March 26, 2021 1:35:47 am
The Arvind Kejriwal government is exploring legal options to challenge the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, passed in the Parliament, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Thursday.
Addressing a press conference, he struck a combative note and repeatedly hit out at the Prime Minister over the issue – signalling a shift in the AAP’s strategy of steering clear of taking on the PM directly. “The bill passed by the Centre shows that the Modi government and the BJP are feeling insecure about the Kejriwal government and its achievements. It goes on to establish their extent of insecurity,” Sisodia said.
Responding to a question on the road ahead, he said: “We are consulting legal experts. All options are being explored.” The Deputy CM made it clear that the elected government will not hesitate to “intensify” its fight to get work done, an indication that the dispute over various jurisdictional issues is likely to deepen.
Sisodia also emphasised on the “popularity of the Kejriwal model”, and sought to link the GNCTD Bill with the AAP’s push to expand in other BJP-ruled states: “People across the country are recognising the Kejriwal model. They have nothing to counter it with. People in states ruled by them are asking why they can’t replicate AAP’s model of governance and successes in the areas of education, health, power and water?” he said.
The AAP is set to contest assembly elections in five BJP-ruled states in 2022, apart from Congress-ruled Punjab. The Delhi municipal body polls will also take place next year.
Asked if he was anticipating trouble for any specific scheme of the government, Sisodia said, “Their intention is clear, they want to stall setting up of schools, mohalla clinics, hospitals. They are not after any specific scheme. They are just rattled by Kejriwal’s popularity.”
However, at one point, Sisodia referred to the doorstep delivery of ration scheme, the launch of which has been halted by the Centre as it violates provisions of the National Food Security Act, 2013. “They can never replicate our model in states ruled by them as their model is of loot and deceit. They are more keen on obstructing us… Modi and BJP know they don’t have a governance model to counter the Kejriwal model. No one talks about the Modi model anymore,” Sisodia said.
The passage of the GNCTD Bill, 2021, which stamps the primacy of the Lt-Governor in Delhi’s administration, also portends trouble for the ration scheme as the February 20 notification was issued with prior approval of only the Delhi Food Minister. The GNCTD Bill has made it clear that the elected government needs to take the opinion of the L-G before implementing any decision.
Sisodia also accused the PM of indulging in “negative politics”. “PM is a father figure and is expected to play the role of a facilitator in development works. But roadblocks are being put to stop us. We have fulfilled all promises despite their attempts to stop us in the past. Work won’t be affected and that is the CM’s commitment to the people of Delhi,” he said.
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