Sometimes I am asked – you had a government in Delhi and you gave it up. What if you get the Centre, would you give it up too?
People have to understand that we were not in a majority in Delhi. All the hype and hope was for a party that held just three-fourths of the seats required for a majority. To expect a minority-run government to last for five years is asking for too much. We had decided to not cut deals but to stay in power on our terms. Yes, we could have stayed for a while more, maybe six more months with a few minor compromises but that wouldn’t change that fact that we were in minority. Yes, one could ask whether our government needed to be in power for so short a while. But it was the better option then.
We were disappointed about resigning but we decided to not be dependent on the Congress. In retrospect, I do not regret what we did at all. It is ridiculous to be running a government without the adequate numbers. Our response was unusual, but the situation was also a peculiar one. I say unusual because of four reasons. These reasons are that we needed a majority, we had a very short window, the model code of conduct was coming soon and Delhi is a strange state to govern. In Delhi, half the population does not know who is in-charge what, in between the Centre, the State Government or the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
Letting go of power was the right thing to do. We did take the public’s opinion before taking over the government there. The reason we did not take the public into confidence again while letting go of power was that when we had asked the public to decide whether we should govern, we had showed them our contract and the grounds on which we would hold power.
Arvind Kejriwal’s original letter clearly specified the things we would do if we came to power and also that if we were not able to deliver, we will quit. That is why we did not go back to the public for their opinion. When people had SMSed us, they had obviously read Kejriwal’s letter.
Yes, our big fight is against corruption but we cannot hold on to power with that one goal alone. Corruption is not our only issue. The issues differ in the places where we are fighting elections. For instance in Haryana, besides corruption, the issue also is providing better quality of life for farmers and school students and tackling the menace of liquor being available so easily. In places like Mewat, we also spoke about Narendra Modi. Mewat is dominantly Muslim so Modi does mean quite something else for the people there.
Equally important for me is the issue of why Narendra Modi is completely silent on the Ambani-gas issue. Why is he not saying a word either way on it?