'The trust vote is a victory for honesty'
Corruption crusader-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party garners 37 votes after Congress votes in its favour during the crucial trust vote
The minority Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government won a crucial trust vote in the Delhi Assembly yesterday, after the Congress and two other legislators extended support to it. With only 28 legislators in the 70-member house, the AAP needed the backing of the Congress - whose 15-year rule ended in December to remain in office. Eventually, the confidence vote moved by AAP leader and Education Minister Manish Sisodia was passed 37-32.
The 31-strong Bharatiya Janata Party and the sole Akali Dal legislator voted against the government. With Congress member Mateen Ahmed in the chair, seven of the eight Congress legislators voted for the government, along with an independent as well as a Janata Dal-United member. Later, Kejriwal said, “(This) is a victory for the people of Delhi. It is a victory for truth and honesty.” Expressing his determination to end corruption, he voiced confidence that one day the entire country would see the kind of politics that the AAP had introduced in Delhi.
BJP attacks AAP
However, it was not all smooth sailing. BJP leader Harsh Vardhan questioned the AAP as to what ‘compelled’ the debutant political entity to form a government in Delhi with the Congress party’s support. “When his (Arvind Kejriwal’s) party emerged, people of this country saw new hope. Though the party emerged due to Anna Hazare’s movement, Anna Hazare decided to stay out of politics,” said BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan during a debate on the trust vote in the Delhi assembly.
“Arvind Kejriwal had sworn that he would neither support nor take the support of the Congress party. I don’t know what compelled him to seek support from the Congress - a party that was shown the door by the people in elections,” he said. Harsh Vardhan added: “In the 15 years of Congress rule, there have been many scams.
Our party kept highlighting these. I heard Kejriwal saying if Harsh Vardhan had any evidence, he should share it with us. I want to ask the chief minister, why he claimed that he would act against the corrupt people in Congress if he had no evidence?” The BJP leader also said there was nothing special about the chief minister using the metro to travel, as thousands of security personnel had to be deployed for this. Harsh Vardhan said: “We (BJP) are also for clean politics, but do we need to demonstrate it in this manner?”
AAP symbol 'jhadu' being sold for Rs 5
The jhadu, the symbol of the AAP, is being sold online for Rs 5. Available on Tradus.com, the offer is valid for the first 1,000 orders, and the same will be increased after the promotional stock is over, said a statement. “Jhadu has become a symbol of change and honesty, which resonates well with Tradus’ endeavour of bringing nearby sellers that offer honest prices to buyers. We encourage all our patrons to own this ‘jhadu’ at an honest price and celebrate the birth of a corruption-free Delhi,” said Mudit Khosla, CEO, Tradus.com.
For 2014 battle, AAP seeks Rs 2,014 donations
Determined to spread its wings, the AAP has stepped up fund collection and is urging supporters to donate Rs 2,014 - marking the year when the Lok Sabha election will be held. Letters have gone out to supporters soliciting Rs 2,014 or more - to add to the election kitty. “We will be contesting the Lok Sabha election in many states and we will need your support,” the letter from the Aam Aadmi Party says. “Let us kick off 2014 with at least 2,014 supporters donating Rs 2,014 or more.”
By 5 pm last evening, the AAP website showed several donations of Rs 2,014 - from Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, West Bengal, Finland and Qatar. However, the party is accepting contributions even as measly as Rs 10 and Rs 11. According to the site, the AAP has collected Rs 3.8 crore since the Dec 4 election brought it to power in Delhi. Of this, Rs 28 lakh was collected yesterday alone.