Running a government is not rocket science, says Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party – which stunned the powers-that-be by winning 28 of the 70 seats in the Delhi assembly on its anti-corruption platform – may form the government of the city-state next week despite its initial resistance, according to a report.

The AAP is currently carrying out a referendum to get "a sense of what the people want", and has said it will announce its decision on Monday. However, Kejriwal told The Economic Times that "the people want us to deliver"; and "effective governance is not rocket science".

The decision to form a minority government backed by Congress, which has eight MLAs, is driven by the overwhelming response from people who want AAP to assume power in Delhi and deliver effective governance, Kejriwal said, adding that more than 75 per cent of the people in the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) want AAP to assume office.

"Forming the government and delivering on our promises will reap huge benefits for AAP in Lok Sabha polls," he said.

The Congress has ruled NCR with Shiela Dikshit as its chief minister for two terms; but won a mere eight seats in the state elections earlier this month. Dikshit has transformed the face of the city; but according to a local observer, in this election she got very little support from the 'high command', which commentators speculate means Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

''Perhaps Sonia sees Dikshit as a rival power. In any case, neither she, nor her son Rahul Gandhi, nor Prime Minister Manmoron Singh made any effort to support her election campaign,'' the Delhi resident said.

Asked if his party would form the government in Delhi now that Congress has extended unconditional support, Kejriwal said, "We will take a final call after our ward meetings through the weekend, but there is an overwhelming support and pressure from people."

Kejriwal added that his party is likely to take up the challenge and form the government; but remained wary of outside support. "The stand taken by Congress will be tracked by voters in the months to come in case it retracts," he said.

Kejriwal iterated that forming the government would be a challenge that may throw up pleasant surprises for the fledgling party in the 2014 general elections.

"I may not be able to travel as much once I assume office, but the actions of our government in Delhi will reverberate in other states, bringing greater support for AAP and its politics," he said.

Asked if he is daunted by the responsibility of governing given that most party MLAs are first-timers, Kejriwal said running an effective government needs political will.

"I have been a part of the government and have seen from close quarters how bureaucrats and politicians deliver when they wish to. It is no rocket science," he said.

Delhi is yet to get a government as it threw up a fractured mandate where BJP fell four short of majority at 32 seats and AAP came in a close second at 28.