the central government which thinks it is still a British government.

Earlier in the day, Jung had advised the assembly against transacting the Bill which he said should have clearance from the Centre.

Straight from the cabinet meeting, 45-year-old Kejriwal, who came to power riding the crest of an anti-graft movement and was called an anarchist for his street protest as CM, drove to the AAP headquarters and addressed supporters in the rain when he announced his resignation. The cabinet has decided to resign. We have recommended to the Lt Governor to dissolve the assembly and hold fresh polls," he told a cheering audience wearing AAP's trademark cap which welcomed his speech with applause.

Launching a blistering attack on the Congress, on whose support he came to power, and BJP, he accused them of "colluding" with Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani to bring down the government two days after he filed an FIR against him on the gas pricing issue. "The real face of the BJP and Congress has been exposed. They did not allow the Bill to be introduced in the House. They defeated the Bill because three days ago we lodged an FIR against Ambani," Kejriwal said.

He added Ambani has been running the Congress government for the last 10 years, adding: "Congress is his shop and he can buy anything whenever he wants. He also did not spare Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, saying Ambani has been behind him for one year. "Where are Modi's riches coming from He is flying by helicopter, crisscrossing the country. He is addressing huge and expensive rallies. From where does he get money Kejriwal asked.

He told his supporters: Both BJP and Congress have joined hands. We say eradicate corruption. They say it is unconstitutional. They break mikes and consider it constitutional. People will teach them a lesson.

If I have to resign 100 times from the post of CM, I will... Kejriwal said.