Kejriwal says he will not bow to Home Ministry's order

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 10, 2014 14:43 hrs

New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said his government would not bow down to the Home Ministry's "unconstitutional" order which requires Delhi government to obtain prior approval from the Centre before tabling any bill in the assembly.

"I have not taken oath to uphold Home Minister's unconstitutional order. We will protect the constitution. Our souls do not allow us to follow unconstitutional order," Kejriwal told reporters here after meeting Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to discuss various issues relating to the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Talking about his meeting with Jung, Kejriwal said the Lt Governor was in dilemma over the matter.

"There is a dilemma in front of him (Jung). At one hand there is constitution, on the other hand there is Home Minister's order. I have told Lt Governor that the order is unconstitutional," Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal further said Lt Governor had sought Union Law Ministry's opinion on the constitutional position on the order.

"Lt Governor said he was seeking Law Ministry views and accordingly will take decision. He has his own restrictions," said Kejriwal.

The Chief Minister said he was ready to make any "sacrifice" for fighting for the autonomy of Delhi assembly and people.

"My government has taken oath to uphold constitution and make Delhi corruption free. We are ready to make any sacrifice for this," he said.

 Raising question over Centre's insistence on seeking its approval, Kejriwal said, "If Centre says that we have to send every bill to it and take its approval, then what's the relevance of Delhi Assembly? They are saying that we should send the Bill for their approval. Obviously they will not give approval. They will sit on the bill."

One Gurudwara Bill sent by Delhi government has been pending with the Home Ministry for seven years," he added.

He further said several money bills were not sent to the Centre by the previous Sheila Dikshit government.

To a query whether his AAP government has support of other parties on Jan Lokpal Bill, Kejriwal said BJP and Congress have to decide whether they would support the bill or not.

"We are not concerned. This fight will continue," he said.

Kejriwal had last night threatened to resign if his pet anti-graft legislation is not passed by the state Assembly due to lack of support from other parties.

The bill has been opposed both by Congress, whose support is essential for the survival of his seven-week-old government, as well as opposition BJP.

Bringing the Jan Lokpal bill to contain corruption was a key election promise made to the voters by AAP.

Congress and BJP have been maintaining that the Delhi government must get approval of the Home Ministry before tabling the bill in a special session of the Assembly, beginning February 13.

In a House of 70, AAP's strength has been reduced to 27, including the Speaker, after its MLA Vinod Kumar Binny was expelled from the party. Congress has eight legislators while BJP has 32.

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