Addressing the Delhi assembly Tuesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government was not going to pass Bills based on the ‘brute majority’ his party enjoys. Cautioning his 66 AAP colleagues in the 70-member assembly against letting hubris get the better of them, Kejriwal said every member of the House has to be heard respectfully.
“Our objective is certainly not to get Bills passed with our brute majority. It will always be to give a voice to the views and ideas of every member of the House – no matter how small a minority he may be a part of – and to every individual because sometimes ideas come to an individual and not everybody. We want to proceed based on consensus and include the voice of every citizen of Delhi,” said Kejriwal.
The chief minister’s advice came on a day when both leader of opposition Vijender Gupta and dissident MLA Pankaj Pushkar wrote to speaker Ram Niwas Goel, expressing concern over their “safety” and “danger to their lives”.
While the three BJP MLAs have been crying foul over being stifled in the assembly heavily-dominated by the AAP, Pushkar too had alleged that the House was ‘undemocratic’.
During the winter session of the assembly that started on November 18, BJP MLA O P Sharma was suspended for the entire session and Pushkar suspended for two days last week. The speaker directed marshals to take Pushkar out of the assembly last week, while Gupta was forced out of the House Monday.
“It is true that there are 67 MLAs of the AAP in the assembly and only three in opposition. On one hand, we need to think of why this happened. Maybe people of Delhi were really troubled by the kind of politics they had been seeing prior to this. They voted a brute majority into this House. But like I have always said, we should never nurse hubris. If any kind of hubris creeps into our language or behavior, the people who reduced one party to three and the other to zero, can reduce us to three as well,” Kejriwal warned.
Seeking cooperation from BJP MLAs, Kejriwal said, “We have to rise above petty politics. The election is over. Everyone has got the number of seats they had to get. For the next five years, we all have to work together.”
While the sight of AAP MLAs pouncing on the BJP trio and trying to raise an issue in the assembly may be common, Kejriwal told his party colleagues that some course correction was in order.
“I humbly request you all, especially our colleagues in opposition, and to my colleagues in the ruling party that when members of the opposition speak, we should not interject. We should let them speak and we should listen to them with all due respect and not pass comments in between.”
He added, “We welcome all good suggestions coming from the opposition. Last time you (opposition) gave a suggestion and we held a Bill back.”
Kejriwal told Gupta that they would have liked him to be present when the Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015 was introduced in the assembly Monday.
“Yesterday, you had left the House.” Gupta, however, interrupted and said, “I did not leave. I was removed.” Kejriwal then smiled, “That is also true.”
Kejriwal said the speaker had requested Gupta to return to the House but Gupta told him he was getting a medical examination after being “manhandled” by marshals.