After Less Than 50 Days, Delhi’s Chief Calls it Quits

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Less than two months after coming to office, New Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stepped down on Friday after failing to get an anti-corruption bill tabled in the capital region’s state legislature. Kejriwal, 45, came to power in December after his upstart Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party (AAP) defeated the incumbent Congress in state elections. The upset sent a clear message that voters in India’s capital were ready for change.

Kejriwal’s decision to step down isn’t exactly a shock. He has said he’d quit if he couldn’t pass the Jan Lokpal (Citizen’s Ombudsman) Bill, which would, among other things, establish an independent body to investigate allegations of corruption by public servants. The nation’s parliament passed another version of the Lokpal Bill last year. The version Kejriwal supports gives the anti-corruption body that would be established for New Delhi more power. Kejriwal resigned after lawmakers in the Congress Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scuttled the bill, voting against its introduction in the assembly.

“They know that if this law is brought in, their leaders will end up in jail,” Kejriwal said, according to local media, while announcing his resignation at AAP headquarters. A Congress spokesman later told the press that Kejriwal was a “negative person” who has been “looking for an excuse to run away.”

In less than 50 days in power, AAP’s high-drama brand of governance has gained its share of fans and skeptics. Kejriwal’s media-friendly moves, like spending the night under blankets on the street with protesters in a bid to reform the capital’s police force, have successfully drawn attention to his party’s anti-corruption fight. On Feb. 11, the Delhi government filed a criminal case that accused Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani and others of collusion in gas-price fixing. (Kejriwal has since attacked both the Congress and BJP for their close ties with the powerful industrialist.) The same day, Reliance released a statement denying the allegation, calling it “baseless and devoid of any merit or substance whatsoever.”

The AAP’s focus on corruption has been welcomed by many Indian voters fed up with a two-party system that is identified with the nation’s elite. Opinion polls show that the AAP remains popular in the capital. But observers question whether Kejriwal and his party can make the transition from political activism to effective governance. If his resignation forces new state elections to be held alongside national elections this spring, Kejriwal may very well end up as the capital’s chief minister again. The move may even lend momentum to AAP’s national campaign. If the party can find a way to turn platforms into policies, it could become the new third force in Indian politics. If it can’t, it may be doomed to become part of the problem, not the solution.

36 comments
Sanjay Arora
Sanjay Arora

It's TIME to introspect... people get the govt they deserve...... Will the electorate shed is indifference and apathy and keep blaming the poluticians (!) or really hard think this time round..... Thank you TIME

Javed Mehboob
Javed Mehboob

Because the corrupt politicians does not pass the Janlokpal bill in vidansabha.Its a good decision to step out

Alejandra Garcia
Alejandra Garcia

The cover for the magazine putting peña nieto as the savior of Mexico is offensive and ridiculous to the millions of mexicans, especially in the border states, that are suffering and helplessly watching how our country becomes an even worst example of corruption and non-accountability at the same time that our day to day lives worsten socially, economically, professionally and more. the gap between the rich and the poor widens every day that this unbelievably stupid "president" is "guiding" the country. I wonder how much money you TIME got paid to do this as a cover. It diminishes your credibility, it is a joke to you and your reputation as a formerly serious journalistic magazine. I , along with millions of mexicans suffering the results of this as$$%&*(h())les' presidency am disgusted and insulted. You should be ashamed of yourselves for your lack of credibility and research that show in publishing this piece. You should send a serious, non corruptable journalist to Mexico and do the research, talk to the people, talk to bussinesmen, talk to educators, talk to students,talk to REAL journalists, talk to politicians. SHAME ON YOU!!!!! Your reputation is Mexico, is as of this cover, converted to poop.

PraneshSuvarna
PraneshSuvarna

AAP is the only political party that can offer Indians a corruption free governance, this can be confirmed by the basic fact that they publish the list of donors on their website which no other party does. Which primarily means that all other parties owe their alliegence to where their funds come from I.e. corrupt corporates. Moreover the reason for resignation is very valid as the main promise of their manifesto was the Janlokpal if that did not go through then what's the point of staying in power.

