Do or die for Kejriwal on Jan Lokpal today

Do or die for Kejriwal on Jan Lokpal today

CM says he will resign if not allowed to introduce Bill

“I will quit if I am not allowed to table the Jan Lokpal Bill,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told reporters, virtually calling Friday as do-or-die day for him in the Delhi Assembly over the ambitious anti-graft bill whose introduction has been red-flagged by the Union Law Ministry.

Soon after a day of disruptions in the Assembly, Kejriwal said: “We will try to introduce the bill...if  is gets beaten I will resign.” “Kejriwal will resign if the bill is not passed or even if the proposal to introduce the bill gets defeated in the House,” said a senior leader, a day after the Union Law and Justice Ministry said the Delhi government needs to take approval from the Centre before bringing in the bill in the House. 

“This has been Kejriwal’s stated stand and he will stick to it,” said a member of his core team.

Tough opposition 

The going got tough for the Kejriwal government in the Assembly on Thursday as the Opposition BJP and the Congress, which gives outside support to the government, came together to demand the sacking of Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti over his controversial raid against women from African nations last month.

The proceedings were adjourned without transacting any business.  The BJP and the Congress leaders blamed Kejriwal’s inability and lack of desire to work with them in the House.

“Kejriwal does not talk to us. He does not believe in seeking cooperation from Opposition parties for running the House smoothly,” said a BJP leader.  BJP leader Harsh Vardhan said the party was in favour of the anti-graft Bill but it has to be tabled in a constitutional manner. “Kejriwal thinks he is above  the Constitution,” he said.

In trouble 

The anti-graft has been trouble over certain provisions which were opposed by the Delhi government’s finance department, law department  and the administrative reforms department. But the objections were overruled by the council of ministers.Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had also highlighted the fact before Kejriwal that the prior recommendation of the lieutenant governor was required since the Bill involved expenditure from the Consolidated Fund. 

The Congress has opposed the bill since the AAP government did not get Central government’s nod before it is introduced in the Assembly.

Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said: “We support the anti-graft Bill but will not back it if it is introduction is against constitutional provision.” Kejriwal had earlier said he would ‘go to any extent’ to get the bill passed.
Consent must

Despite the Union Law Ministry’s opinion late Wednesday that the Central government’s prior consent is mandatory for introducing Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly, the AAP government appears all set to bring it in the Assembly on Friday.

The Chief Minister has been maintaining that he would table the Jan Lokpal Bill in the  Delhi Assembly without taking any permission from the Union Home Ministry and termed the ministry’s directive to follow the practice as ‘unconstitutional’.

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