Will Arvind Kejriwal quit over Jan Lokpal Bill? Decision later today, says his party AAP
New Delhi – Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was put through the wringer today over his plans to introduce the anti-graft Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi legislature. In a major embarrassment for him, other parties voted that the bill had not been tabled, minutes after he asserted it had. That meant there was no debate or vote on the proposal.
AAP leader Yogendra Yadav told NDTV this evening that the party will decide later today whether Mr Kejriwal will resign because the Jan Lokpal Bill has been stalled.
Mr Kejriwal has been threatening to resign if he is prevented by other parties from introducing the bill.
Legislators from other parties shouted angrily as he said he was tabling the proposal to set up an ombudsman agency to investigate corrupt government officers.
The Speaker, MS Dhir, who is from Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party or AAP, said the bill was tabled.
More protests followed, forcing the Speaker to call for a vote. The majority rejected the tabling of the proposal.
The BJP and the Congress say they support Mr Kejriwal’s bill, but not his methods.
They cite the fact that Delhi’s constitutional head, the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, has vetoed the bill and said that it should not be taken up for consideration because it does not have his assent.
Mr Kejriwal has rejected the opinion that the bill must be sanctioned by the Lieutenant Governor or the centre before it is reviewed by the state legislature.
The union government’s lawyer say that’s obligatory partly because the ombudsman agency Mr Kejriwal is proposing will be funded at least in part by funds from the centre.
Mr Kejriwal has said that the Jan Lokpal bill is the heart of his party’s agenda and is essential to cleanse the polity of deep-rooted graft.