Arvind Kejriwal's AAP govt moves confidence motion in Delhi Assembly

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 2 2014, 23:07pm hrs
Arvind KeijriwalTerming it a historic day for AAP, Manish Sisodia, who was flanked by Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal, said, "We stand here to clean the politics of the country". (PTI)
Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government today moved a confidence motion on the floor of the Delhi Assembly and urged members to rise above political affiliations and support alternate governance for the people of Delhi.

AAP leader Manish Sisodia, while moving the vote of confidence said, "It is not the individual MLAs who are sitting here, it is the people of Delhi who are sitting here, each of the 70 MLAs sitting here represent Delhi's people."

"The people of the country are watching today what kind of decision will be taken here today," he said.

"We are not a party, we are representatives of people and urge the MLAs of all party's to rise above party lines and support alternate governance for the people of Delhi," he said.

Sisodia, who is a minister in the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government, said his party didn't compromise to form the government. The people of Delhi gave AAP the "moral mandate" to form government, he said.

Terming it a historic day for AAP, Sisodia, who was flanked by Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal, said, "We are here for development. We stand here to clean the politics of the country.

"We want to ensure that people in Delhi get clean water to drink and cheap electricity. We are here for the traders, farmers and youth of Delhi. We will improve the facilities for the people of Delhi," he said.

Arvind Kejriwal government will have to cross the halfway mark with 36 seats to win the floor test.

In the 70-member Assembly, AAP has 28 MLAs, eight short of a majority. AAP has the support of 8 MLAs of Congress party. BJP has 31 MLAs while its ally Shiromani Akali Dal has one.

BJP leader Harsh Vardhan launched a scathing attack on Arvind Kejriwal and his party for taking Congress support to form the government.

"When Kejriwal had said that he will neither give nor take support from the corrupt Congress party, everyone had respect for him. He had even made strong statements like pledging not to enter into a coalition with Congress on a TV channel," he said.

But when such a pledge is broken, it brings out various truths, he said.

"A party which Arvind Kejriwal used to refer as the most corrupt party, the party against which he contested elections, the party against which he said that if elected to power he will send corrupt ministers to jail, and will unearth all unfair trades of that government, he took the support of that party.

"Today the country wants to know what was his compulsion to form a coalition with the same party," said Vardhan.

Attacking AAP's decisions on water and electricity soon after coming to power, Vardhan said the urgency shown by AAP in implementing populist measures is not reflected in taking on the corrupt.

He also claimed that people with the cleanest image got the maximum votes.

"People gave maximum seats to the most honest party (BJP), which emerged as the largest party.

"It is an irony that the party that was ruling for 15 years lost the power, the one which won the highest number of seats is sitting in opposition and the one that stood second has formed the government," he said.

Accusing the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of misleading the people of Delhi on the issues of water, electricity and Janlokpal, Vardhan said, "You had promised that Janlokpal bill will be passed on December 29 at Ramlila Maidan, despite knowing that Delhi government cannot bring a Janlokpal Bill, only the central government can bring in such a bill."

"But to hide this, you made another fake promise. You said the common man cannot understand Janlokayaukta, so, we called it Janlokpal and we will appoint Lokayukta in Delhi.

You knew that Delhi already has a Lokayukta. When we were in power in 1993, we had passed the Lokayukta bill," he claimed.

"You further had this in your knowledge that you cannot even amend the Lokayukta bill. Even that has to be done by the central government with the consent of the President," he said.

Attacking AAP's claim of ending VIP culture in the capital, Vardhan alleged that the decision to shun the use of beacons by its leaders was also an "eyewash" as the Supreme Court had already given orders of not allowing the use of red beacons by MLAs.

"You presented things in a different manner. You said we will not take security, but a large number of security personnel was deployed for you during your swearing-in ceremony and even today, a three-layer security is there in place for you," he said.

The BJP leader also accused Kejriwal of breaking the rules while travelling in Metro and contended that he, too, had used the public transport several times but never made an issue out of it.

"You have broken all rules of the Delhi Metro. A special train was run for your party and a large number of security men were deployed for it. It could have caused some accident," he said.

Calling AAP "anti-national" while referring to its leader Prashant Bhushan who had once advocated plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, Vardhan also accused Kejriwal of aligning with those who "support terrorists".

"Senior leaders of your party said a 'Jan Mat Sangrah' (plebiscite) for those living in J&K must be done. After that, if Kashmir is required to be separated from India or if it has to be given to Pakistan, it should be done.

"You even raised questions on Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma's martyrdom saying he died in a fake encounter. You have raised questions over Batla House encounter, you questioned the hanging of Afzal Guru," he said.

These accusations triggered an uproar in the House, after which the Speaker had to intervene.

Accusing AAP of double standards, Vardhan said, "You can form the government in alliance with a party which you kept on accusing for its corrupt practices, but if we take support of other party for NDA, we will be criticised."

He said, "You may do whatever you want, but the people of the country have decided that Narendra Modi will be the next Prime Minister of the country."

Vardhan, who was BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate during the Assembly elections, claimed that the NGO run by Cabinet Minister Manish Sisodia had got foreign funding of crores of rupees and dared Kejriwal to order a probe against his ministers.

Holding that AAP's decisions on water and electricity were an "eyewash," he claimed nothing much had been done on the issue of water as only 8 lakh connections had meters. He also questioned the decision to increase the tariff by 10 per cent above 667 litres of water.

On the power issue, Vardhan said instead of pressurising discoms to cut power rates by 50 per cent, the AAP government had provided subsidy on the electricity bills.

"The money which should have been utilised to build infrastructure like schools, hospitals...that Rs 200 crore you have given to discoms to oblige them," he said.

Tearing into Sisodia's claim of a "moral mandate" to form government, Vardhan termed it as "immoral majority" and said, "After taking support from Congress, you don't have the moral right to talk about morality or honesty."