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Delhi chair for Arvind? Reply yes/no

New Delhi, Dec. 17: Reply yes/no: Should AAP form a government in Delhi?

The Aam Aadmi Party today launched a drive seeking the people’s opinion on whether it should take a shot at power in Delhi as Arvind Kejriwal hinted he might wear the crown with outside support from the Congress.

“There is an opinion that we should not shirk responsibility. That we should form the government and do some good work for the people and fall if the Congress pulls out. The final decision, however, would be based on the people’s verdict,” Kejriwal, who had so far been firm about not banking on either the Congress or the BJP, said.

Beginning today, he said, a referendum of sorts was being launched, which would be completed by Sunday. The people could give their opinion in “yes” or “no” on the AAP’s official website, its Facebook page, via text message or making a call. The phone numbers are available on the party website.

Kejriwal said the party would also hold public meetings in each of the 270 corporation wards and distribute 25 lakh letters to get the opinion of the people.

“The process of obtaining the people’s mandate would be completed by Sunday and, based on the result, we will announce our decision on government formation by Monday,” Kejriwal said after a meeting of the AAP’s political affairs committee.

Sources said the party leadership had almost made up its mind to form the government but wanted endorsement from the people. Most members at today’s meeting felt it would be tactically wrong to avoid government formation. The majority of elected members too endorsed this view, the sources said.

“If the majority opinion is in favour of “yes”, then we will form the government,” a senior AAP leader said.

Kejriwal and his team appear to have been cornered by the Congress’s support to all 18 issues it had raised on Saturday. In its reply, the Congress said 16 of the 18 issues were executive decisions the government could take and, for the remaining two, it had the party’s support.

Initially, the AAP had pitched for a re-election after the poll threw up a hung House with it winning 28 seats to the BJP’s 32. However, after the BJP’s refusal to form government, it cannot be seen as running away from the responsibility, especially since the Congress has offered it the “unconditional support” of its eight MLAs.

The feedback from the ground is that a large chunk of voters want the AAP to take the reins and go down like a martyr if the Congress pulls the plug.

“We know the Congress will pull down our government. They have a history of doing so. But they will not dare for the first six months till the Lok Sabha election,” Kejriwal said.

Till this evening, the people’s replies on the AAP website were a mixed bag: some felt it should assume power, while others said the idea was suicidal as no established party could be depended on.

“We need to form govt… Let it be of 6 months or 2 months. Work hard and win the hearts of the people. Else our politicians are very cunning. If they can change the mind of Anna, they can easily confuse the common man,” tweeted Nitin, an AAP supporter.

“AAP should not form the govt… It is a trap laid by BJP and Cong to keep you and party workers occupied before the Loksabha elections,” tweeted another supporter, Ritu Hajela.