[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Delhi minister quits over anti-corruption law

Kejriwal resigns from the capital's top elected post after the parliament blocked an anti-corruption bill he endorsed.

Last updated: 14 Feb 2014 18:18
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal resigned from his post 49 days after winning the elections [Reuters]

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has resigned over delays in the introduction of an anti-corruption bill he was pushing for, less than 50 days after taking power in the Indian capital.

Kejriwal, a former tax collector who heads The Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party, made a stunning victory in India's capital in state elections in December on an anti-corruption platform.

He resigned on Friday following a stand-off in the Delhi assembly. He had wanted the anti-corruption bill immediately tabled and passed in the assembly but the Congress Party and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party said it must be approved by the central government first, which Kejriwal disputed.

"My cabinet has decided that we are quitting," Kejriwal told supporters of his party at a rally in the captial. "Here is my resignation letter," Reuters quoted him as saying, while brandishing a white sheet of paper.

"Straight after this, I am going to the Lieutenant Governor's office to hand in my resignation," he added, as his followers cheered.

Kejriwal, who had been the head of a minority administration since taking power on December 28, said he would ask Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to immediately dissolve the Delhi assembly and organise fresh elections.

Kejriwal's announcement came shortly after local legislators effectively shot down his efforts to bring in anti-corruption legislation -- the key plank of his manifesto in December's state elections.

Kejriwal's party won 28 seats in Delhi's 70-member assembly and came to power with the help of the Congress party, which governs at national level.

Spotlight
Follow our special India coverage

But Congress decided not to back Kejriwal in Friday's vote, claiming the measure was unconstitutional.

He told his supporters that the Congress party was scared that its officials who had ruled the Indian capital for the past 10 years would be prosecuted on corruption charges if the law came into force.

While his elevation to one of the most important political posts in India was initially widely welcomed as a much-needed shock to the system, the former tax inspector has since come in for criticism over a series of stand-offs with the authorities.

The self-styled "anarchist" staged a sit-in on the pavement close to the national parliament last month, triggering chaos in the city centre, as part of a push to be given greater powers of control over the police.

390

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.