Kejriwal quits as Jan Lokpal hits House wall
New Delhi, February 14
“I had pledged that my government will pass the anti-corruption Bill. But the BJP and the Congress ganged up and did not allow the introduction of the Bill. I have, therefore, decided to quit,” Kejriwal told party workers outside the party office.
Kejriwal accompanied by some Cabinet colleagues later handed over the resignation letter to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. He also sought dissolution of the House.
Jung is expected to give his report to the Centre tomorrow on whether to go for the President’s Rule or dissolve the House so that elections could be held along with the Lok Sabha elections. Jung is believed to have asked the government to function for another five days.
Kejriwal said he was prepared to sacrifice not only his position but also his life for protecting the Constitution. The BJP and the Congress had joined hands only because his government had taken action against industrialist Mukesh Ambani, claimed Kejriwal amid the din of slogans such as “Pichli baar Sheila, is baar Modi (after Sheila Dikshit’s drubbing in the last election, it’s Narendra Modi’s turn now).
“The real face of BJP and Congress has been exposed. They did not allow the Bill (Jan Lokpal) to be introduced in the House. They defeated the Bill because three days back because we lodged an FIR against Mukesh Ambani,” he said.
He said both Congress and BJP were implementing the agenda dictated to them by Ambani.
“The Congress is his (Ambani’s) shop and he can buy anything whenever he wants,” he retorted.
He also targeted BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi saying Ambani had been behind him for past one year.
Kejriwal held a Cabinet meeting soon after the state Assembly was adjourned earlier in the day. They decided to quit since the government had not been able to get the legislation passed. Kejriwal had in the past few days indicated that he would quit if the Bill was not approved in the current Assembly session.
BJP and Congress members attacked Kejriwal in the Assembly for defying the Constitutional norms and not heeding to the directives of the Lieutenant Governor.
Amid the pandemonium, Kejriwal asserted he had not violated his Constitutional obligations. His government, he claimed, was well within its right to introduce the anti-graft Bill. Earlier in the day, Jung sent a letter to the legislators asking them not to consider the Jan Lokpal Bill unless it was introduced with the approval of the Centre.
After heated exchanges between those on the Treasury Benches and the Opposition, Speaker MS Dhir read out the letter sent by the Lieutenant Governor.
While BJP and Congress members clamoured against the introduction of the Bill, Kejriwal and his ministers sought the permission of the Chair to begin a discussion on the Bill.
The Speaker put to vote the government’s proposal to introduce the Bill. While 28 AAP members voted in favour, 42 members, including those of the Congress, opposed it. The Speaker then ruled that the Bill would not be tabled.
Congress dubbed Kejriwal’s resignation “a scripted and pre-planned drama”.
“My party is in favour of the Bill, but the way it was being tabled was unconstitutional,” said Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely.
For aam aadmi: The AAP government allowed free water (666 litres daily) for households with metered connections, besides giving 50% subsidy in power bills
Anti-graft stance: Launched an anti-corruption helpline to help people complain against any official seeking graft
Beacon ban: Banned use of red or blue beacons on official cars to bring an end to “VIP culture”
Bharti row: Law Minister Somnath Bharti asked the police to act against some African nationals, including women, on complaint regarding a drug and prostitution ring. Later, African woman alleged molestation by mob
Dharna by CM: Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues staged a dharna outside Rail Bhawan demanding action against cops
Riot probe: Ordered a SIT probe into the 1984 riots
Taking on the mighty: Took on former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit by ordering an FIR for irregularities during the CWG. Also ordered FIRs against Oil Minister Veerappa Moily, ex-minister Murli Deora and RIL chief Mukesh Ambani over gas pricing