The introduction of the Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015, in the assembly saw joyous celebrations on the premises by the ruling AAP, which has a strength of 67 in the 70-member House, Monday evening.
Describing it as a culmination of their struggle for a strong anti-graft law that started with Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement in 2011, AAP MLAs, ministers, and the deputy speaker too, joined the celebratory mode of songs and dance, as drums played.
Congratulations Manish for presenting the strongest anti-corruption law of independent India – Delhi JanLokpal Bill 2015. A historic day
AAP members brought Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on their shoulders to the assembly porch to be a part of the celebrations on the nippy evening.
“I can say this without a doubt that this is the strongest anti-corruption bill in independent India. Of all the anti-corruption laws thought about, conceived or drafted — let alone passed, because such a bill has never been passed — in independent India, I believe, that this is the most powerful and strong bill,” said Kejriwal.
“When this Bill is passed, it will put an end to corruption. The Right to Services Bill or the Citizen’s Charter Bill has been passed and its remaining part will be passed in the days to come. I would like to congratulate everybody and extend best wishes to the people of this country,” added Kejriwal, who was hailed by AAP members as the hero of anti-graft bill.
After Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia introduced the bill on the floor, for a few minutes, the House transformed into Jantar Mantar, where Kejriwal, then an activist, had spearheaded the anti-corruption movement with Hazare in 2011.
Chants of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘Arvind Kejriwal Zindabad’ resounded in the assembly hall.
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel joined in.
AAP MLAs stood up and thumped their tables vigorously to thank the CM and his deputy for introducing the bill over which the AAP government had resigned after ruling Delhi for 49 days in 2014.
While the BJP had raised objections to the Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015, none if its three MLAs were present in the assembly when it was introduced.
While MLA O P Sharma has been suspended for the winter session, leader of opposition Vijender Gupta and MLA Jagdish Pradhan did not return to the House after Gupta was marshalled out earlier.
Later, gulaal, used during festivals like Holi, flew in the air as MLAs and party members moved to drum beats and broke into patriotic numbers like ‘Yeh desh hai veer jawanon ka’. Among those seen participating in the celebrations were water and tourism minister Kapil Mishra, deputy speaker Bandana Kumari, MLAs Rakhi Birla, Jarnail Singh and Rituraj.
Introducing the “historic” bill, Sisodia countered allegations of having weakened it and said, “Can there be a more responsible and independent body than the one chaired by the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court?”
He said it was important to make the procedure of the removal of the Lokpal like that of impeachment of a judge to keep it impartial.
He said the Lokpal would have the power of a civil court and carry out time-bound probes within six months in cases of corruption and within one year in ‘rarest of rare’ cases.