New Delhi, May 27 (IANS): The Delhi assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution against the Centre’s decree giving Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung the power to post and transfer bureaucrats in the capital, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of nurturing dictatorship.
The strongly-worded resolution passed by the Aam Aadmi Party-dominated assembly has now brought the Kejriwal government in direct confrontation with the Modi government.
The resolution will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, Jung and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
“This is the Delhi experiment of the BJP-led centre. One by one, this experiment would be implemented in every non-BJP state. They want to take the country towards dictatorship,” Kejriwal told the assembly on the second day of the two-day special session called to discuss the union home ministry notification curbing the state government’s powers.
The chief minister continued his scathing attack on the Centre in his over 25-minute address to the assembly.
“This is not a constitutional issue as the BJP president (Amit Shah) yesterday (Tuesday) said. This is a political issue,” he added.
Kejriwal also said the Centre was readying to put the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) under Jung’s control, but the Delhi High Court order prevented it.
“The high court verdict was like a miracle,” he said.
The Centre’s notification also asserted that Delhi’s ACB cannot probe central governmrnt officials.
Kejriwal also accused the BJP-led government of sabotaging the AAP government.
Passed by voice vote, the resolution termed the May 21 notification issued by the union home ministry “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.
However, constitutional expert Subhash C. Kashyap said the resolution was “an opinion and had no legal or constitutional binding”.
The resolution also asked city officials to ignore the central notification and obey the decisions of Delhi’s council of ministers and work without fear.
“The house expects the officers and employees of the (Delhi) government to follow the orders related to work allotment without any fear. This house assures them that as long as they continue working sincerely in the service of the people of Delhi, this house will not let any officer or employee be victimised by any extraneous element, whatsoever,” the resolution said.
“This house strongly condemns such attempts on the part of the central government and finds it an assault on the federal structure of our country as enshrined in the Constitution of India,” the strongly-worded resolution said.
It was passed in the absence of the three BJP legislators who protested the move.
During the discussion, Leader of Opposition Vijendra Gupta said the AAP government “has become arrogant”.
Kejriwal said the government was answerable to the people as they had certain expectations from it, and not from the lt. governor.
“We are answerable to the people, hence we must have the right to appoint our officials,” he added.
Attacking the lt. governor on the issue of appointments and transfers of bureaucrats, Kejriwal said: “The LG has never asked me about the electricity situation in Delhi; but he is very interested in transfers and postings.”
Continuing his attack on the lt. governor, Kejriwal added: “Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung is creating an atmosphere in Delhi to ensure that the AAP fails completely.
“He is ordering the demolition of jhuggis in the city to give out the impression that it was the Delhi government which was responsible for this.”
Kejriwal accused the Centre and Jung of joining hands against the Delhi government and said they should “stop conspiring” against the AAP government.
The May 21 notification had backed Jung in his tussle with Kejriwal over the appointment of senior officials.
It all began after the already-strained relationship between Jung and Kejriwal snowballed into a full-blown war when the chief minster objected to the appointment of a bureaucrats as the acting chief secretary.