Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said Republic Day speech of President Pranab Mukherjee, who indirectly took a dig at his two-day dharna, had generated a debate whether staging a protest by Chief Minister was constitutional or unconstitutional.
“I am happy that this is being debated now,” said Kejriwal who was cornered by journalists and other invitees in Mughal Garden where he was attending his first ‘At Home’ function after taking over as the Chief Minister.
He was asked about his reaction on the President’s Republic Day eve speech where he had made a veiled attack on Kejriwal’s street protests, saying the government is not a “charity shop” and “populist anarchy” cannot be a substitute for governance.
“The government is not a charity shop. Populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance. False promises lead to disillusionment, which gives birth to rage, and that rage has one legitimate target: those in power,” Mukherjee had said on Sunday evening in his address to the nation.
Kejriwal said it was the President’s or the Centre’s point of view but “I am happy that at least a debate has kicked off on whether a dharna by Chief Minister leads to a constitutional crisis or not.” “Please look at the newspapers. Some are in favour and some are critical and a healthy debate is always very good in a democracy,” Kejriwal said.
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As Kejriwal was speaking, German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner walked upto him and said that their President Joachim Gauck was visiting India next month and their request for a meeting had been turned down by the Chief Minister’s office.
“Mr Chief Minister, since both of you came into prominence after a civil rights movement, we wanted a meeting between you two. However, your office has turned down the request. So I was wondering if their could be any rethinking on this,” the envoy told the Chief Minister.
Kejriwal prompted replied that he would definitely reschedule some of his appointments and work out the possibility of calling on the visiting President.