A day after the Delhi Congress and the BJP raised objections over the unconstitutionality of the Delhi Government’s tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill without approval from the Centre, sources in both parties said several legislators were against attending an legislative session outside the Delhi Assembly.
The AAP government had proposed to hold a session of the Assembly at a stadium and has invited the public to attend.
A senior leader of the Congress, which supports the AAP government from the outside, said, “There is a large section of the party that is against attending any legislative session outside the Delhi Assembly. Though it is up to the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) to decide, many of us are against such gimmicks.”
Sources in the Congress also reiterated that they could not support a Bill, regardless of its intent, if rules were not followed.
“There are different rules for governing Delhi. If the AAP government does not get the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor and the Union Home Ministry, the Congress cannot support such a Bill,” a senior leader said.
Even the BJP concurred. “There is a reason legislative sessions are held in a secure place. Decorum needs to be followed and absolute silence and concentration is necessary. Can the AAP can assure this? Are they willing to spend more money on sound-proofing an indoor stadium for some populist move? Senior BJP leaders are opposed to attending a session outside the House,” a party functionary said.
According to the BJP, the AAP’s attempts to bypass rules have “exposed” it. “It is only trying to govern on the television or social media. Such rules are made for a purpose. We are for a strong Jan Lokpal Bill, but it must be done the correct way,” a senior leader said.
One of the three independent MLAs in Delhi even raised doubts over the legal sanction for the AAP’s Bill for Delhi. “There is a Lokpal Act in the Centre and now they are bringing in one for the state. This again needs prior approval from the Centre so that the two Acts are not at cross purposes. The AAP must understand this,” he said.