Srikant Pathak
Srikant Pathak

Itwo months! in Bihar there was a chief minister for 24hours. it is the maturity of indian voters or bankruptcy!!!

Srikant Pathak
Srikant Pathak

two months! in Bihar there was a chief minister for 24hours. it is the maturity of indian voters or bankruptcy!!! it is clear thecommin people of india can have their representation by long and well defined struggle. tricks wo4k fir short change. that is what happening.we ha e seen indiraji ki andhi, jai prakash ji ki andhi and now hearing if modi j8 ki andhi. but true voter never gets swayed in an6 andhi.

ScottW1
ScottW1

Minor raped twice in a day by 2 men in Kota Agencies  Kota, February 16, 2014 Two different persons in Kota city raped a 16-year-old girl twice in a day on Friday. According to the police, an acquaintance took the girl — a 9th class student — to his friend’s room in Keshavpura area of the city where he later raped her. After the accused dropped the girl near a private school, another acquaintance named Ravi Nagar (23) offered to help her after learning of the incident. Ravi took the girl to his computer training institute where he raped and later locked the girl inside.

Lakshya Ayhskal
Lakshya Ayhskal

That's how the comment thread is. We don't call it stalking.

Leonardo Ricardez
Leonardo Ricardez

shame on your cover and for Peña Nieto! He's the worst thing that has ever happened to Mexico. Your article is a good example of poor journalism!!!!!!

Lakshya Ayhskal
Lakshya Ayhskal

hmmm...waiting for time.in, to check all my local news and and idly sambar recipe

Soni Mukhia
Soni Mukhia

Are you some kinda stalker? Keep LOLing!

LakshyaAyhskal
LakshyaAyhskal

Coz he failed governing and needed an excuse to escape

Soni Mukhia
Soni Mukhia

You surely need to read more of TIME!

Soni Mukhia
Soni Mukhia

You think TIME covers only PM news??

Soni Mukhia
Soni Mukhia

Why not? It's TIME.. not LIME(light)!!

Sandip Bhavsar
Sandip Bhavsar

And now khujli is on time news so no doubt foreign funding to stop namo

Sandip Bhavsar
Sandip Bhavsar

Aim to resign focus on loksabha election , and no namo campaign by congress+aap

Lakshya Ayhskal
Lakshya Ayhskal

He was a state CM, not even PM...whats wrong with you TIME??

Sanjay B. Patel
Sanjay B. Patel

This is one example of mature democracy in India. People of world should not doubt integrity of India.

Asad Scinde
Asad Scinde

What nonsense!! Is this a matter of discussion for magazine like Time.

Ahmed Khan
Ahmed Khan

He is honest n corrupt political parties are not allowing to pass the anti corruption law

Mohammed Anwaar E Elahi
Mohammed Anwaar E Elahi

How much impact this party will have in upcoming general elections , its difficult for anyone to say.. Will they win 5 or 50 lok sabha seats difficult for one to predict. No doubt , he giving nightmares to both congress and bjp.. Bjp is considering this man a big hurdle in 2014 general elections. If he decides to contest against modi, then political pundits will fail to calculate correctly.

Mohammed Iqbal
Mohammed Iqbal

HE IS HONEST PERSON ......FULFILLING HIS COMMITMENTS.....HERO BORN FOR NATION.

Hashan Perera
Hashan Perera

He should have stayed on, he was doing a very good job.

Aman Duhan
Aman Duhan

its been a long time since india had a hero like him...

ChikuMisra
ChikuMisra

Anti corruption bill in the most corrupt cesspool on earth. And universally known and acknowledged as such

ashablue78
ashablue78

@PraneshSuvarna  Although I hope it can, most parties start out with good intentions and are led astray by the temptation of power and money