New Delhi: Dismissing charges that the Aam Aadmi Party government wasted time and delayed the execution of the rapists of Nirbhaya, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the government had nothing in its hand. “Why will we delay? We want the convicts to be hanged as soon as possible,” Kejriwal said a day after Union minister Prakash Javadekar blamed the AAP government for sitting on the Nirbhaya case.

“What do we have in our hand? Neither we have the police, nor the law and order in our hand. The government had nothing to do in this case apart from passing files,” the CM said.

A new date of the execution of the four convicts — Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta — will have to be announced as President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy plea filed by Mukesh Singh. The mercy plea was filed by Mukesh Singh early this week after his curative plea was rejected by the Supreme Court. On Thursday, the Delhi government rejected the plea and forwarded it to the MHA. According to reports, MHA forwarded it to President on Thursday night.

The filing of the mercy plea delayed the execution of the four convicts which was scheduled to take place on January 22. According to prison rules, the execution can take place at least 14 days after the mercy plea is rejected by the President.

Now, going by the prison rules, the execution can take place after 14 days. The Tihar authorities have asked for a new date on Thursday. The petition being rejected today, a new date will still be announced as only five days are left for the scheduled execution date, which will break prison rules.

Reacting to the blame-game between the Centre and the AAP, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi has earlier said that those very people who took out rallies in 2012 are playing politics for their own benefits. “There must be some misunderstanding or chances of being misguided,” Kejriwal said.