After a week-long war of words between Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the passage of Delhi’s Jan Lokpal Bill, the confrontation reached a new high at the Assembly session on Friday.
The L-G had advised the Assembly against the introduction of the Bill through a letter sent to the Speaker. The Bill could, eventually, not be tabled in the din created by Opposition MLAs.
Jung had sent the letter to Speaker M S Dhir on Thursday, advising him against tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill “unless it is introduced with the recommendations of the Lt- Governor”.
“The said Bill has not yet been duly placed before me by the Government of NCT of Delhi,” the letter stated.
Jung also told Dhir that his message “may kindly be informed to the Assembly before the above referred Bill is introduced during the sitting of the current session”.
“As the Jan Lokpal Bill is being introduced in the Assembly without following the procedure indicated above, I hereby send the ‘message’ under Section 9(2) of the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 to the Legislative Assembly, not to consider the Bill unless it is introduced with the recommendations of the L-G,” the letter stated.
Defying the clear instruction, Dhir did not read out the L-G’s letter at the beginning of the session. It was only after Opposition and Congress MLAs raised a din, demanding a voting on the L-G’s advice that the Speaker read out Jung’s letter.
With 42 MLAs voting against the introduction of the Bill and 27 voting in favour, the Bill could not be tabled, leading to Kejriwal threatening to resign once again — a threat he made good on Friday evening.