March 18, 2021 1:20:48 am
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday “appealed” to the Centre to take back the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, that gives overarching power to the Lieutenant Governor, saying its implementation would be a betrayal of the people of Delhi and their mandate to the AAP government.
At a protest at Jantar Mantar, Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the Bill was being brought to halt AAP’s spread in other states, and to stop the developmental work being done by the party in Delhi.
Slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah rang through the protest, along with patriotic songs from films being played on the loudspeaker.
The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy Monday. According to the Bill, the “government” in the city would mean the “Lieutenant Governor” in context of any law made by the legislative assembly. It also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the L-G before any executive action.
Addressing AAP workers in their trademark cap and placards against the BJP, Kejriwal said, “If Delhi government means the L-G, then what will happen to the people of Delhi? What will happen to the Chief Minister? Why were there elections? Why did the public stand in queues and give votes? What happened to the mandate of the people? If Delhi government is going to mean the L-G, then it’s a betrayal (dhokha) of the people.”
He said the Supreme Court had in 2018 made it clear that the elected government should have the power, and not have to route files through the L-G’s office. “They (Centre) don’t believe in the public, the Supreme Court, in democracy or the constitution. This is wrong; it’s betrayal,” he said.
Hitting out at the BJP, Kejriwal said they “bought MLAs” in the states they lost, but were unable to do so in the capital, which is why the Bill was being brought in to attack AAP.
“The whole country is talking about the good work being in Delhi. The face of government school education has changed… This law has been formulated to stop the good work in education being done by AAP. This is creating a problem for them in Surat, in Karnataka. AAP has started winning seats in panchayat and municipal corporations in several parts of the country,” he said.
“On behalf of the people of Delhi and India, I appeal to the Central government to take back this Bill. Don’t snatch the people’s power; don’t cheat them,” Kejriwal added.
Sisodia also said the Bill was brought in so that the ‘Kejriwal model of governance’ doesn’t spread to Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Punjab, etc. He said it would result in the L-G “sitting on” files for months. “We spoke about deshbhakti and hosting Olympics in Delhi in 2047. They (BJP) don’t want that. This law is against desh bhakti… We also said 25 years later we want that the income of Delhi’s youth is comparable to that of the youth of Singapore… But they don’t want our children to study, our youth to be employed,” he said.
Minsters Rajendra Pal Gautam and Gopal Rai also addressed the crowd. The latter said the Bill was Shah’s way of entering Delhi’s politics through the “chor darwaza” after losing elections.
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