New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is a tough nut to crack: He is now insisting that the anti- graft Jan Lokpal Bill must be discussed by lawmakers at a city stadium starting Sunday.
” An open session is an integral part of democracy,” he said on Monday. He further suggested that if the Delhi Police cannot provide the security required for the session, its police chief should resign.
The provocative written reply was sent to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, who asked him earlier in the day to reconsider the public session because of ” law and order problems and the sanctity of assembly proceedings.” Kejriwal, true to script, further demanded, ” If the police cannot provide security in one stadium, how can it be expected to keep the entire city safe?” Jung, meanwhile, has sought the Centre’s views on whether the AAP government can introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill without prior clearance.
The issue has acquired certain urgency as Kejriwal has threatened to quit if the Bill is not passed in the Delhi Assembly. Kejriwal, who is keen on pushing the Bill through the Assembly without going to the Centre first, met Jung on Monday and discussed the issue.
After the meeting, the Raj Niwas issued a long statement in which it said that to avoid any dispute in the matter and to obtain full clarity on the constitutional position, the Jan Lokpal issue has been referred to the Law Ministry for a ” final opinion”. It said Jung had responded to Kejriwal’s letter to him on Friday in which it was highlighted that as per Rule 34 of the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993, any such draft bill should have been sent to him ahead of placing it before the Council of Ministers which was not done. A defiant Kejriwal said he has not taken oath to uphold the Home Minister’s ” unconstitutional order” and will not send the bill to the Centre. ” We will protect the Constitution. Our souls do not allow us to follow an unconstitutional order,” he said, adding he was ready to make any ” sacrifice” for fighting for the autonomy of Delhi assembly and people.
Jung had further written that the legal reality is that the Delhi government is bound by the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991, and the TBR Rules. ” Therefore, irrespective of whether the Delhi Cabinet appreciates this or not, the position would remain the same unless challenged in an appropriate forum,” the LG’s office said.