The top leadership of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) met with National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai on Thursday to seek his party's support against the Central ordinance on the control of services in Delhi.
AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, party MP Raghav Chadha and Delhi minister Atishi were among the leaders who met with Pawar at the Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in the city.
Pawar: Democracy is under attack from the BJP
"Democracy is under attack from the BJP. We must all unitedly safeguard it. Efforts are being made to deprive the rights of governments elected by the people and create hurdles for them. We shall fully support the AAP's fight in parliament," declared Pawar after his half-hour meeting with Kejriwal-Mann and other leaders.
Pawar said that this is no longer restricted to Delhi or any individual party, but a national problem concerning every state, especially the non-BJP states and he would speak with all non-BJP parties to join and unitedly fight this movement to protect democracy with the AAP.
Kejriwal said that great injustice was being done by the BJP to the people of Delhi even after the 8-year long legal battle in the Supreme Court and now the Centre has brought the Ordinance to usurp the state's rights on appointments of officials.
A fight to safeguard the federal structure of the country, says Kejriwal
"This struggle has gone beyond Delhi. It's a fight to safeguard the federal structure of the country which the BJP is trying to undermine," he said.
Referring to the BJP's machinations in non-BJP states, Kejriwal said that if the people vote against it, then the BJP buys out its MLAs to topple the government, or put Central investigating agencies to hound their leaders or harass them through the Governors who do not allow the elected governments to function.
"This is the message that if the people don't vote for the BJP, then they will either bring it down or not allow it to function. This must stop and we have to unitedly save democracy and the federal structure," urged Kejriwal.
"We are said to be the world's biggest democracy, but the reality is that attempts are being made to kill it through various means. The state Raj Bhavans have become like BJP headquarters and the Governors interfere in every routine work of the state government and don't allow them to work," added Mann.
The AAP leaders recently met with former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray as well to garner his support against the ordinance.
They have already brought West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on board, who promised to back AAP against the BJP-ruled Centre's ordinance on control of services in Delhi.
What is the Central ordinance rule?
The Centre last Friday promulgated an ordinance to create an authority for the transfer and posting of Group-A officers in Delhi, with the AAP government calling the move a deception with the Supreme Court verdict on control of services.
The ordinance, which comes a week after the Supreme Court handed over the control of services in Delhi excluding police, public order and land to the elected government, seeks to set up a National Capital Civil Service Authority for transfer of and disciplinary proceedings against Group-A officers from the DANICS cadre.
Transfer and postings of all officers of the Delhi government were under the executive control of the lieutenant governor before the May 11 verdict of the apex court.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)