Arvind Kejriwal's AAP wins Round II too as M S Dhir elected Speaker of Delhi Assembly

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 4 2014, 03:07am hrs
AAP"We have issued a whip to our MLAs to support AAP's M S Dhir in Arvind Kejriwal's govt." PTI
After smooth sailing in the confidence vote, Arvind Kejriwal's AAP govt today scored yet another victory in the Delhi Assembly when its candidate M S Dhir was elected Speaker with the backing of Congress, JD(U) and an Independent.

37 MLAs voted for Dhir while BJP candidate Jagdish Mukhi got the support of 32 MLAs from his party and ally Akali Dal. The House has a strength of 70 members including the Speaker.

Immediately after Dhir's election to the post, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and BJP leader Harsh Vardhan greeted the new Speaker and escorted him to the podium.

"I congratulate you from the core of my heart and hope that you will keep the prestige and the tradition of the Assembly intact," said Vardhan.

The pro-tem speaker conducted a voice vote twice following objections by BJP MLAs.

Earlier, Congress had issued a whip to its MLAs to support AAP candidate.

"We have issued a whip to our MLAs to support the AAP candidate," Delhi Congress President Arvinder Singh Lovely said.

The minority Aam Aadmi Party government yesterday had crossed the first hurdle in the Delhi Assembly when its confidence motion sailed through easily with the backing of the members of Congress, JD(U) and an independent

28 AAP members along with seven of Congress, a lone JD(U) member and an independent had stood in support while 31 members of BJP and one member of its ally Akali Dal were against it.

Lovely had yesterday said that the backing would continue as long as the regime works in the interest of the people, even for five years.

After a four-and-a-half-hour debate yesterday, Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal had appealed to the members to decide "on which side they are" in the fight between "truth and honesty".

He had promised to take stringent action against anyone corrupt whether in the previous Congress government, MCDs controlled by the BJP or his government.