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Kejriwal denies rift in AAP, says ministry unlikely by tomorrow

Ghaziabad, Dec 25 (PTI): Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday that the new government is unlikely to be sworn in on Thursday as proposed earlier, even as he denied having any rift within the party on the issue of cabinet berths.

Kejriwal, set to become Chief Minister of Delhi, asserted that the AAP has not firmed up an alliance with Congress as the support given by it was based on its 18-point agenda.

There have been dissenting voices in Congress over support to AAP.

Talking to the media, Kerjriwal indicated that a number of announcements will be made on fulfilling key promises of the party, such as cutting power tariff and ordering auditing of the private power distribution companies immediately after assuming charge.

On Tuesday, Laxmi Nagar legislator Binny, a ministerial aspirant, walked out of a meeting at Kejriwal's house after coming to know that he was not among the probable ministers. But Kejriwal said on Wednesday that the legislator was not interested in a ministerial berth.

“Binny came to me last evening. He told me he does not want a ministerial berth and that he was here for a mission. Binny said he has conveyed to the media that he was not upset,” said Kejriwal.

Binny, on his part, stated that he was not angry and that there was no rift in the party. “There is no rift between me and the party. There is nothing that I was angry about after being denied a post in the ministry,” he told PTI.

As Binny walked out of the party meeting on Tuesday, senior party leaders Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas went to his residence late at night and spoke to him.

On the oath-taking ceremony, Kejriwal said “We have not got any communication from Lt Governor's office on swearing-in ceremony. So it not possible to hold the ceremony tomorrow as there is not much time left.”

The AAP leader said he was working on portfolios to be given to six MLAs whose names were recommended to Lt Governor to be included in his cabinet.

”We are working on the portfolios. We have already started working on the implementation of our manifesto. We are in talks with the Delhi government officials on the 18 issues,” Kejriwal said.

On Tuesday, the AAP leader had sent to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung a list of six MLAs for inclusion in his cabinet. They are Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla, Somnath Bharti, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Girish Soni and Satendra Jain.

Kejriwal said his political guru Anna Hazare will be invited to the oath-taking ceremony after finalisation of dates for it. He also invited people to come in large numbers to attend the ceremony at Ramlila Maidan.

He said passage of Jan Lokpal Bill and ensuring “Swaraj” will be his priority.

“As far as Janlokpal and Swaraj are concerned, it is written in the constitution that the Delhi Government has the power to make laws. But now I am told the Centre has given an order that Delhi Government has to take permission from it to make any law. This order is wrong and against the Constitution,” Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal said auditing of private power distribution companies, and his election promise to supply 700 liters of water free to all homes are the focus areas.

”We will work on the supply of water within 24 hours. Every colony has its own problems. We are also working on the reduction in power tariff,” he said.

The AAP leader iterated that his party has no alliance or coalition with anyone. “We are with all those lawmakers of Delhi who think that the problems of Delhi should be put to an end.”

Kejriwal held a 'Janta Darbar' at his residence to listen to people's grievances and suggestions. He assured them that their problems will be taken up on priority basis as soon as he assumes charge.

People insisted that he should take security cover as his life was important for the country.        Kejriwal politely refused taking a security cover saying that people around him are his security.

“Even if I become the Chief Minister, I will continue to meet people in the parks and we are looking for such a flat in Delhi where I can have such a facility.”

People from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar and various localities from Delhi came to meet him and explained their problems which were basically related to inadequate water supply, unemployment, sewer problem, contractual system in government job, parking and problems of unauthorized colonies.