Kejriwal government on shaky ground

Kejriwal government on shaky ground

Three days before a special session of the Delhi Assembly, the only independent MLA, Rambir Shokeen, on Monday decided against supporting the minority Arvind Kejriwal government. His move, however, poses no immediate threat to the government. 

Shokeen’s decision came on a busy day at Raj Niwas, where Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung met the chief minister over introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill in the special session starting February 13.

Jung’s office said he wrote to Kejriwal informing that he had sought the Union Law and Justice Ministry’s opinion on whether it was necessary for the Delhi government to obtain prior consent of the Central government before tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly.
Shokeen’s move may not bring down the government but may reduce its ability to get a bill passed in the House.

The Mundka legislator, who was unhappy with Kejriwal for not solving problems of rural areas, went to Raj Niwas, but could not meet Jung.  “The lieutenant governor may give us time tomorrow,” he said.

In a 70-member Assembly, the AAP has 27 legislators, including the Speaker. The Congress, which is extending outside  support to the government, has eight legislators. But, the Congress wants the anti-graft bill to be introduced in a “constitutional” manner, otherwise, it would not support the bill. The BJP, which wants to study the anti-graft bill before taking a stand, has 32 legislators.

Janata Dal-United MLA Shoaib Iqbal, meanwhile, wrote to Jung's office, stating that he would continue extending his support to the AAP government.

Earlier, Kejriwal told reporters: “On one hand, there is the Constitution and on the other, there is the order (on prior approval of bills) of the Union Home Ministry. The lieutenant governor is in a dilemma to follow either of these. He has sought the advice of the Central government over the passage the Jan Lokpal Bill and it is very obvious that Centre will never allow it’s passage.”

Jung’s office said in a statement that he had responded to Kejriwal’s February 7 letter and taken a note of the chief minister’s claim that he had sought legal opinion.

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