Kejriwal’s public meeting in Delhi’s Central Park to trigger fresh war of words

Delhi chief minister may demand referendum on the statehood

GN Bureau | May 25, 2015


#Arvind Kejriwal   #AAP   #Delhi   #chief minister   #connaught place   #central park   #public meeting   #assembly  

Photo: Arun Kumar

Expect chaos in Delhi today (Monday) that will herald another war of words over who rules the national capital. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is holding  ‘Jan Samvaad’ (public discourse) at Central Park New Delhi’s Connaught Place on Monday, and on the agenda are a demand full statehood for Delhi and likely call for a referendum on the issue.

It is unclear how Kejriwal can demand referendum as Indian laws offer little scope for such public action bordering on legal sanction.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police has asked motorists to avoid Connaught Place between 5 pm and 7 pm today when AAP is scheduled to hold its public meeting.

On Sunday the party laid the foundation for renewed confrontation with the centre at a meeting of its MLAs at Kejriwal’s house. They alleged that the NDA government was violating the federal structure.

"We discussed the Centre's notification as it is trying to take away our powers. There will be a discussion on the notification during the session and tabling a resolution against it is also an option," an MLA, who was at the meeting said.

The AAP government is also holding an 'emergency session' of the Assembly from Tuesday. The AAP government may table a resolution to reject the Centre's notification appointment of bureaucrats.

The legislators also vowed to fight any attempt to run the state government through the back door. The meeting, which went on for over an hour, also saw the legislators demanding that they be allowed to speak individually on the home ministry's notification.

By holding the public discourse in Connaught Place, Kejriwal is setting a precedent. His referendum idea is also different but one hopes that this does not lead to unhealthy political discourse.

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