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Arvind Kejriwal, a civil society activist whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had stunned mainstream political parties in the recent assembly elections in Delhi, will form the Delhi govt later this week with the support of Congress, which had ruled the national capital for 15 years in a row before its rout.
45-year-old Arvind Kejriwal, a former Indian Revenue Service officer, met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today and handed over him a letter staking claim to form government after his party's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) met earlier and decided to take the plunge.
A Magsaysay award winner, a one-time RTI activist and a close associate of Anna Hazare during his campaign for a Janlokpal Bill, Arvind Kejriwal will be sworn-in in a public ceremony in the Ramlila Maidan, the venue of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement two years ago.
He said he would table a confidence motion in the assembly and "let's see what happens". This will be the capital's first minority government.
The date and timing of the swearing-in ceremony would be decided once President Pranab Mukherjee gives his decision, Jung told Arvind Kejriwal when he met him.
Born in Haryana and a resident of Kausambi in nearby Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, the IIT-Kharagpur graduate in Mechanical Engineering, defeated incumbent Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit in New Delhi by a huge margin of over 25,000 votes.
The Lt Governor told Kejriwal that he would send the proposal of government making to the President for his decision.
Later, Arvind Kejriwal said his government would implement all the promises made in the party manifesto. Electricity, water, enactment of Janlokpal and ending VIP culture.
"Our 18-point charter will form the guiding light of our governance. We didn't ask for support. If parties don't us, we are ready to face elections again," he said.
Significantly, his party leader Prashant Bhushan said they were not taking over power because it will last or it must last a term in office but because people want them to implement the promises.
After the two-hour-long meeting of the PAC at AAP office in Kausambi nearby Ghaziabad district, Arvind Kejriwal said AAP has decided to give a letter to the Lt Governor expressing its readiness to form the government.
"We were called by the Lt Governor to discuss government formation on December 14. We had sought time to take a decision as ours is a party of common people and we want to their views.
"We got responses from the citizens through website, phone calls, SMS and by holding public meetings and most of them favoured government formation by AAP. We are now going to give the letter to LG saying that AAP is ready to form the government," Arvind Kejriwal told reporters at AAP's office in Kausambi here.
He said the party held 280 public meetings across Delhi and in 257 such gatherings people favoured formation of government by the party while the rest opined that they it should not take powers.
There has been deadlock over government formation in Delhi for nearly two weeks after the announcement of the results on December 8. AAP has 28 seats while Congress with 8 has agreed to give outside support. BJP is the single largest party with 31 seats in its kitty.