“I am the elected chief minister, not a terrorist,” said Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Assembly, adding that Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal should be “removed” if Delhi’s guest teachers are not regularised.
Kejriwal was speaking during the discussion of the Bill pertaining to regularisation of 17,000 guest teachers. Earlier, Baijal had said that matters relating to ‘Services’ fell beyond the legislative competence of the Assembly, and that the proposed legislation was not in accordance with the Constitutional scheme.
Kejriwal alleged that files pertaining to the matter were never shown to his deputy Manish Sisodia — on the directions of the L-G. “What state secrets do these files contain that they can’t be shown to us? There was a film that said, My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist… I would like to tell the L-G that I am the elected CM of Delhi and not a terrorist. He (Sisodia) is an elected education minister, not a terrorist.”
The speech started with Kejriwal addressing the leader of opposition Vijender Gupta “with love and respect” in a bid to “find mutual consensus”. But what followed was a combative speech from the CM, who has, of late, avoided direct confrontation with the BJP or the Prime Minister.Delhi Assembly session: BJP MLAs stage walkout over ‘unparliamentary language’
“Are the people of Delhi foolish that they elected us? Your (BJP) argument is a legal one, so they should have elected the law secretary instead of a CM… If secretaries could run government, then the country wouldn’t be drowning. Bureaucracy doesn’t run the country, democracy does. We are the maaliks (masters) of Delhi, we are the ones who run Delhi,” he said.
This prompted Gupta to note that “speaking loudly” was usually the work of the opposition. He said, “The Bill is vague and there are mistakes… this is not the job of the government, to scream loudly. It is the job of the opposition. The government doesn’t need to, it has the power to do work… You are a very good leader, but not a very good administrator.”
Kejriwal countered that they could “run the session all night long” to tweak the Bill. “We will run the session all night long, you tell us what amendments are needed… You, me, our ministers and guest teacher representatives, let us speak for as many hours as required,” he said.
The offer for dialogue on the Bill, Kejriwal said, was to “expose the hollowness” of the BJP. “They say go to bureaucracy. They know that the bureaucracy is terrified, these bureaucrats aren’t working to our orders. They will write what the L-G tells them on the phone. They want the bureaucracy to write that there are objections. Then they will sit in this very House and wave those objections dictated to them. You are hiding behind bureaucrats for your politics, agar mard ke bachche ho, stop hiding behind bureaucrats,” said Kejriwal.