After Arvind Kejriwal’s dare on Jan Lokpal Bill, Centre seeks legal opinion
New Delhi – The union home ministry is seeking legal advice on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s plan to try and pass its Jan Lokpal Bill without seeking the Centre’s permission, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal threatening to quit and bring down his two-month-old government over the proposed anti-corruption law.
The home ministry has stated that the Delhi government cannot pass the bill without the consent of the Centre, which will at least partly fund the Lokpal. The view has been challenged by Mr Kejriwal, who says he will “go to any extent” to see that his bill is passed.
In an exclusive interview to NDTV on Sunday, Mr Kejriwal said the Bill, which provides for an anti-graft ombudsman, will be tabled in the assembly on Thursday. “Jan Lokpal Bill is more important than government survival…Delhi government will fall if there’s no Jan Lokpal,” he said.
Mr Kejriwal accused the Centre of imposing the rule selectively on his government. The previous Congress government led by Sheila Dikshit, he said, had passed 13 bills without the home ministry’s approval.
Senior lawyer Soli Sorabjee supported the Chief Minister’s argument, saying, “The bill should be debated and later, financial considerations can be cleared by the Centre.”
The Congress, which provides external support to the Aam Aadmi Party, says it “won’t accept the bill in an unconstitutional way.”
Last week, the Chief Minister hit out at Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for seeking legal opinion on the Jan Lokpal Bill, accusing him of taking his cues from the central government to stall the centre-piece of his anti-corruption campaign.
The opposition BJP made it clear that they would not let Mr Kejriwal take an easy way out.
“Arvind Kejriwal ji U have made such a hue and cry about Jan Lokpal everywhere but have not sent a copy to members of assembly .Stop DRAMA. BJP has never opposed the Jan Lokpal bill but the way political drama is being enacted by Kejriwal by insulting constitution and the laws (sic),” BJP leader Harsh Vardhan tweeted.