Kejriwal quits, tears into known enemies

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 14, 2014 17:43 hrs

New Delhi: Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday night he had resigned as Delhi's chief minister after the Congress and the BJP prevented him from tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill in the house, and warned that people will teach the two parties "a lesson".

Addressing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters outside its headquarters in the heart of the city, Kejriwal said he would ask Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to dissolve the 70-member legislature.

The 45-year-old mounted a scathing attack on the Congress and the BJP, accusing them of playing into the hands of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, against whom the AAP government had filed a criminal case two days ago over a gas pricing row.

Speaking from a window on the first floor of his party office, Kejriwal said that the BJP and the Congress joined hands "when we tried to introduce the Jan Lokpal bill", the AAP's pet project. "This had never happened in the history of India."

He alleged that Ambani had been funding the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) alliance for 10 years and for the past one year was backing BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Kejriwal wanted to know from where Modi got money to travel in helicopters to hold large public meetings all over India.

"The moment we acted against Ambani, the BJP and the Congress got together," he said, sparking off high-pitched slogans against both parties by AAP supporters. "They knew that if this bill becomes law, then more than half of them will go to jail... So Kejriwal had to be removed."

As AAP activists repeatedly raised slogans of "Bharat Mata ki Jai!", Kejriwal flashed his cabinet's resignation -- triggering more clapping and cheering. He outlined all that his government had achieved since he took charge of Delhi on December 28 after leading the AAP to near victory in elections in December.

"We worked day and night for the people of Delhi with sincerity... We may have made mistakes. We are also humans."

Kejriwal insisted that the central government -- as well as the Congress and BJP -- were telling lies by claiming that the Jan Lokpal bill can't be passed in the Delhi legislature without the central government's clearance.

"I have read the constitution... It is not written anywhere in the constitution that we need to take permission from the central government to pass a bill in the assembly."

He said he would never bow to the central government on this issue. "The people will teach the Congress and the BJP a lesson. People are not going to keep quiet."

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