Kejriwal Resigns After Losing to BJP on Jan Lokpal Bill
In a dramatic end to the 49-day-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday stepped down as the government’s move to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill was defeated by the BJP and Congress in the Delhi Assembly. Flashing a copy of his resignation at his party office, Kejriwal said: “Both BJP and Congress stalled the Jan Lokpal Bill today. I’m ready to give my life for the country and we are willing to give up power 1,000 times if needed.”
He said the decision to step down was made following a Cabinet meeting and he would meet Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to formally give his resignation.
AAP supporters gathered in large numbers at the party office despite showers and cheered as Kejriwal spoke.
It has been a roller coaster ride for Kejriwal, who took over as CM on December 28 following his party’s strong performance in the Assembly elections.
Defying the Delhi Lt Governor’s advice to the Assembly against introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill without following Constitutional procedures, Kejriwal announced introduction of the Bill in the Assembly. It was vociferously opposed both by the BJP and Congress. Amidst chaos, Speaker M S Dhir put the introduction of the Bill for voting. The Bill was supported by 27 MLAs, while 42 MLAs opposed it. Both the Congress and BJP said they were opposing it as tabling of the Bill was “unconstitutional” since the Delhi government did not follow the laid down procedures.
“The Bill is not being introduced,” Dhir said after the voting, in a move to pacify agitated legislators. Speaking before the Assembly was adjourned sine die, Kejriwal said: “It is sad that there is so much chaos inside the temple of democracy, mikes are broken, papers torn.” Justifying the introduction of the Bill, Kejriwal said nowhere does the Constitution say that a State government needs the Centre’s permission to table bills.