New Delhi, Jan 16:
Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) faced its first major rebellion when legislator Vinod Kumar Binny Thursday threatened to go on hunger strike from Jan 27 if Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal did not fulfil promises made in the election manifesto.
He even attacked the party and the government for backtracking on the promises made, including in the water and power sectors. He promised that if he is found to be lying, he would resign as MLA.
“I will start an agitation 10 days later on Jan 27, at Jantar Mantar, if the government does not fulfil the promises made to the people of Delhi,” said the AAP legislator at a press conference here.
Listing his demands, he said he wants the party government to pass Anna Hazare’s version of the Jan Lokpal Bill by Jan 25 or 26, and also start building a women commando force for women’s security.
“You (Kejriwal) have done a lot of agitation against the Congress and the BJP. Now you have to explain and show the people how your thought is different from theirs.”
Though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest party in the Delhi assembly polls with 31 seats, the AAP – which bagged 28 seats – formed a minority government with the outside support of Congress’s eight legislators.
Binny, who defeated Congress heavyweight A.K. Walia in the December assembly elections, said that according to his sources, there were close ties between Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit and the Delhi chief minister.
“This is the reason all the decisions being taken in AAP are at the directive of the Congress party. The Congress is ordering, and AAP is following orders,” Binny claimed.
“We had announced publicly that we would not give or take support of any political party. Then what prompted the party to change that decision? Discussions were held behind closed doors,” Binny said.
On the electricity front, Binny said that the government “defrauded” the people of Delhi as the party had promised to halve the bills after coming to power.
“The party has misled the people of Delhi on a number of issues. There is a big mismatch between what the party promised and what the government is doing. People’s issues have gone to the background,” he said
Denying that he sought a ticket to contest Lok Sabha polls, Binny said that instead, he was the one who even refused to become a minister.
“Arvind Kejriwal calls me greedy… The first day, when the list was given to the Lt. Governor, my name was there. So I told him I don’t want to become a minister. Just because I am bringing issues up front, you accuse me (of being) greedy and (say that I) wanted a ticket.”
“Moreover, who has given him the right to deny me the ticket? Are you the sole decision maker,” he asked Kejriwal.
He also questioned the AAP ministers on their principle on VIP culture and alleged that enjoying the privilege of the government has now become their priority.
“The ministers had said they will not take VIP cars or bungalows, but now, if you see, all the ministers have cars with VIP numbers and big bungalows. If you are against VIP culture, then why are you using the cars,” Binny asked.
Binny also said there was corruption even in the assembly elections, and said that for Lok Sabha polls too, tickets were already finalised.
“It is decided who will fight elections from which area. It has been decided where Kuamr Vishwas, Shazia Ilmi and Gopal Rai will contest from. If this has been decided, then why is such high drama being played, and why play with the emotions of volunteers?”
The AAP legislator also lodged an attack on a new entrant into the AAP, former CNN-IBN’s Hindi anchor Ashutosh.
“Ashutosh should not call me an opportunist. He is an opportunist because he joined when the party was already up and running, while I came to the party when there was nothing,” Binny said.