Kejriwal appeals to Centre to take back bill on powers of Delhi LG

·4-min read

New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday urged the Centre to take back the bill that seeks to define certain roles and powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and said the AAP dispensation is ready to even fall at the Modi government's feet for its withdrawal.

He asked where the chief minister will go if the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 brought by the Centre becomes a law.

'Do elections, votes and our 62 out of 70 seats do not mean anything?' Kejriwal further asked.

Speaking at a protest organised by his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) against the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill, Kejriwal said, 'I want to appeal to the Centre to take back the GNCTD Bill, do not cheat the people with this legislation.' He alleged that the Centre wants to weaken his government through the bill.

The BJP has brought this bill as it is scared of the AAP's reach in other states, Kejriwal claimed.

'That is why they are trying to stop our development work in Delhi,' he charged.

The chief minister said now there are two tasks in front of his government -- the first is to put the power back in the hands of the public and the second is to ensure that no development work stops in the national capital.

'Now whether we have to plead with them (Centre) and fall at their feet for this or pull their hands... we will do it,' Kejriwal said.

'The BJP frequently holds elections, but dismantles the government in several states. Now that they cannot buy AAP MLAs despite trying, they want to dismantle the government by bringing in a law in such an unruly manner,' he said.

He claimed that the BJP does not want AAP to work for the development of Delhi because due to this development model, AAP is securing seats in several other states, and the BJP feels “threatened”.

The AAP supremo also claimed that 90 per cent of Delhiites believe the central government's move is totally unwarranted and unacceptable. They believe that our government should run the administration of Delhi, he said.

'They (BJP) do not want AAP to work for the development of Delhi because they are bothered by the development in Surat, Karnataka, and several other states as AAP is slowly gaining momentum in all the municipal corporation elections held across various states.

'People from Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, among others, want free electricity like Delhi. Rather than stalling the progress made by AAP, the BJP should also work for the progress of the people,” he said.

“Their policy is 'we will neither work nor let you work'. If you do good work, people will vote for you as well. But you are doing nothing, except, displaying unruly behaviour and interfering in AAP's development of Delhi,' he added.

Kejriwal said true patriotism is supporting the good work by any party or government across the nation, be it an ally or opposition party.

'But if I am not a patriot.. if I am an enemy of the nation, I will stop these good works through my interference,' he said.

The Delhi CM wondered if this is the Centre's 'gift' to the people in the 75th year of Independence.

'Why did our freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose, Ashfaqulla Khan, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, and many others sacrifice their lives? They did it because they wanted the British rule to end and for the coming of democracy in India. They wanted people to elect their government and their government to work for them.

“They did not know that after 75 years of independence, a government will come that will snatch the powers and rights of the people,' he said.

'I also want to remind the people of Delhi that before the judgment of the SC, the LG sat on the file of the installation of CCTV cameras for one year, after which I and my cabinet ministers protested against LG's move in his own house,' he added.

Meanwhile, Delhi ministers, AAP MLAs and councillors also protested against the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill, which, according to the Kejriwal-led party, gives overarching power to the LG.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill is against 'deshbhakti' (patriotism) and aims to stop the development of Delhi.

Environment Minister Gopal Rai alleged that by bringing the bill, the BJP is seeking to enter Delhi through the backdoor.

'After losing the (assembly) elections, the BJP brought this bill to enter Delhi through the backdoor. If you have the guts, fight and win the elections. Prove your worth with your work,' he said.

The GNCTD (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in Lok Sabha by Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Monday.

According to the bill, the 'government' in the city would mean the 'Lieutenant Governor' in context of any law made by the legislative assembly.

It also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the LG before any executive action.