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India's AAP to form Delhi government

New party that stunned with its election result agrees to form government with swearing in expected on December 26.

Last updated: 23 Dec 2013 19:14
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Ending days of uncertainty, India’s debutant Aam Aadmi Party (Common people’s party)  has agreed to form government in Delhi state.

AAP chief and former bureaucrat Arvind Kejriwal on Monday met the Delhi governor and staked claim to form government. The Congress with eight legislators has offered support to the AAP,  ensuring a majority.

The new government is expected to be sworn in on December 26.

The AAP, which stunned the nation in the recent held assembly polls in Delhi state by winning 28 seats of the total 70 was in a quandary whether to stake claim to form government.

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The nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest party with 31 seats, but fell short of a majority.

The Congress was routed winning a mere eight seats.

With the BJP declining to form government, pressure built on the AAP leadership to go for it.  But the AAP led by former Indian revenue officer Kejriwal initially declined to form government with the help of either the BJP and Congress. 

His contention was that since the AAP had fought the elections against the Congress and the BJP it would not be possible to form government with the support of either. 

Anti-corruption plank

The AAP was formed around the sole agenda of anti-corruption. Its leadership considered both the BJP and the Congress as having compromised with corruption.

But, pressure increased on the AAP to form government as some among its leadership felt that having won 28 seats, those who voted for the party would be disappointed if they did not form government.

To resolve the issue, the AAP decided to go for a referendum of sorts. Over the last few days, around 2.5 million voters in Delhi were asked to respond to the query whether to form government. 

The AAP also held at least 270 public meetings across all the 70 constituencies to ascertain the views of the “common man”

And, the resounding opinion received was to go ahead and stake claim to form government. 

The Congress, however, said its support to AAP was not unconditional.

The BJP said AAP's acceptance of support from the Congress was "betrayal" of the people of Delhi.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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