AAP to hold unique ‘referendum’ in Delhi

Debutant party to send 2.5 million letters, asking voters whether they should form government with Congress support.

AAP performed spectacularly, winning 28 of the 70 seats in Delhi [Reuters]
AAP performed spectacularly, winning 28 of the 70 seats in Delhi [Reuters]

The debutant Aam Aadmi party is taking the unprecedented step of asking voters in Delhi state to decide whether it should take Congress support to form government.

Unable to decide whether to accept support of the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party to form government, the AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal told reporters on Wednesday that they would send across at least 2.5 million letters to voters asking whether they should form government in Delhi with outside support.

The AAP leadership after discussing for a few hours said they would go by what the people said. They would be sent questionnaires the replies for which they could convey  by dialling a specific number.  “We will go with the majority opinion,” said Kejriwal.

Analysts say such a move, a veritable referendum, has never been attempted earlier in Indian electoral history. The Aam Aadmi Party, or the Common Man’s party, was literally going to the common people for their opinion.

In elections held recently to the Delhi state assembly, none of the parties crossed the half-way mark of 35, to form government.  While the BJP got 31 seats, the Aam Aadmi Party in a grand showing on debut won 28 seats while the Congress was routed with eight seats. In all, there are 70 seats.

Since none of the parties secured a majority, government formation in Delhi state has got into a tailspin, with federal rule being touted as the realistic possibility.

The BJP said it would not form government as it did not have the necessary support. The Congress extended support to the AAP to form government.

But, the AAP which initially rejected any support from either of the two major  parties, came under pressure from a section of the voters and other parties. The AAP was criticised for trying to run away from the responsibility of forming government.

It finally sought 10 days from Delhi state governor to think on forming government.  AAP chief Kejriwal sent a letter with 18 conditions to the Congress and the BJP saying it would form government if the conditions were accepted.

While the BJP hasn’t responded, the Congress replied stating that 16 of the conditions did not need legislative support as they were administrative issues and could be implemented if the AAP wanted to. The remaining two conditions were out of the purview of the Delhi state assembly and could be decided only by the federal government.

Source : Al Jazeera

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