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Kejriwal resigns as Delhi Chief Minister, after 49 days

Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday resigned after 49 days in office, says TV reports.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal leaves after the special session Delhi Assembly called for anti-corruption Jan Lokpal Bill ended in New Delhi on Friday.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal leaves after the special session Delhi Assembly called for anti-corruption Jan Lokpal Bill ended in New Delhi on Friday.

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday resigned after 49 days in office, says TV reports.

Earlier, Mr. Kejriwal gave enough indications that his government may quit after the BJP and Congress combined to defeat introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill which he tabled in the Assembly defying Lt Governor’s advice.

“This appears to be our last session. I will consider myself fortunate if I have to sacrifice the chief minister’s post 1,000 times and my life to eradicate corruption,” he said in a brief speech in the Assembly after his government suffered defeat on its pet anti-graft legislation.

On a day of dramatic developments in the Assembly lasting over four hours, the 45-year-old Chief Minister, who has had a roller coaster ride ever since he took over reins of power on December 28, last year, accused the Congress and BJP of “colluding” with each other against the Bill after his government ordered filing an FIR against RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani.

Uproarious scenes were earlier witnessed in the House on the issue of introduction of the Bill with BJP and Congress forcing the Speaker to read out the Lt Governor Najeeb Jung’s advice to the Assembly against tabling the measure since it was not in accordance with procedures laid down under the law.

After an adjournment with opposition notably BJP leader Harshavardhan and Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely demanding voting on the Lt Governor’s advice and government opposing it, Kejriwal dramatically rose to table the Jan Lokpal Bill.

This attacking provoked the opposition which contended that the government had no right to introduce a Bill against Lt Governor’s advice and such step would be “unconstitutional“.

Chaotic scenes prevailed and Speaker M S Dhir was forced to adjourn the House. When the House resumed again, the treasury benches demanded a discussion which was also resisted by the opposition who insisted on voting.

After some melee, the Speaker put the resolution seeking leave for introduction of the Bill to vote. The Bill was defeated in the introduction stage itself with 42 members voting against it and only 27 in favour.

After the resolution for the Bill’s introduction was defeated, AAP sources said Kejriwal may take the “extreme step of resigning soon“.

“The Chief Minister feels there is no point in remaining in the government,” the sources told PTI, adding all the party workers have been asked to come for consultations at the AAP headquarters.

Kejriwal, the man in a hurry

Arvind Kejriwal, who pledged to root out corruption after steering AAP to power in Delhi, was a man in a hurry and set a scorching pace to try to fulfil his anti-graft legislative agenda but his tumultous journey as Chief Minister ended in seven weeks.

As the controversy over the Jan Lokpal Bill deepened with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung advising the Delhi Assembly Speaker against allowing its tabling and Congress and BJP opposing it, Kejriwal stuck to his word today by carrying out the threat to quit if the proposed legislation did not get through even at the introduction stage.

Emerging as a mascot of an alternative brand of politics, the 45-year-old engineer-turned-civil servant changed the political discourse with a stunning showing of his fledgling Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) in the December Assembly polls that brought Congress’ 15-year rule to an end.

But he courted controversy within weeks by sitting on a dharna in the heart of Delhi near Parliament House during the tense face off with the Centre last month over his demand for suspending three police officers for allegedly not acting against criminals.

He had also come under attack on the governance agenda. Leading from the front, Kejriwal had earlier anchored his campaign in an unconventional way to see it emerge as the second largest party in Delhi with 28 seats. AAP formed the government on December 28 with outside support from Congress.

With interests of the common man at the core of AAP’s agenda, Kejriwal’s triumph over three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit earned him the tag of ‘giant killer’.

Often called the anti-corruption man, the diminutive and bespectacled IITian and a former tax official catapulted himself leading a people’s movement to check graft and get wide support.

PTI

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