Special assembly session and continued belligerence are not going to pay any political dividend
GN Bureau | May 27, 2015
The battle is political and should be fought in a sustained manner. However, the timing of Arvind Kejriwal’s belligerence on Delhi power sharing issue during the first anniversary celebrations of Narnedra Modi government makes little political sense.
The Delhi’s chief minister held a public meeting and a special session of the assembly to hammer his argument that his administration has the power to control the destiny of the national capital. The Delhi government does dictate the way local government functions but within the rules and regulations that exist on the law books.
If the major changes that Kejriwal wants are to be given to the administration then certain executive orders have to go and that privilege with the central government.
And the centre is not going to give up that privilege if Kejriwal continues to display hostility and spoils the BJP’s party.
Take note of Kejriwal’s hostility: A special session of the Delhi assembly on Tuesday moved a resolution declaring a home ministry notification seeking to curtail the rights of the Delhi government as unconstitutional and invalid.
The resolution said, “The ministry of home affairs has passed this notification without any jurisdiction to do so. Therefore, it is an illegal and invalid exercise of powers on the part of the ministry of home affairs.”
The resolution adds that it is contrary to and violates the provisions of the Constitution of India.
Calling the notification an encroachment on the rights of the state assembly, the resolution said, “This house finds this act of the ministry of home affairs as an attempt on the part of the central government, to encroach upon the legislative powers of this august house conferred by the constitution, in a completely unconstitutional and illegal manner, by bypassing Parliament and thereby even grabbing the powers of Parliament itself.”
The two-day session is result of a tussle between the Delhi government and the lieutenant governor over jurisdiction in the administration of the state machinery.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had moved another resolution to discuss the notification that gives the LG the right to take decisions on the transfer of senior bureaucrats and restricts the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) from taking cognizance of offences against central government officials. “Tomorrow the central government can say that you don’t have control over the sources of water so you can’t supply water to the city. The issuance of the notification is an insult to the biggest mandate of Delhi’s people.”
“Democratic spirit of the Constitution was sidelined while issuing this notification. It undermines the Constitution,” Sisodia said.
MLA from Dwarka constituency Adarsh Shastri sought an amendment in the Constitution to give state assemblies the power to impeach LGs and governors—similar to Parliament’s right with regard to the president.
“I have demanded that the assembly should pass this resolution, asking Parliament to amend section 155 and 156 of the constitution so that every state legislature has the right to impeach the LG/Governor,” Shastri said.
Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah attributed the tussle “to a matter of interpretation of the Constitution” rather than a confrontation.
The turf war between Kejriwal and lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung started after the latter appointed senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary against the wishes of the AAP government.
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