Kejriwal ready to quit over Jan Lokpal Bill

Delhi CM plans to table bill by Feb 13

Kejriwal ready  to quit over  Jan Lokpal Bill

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday threatened to quit his post if his government’s anti-graft Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed by the Assembly.

“I can sacrifice the chief minister’s chair a hundred times to rid the country of corruption,” Kejriwal told reporters on Sunday evening.

He also highlighted his commitment to bring in the Delhi Nagar Swaraj Bill, and again offered to make the ultimate sacrifice of his chief-ministership for the proposed legislation.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) pitch to get the anti-graft bill past procedural hurdles before tabling it in the House is set to spark political tremors in the capital in the coming days.

Sources close to the chief minister said he was in no mood to miss the February 13 deadline for introducing the proposed legislation in the Assembly.

Kejriwal does not trust anyone on the bill, said AAP sources who did not rule out Kejriwal stepping down from the post of chief minister to put pressure on the Central government.

“For him (Kejriwal), passing the anti-graft bill is a prestige issue,” said an AAP leader on the party’s commitment to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill. He also indicated that Kejriwal might seek support from activist Anna Hazare for his campaign for the bill.

Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the party “will go to any lengths” to pass the anti-graft law. “There is no going back on the issue,” he said, pointing at Kejriwal’s recent interview in which he claimed he can go to any extent to get the bill passed in the Delhi Assembly.

From calling Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung a “Congress agent” to suspecting that the Union Home Ministry and rival parties want to stall the bill, the Kejriwal government has used every tactic to pave the way for tabling the bill in the Assembly.

The party has also circulated opinions of constitutional experts to claim that the 2002 order of the Home Ministry, which requires an approval of the Central government for any bill proposed to be brought in the Assembly by the Delhi government, is faulty.

Kejriwal also shot off a letter to the Home Ministry to withdraw the 2002 order, calling it “unconstitutional”.

AAP sources said the Home Ministry has indicated that Kejriwal’s request might be considered, and that it may seek legal opinion on the order.

While the Delhi Congress has asked Jung to block any bill brought in the Assembly in an “unconstitutional” manner, the main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party plans to petition President Pranab Mukherjee over the “illegalities” that the Kejriwal government plans to commit.

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