BJP says it’ll support Jan Lokpal Bill, tells Kejriwal to stop ‘drama’


jan-lokpalNew Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party has accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of staging a drama, saying that it will support the Jan Lokpal Bill. BJP leader Harshvardhan has said that his party won’t let Kejriwal quit and ‘run away’.

“BJP will not allow Arvind Kejriwal to resign and run away. We are committed to fight corruption and support Jan Lokpal. Send a copy to us. Arvind Kejriwal ji, you 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,” Harshvardhan tweeted.

JD(U) MLA Shoaib Iqbal supporting the AAP government has also warned Kejriwal. “Arvind Kejriwal is not bigger than the law. We are not going to tolerate it if the AAP continues to disrespect the law,” Iqbal said.

The Congress has termed Kejriwal’s threat to resign a “shrewd” tactic to run away from responsibility and said it will support the proposed legislation provided laid down procedures are followed. “Nobody is above the law. The Chief Minister wants to run away from responsibility. He is finding an excuse. It is a shrewd tactic,” DPCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said.

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi questioned whether the anti-graft legislation was drafted just to cause a “major confrontation while blaming others”. “I wonder if the Delhi Lokayukta Bill is drafted to be passed? Or was it to cause major confrontation to walk away while blaming many others!” Bedi tweeted on Sunday evening.

She also claimed that Kejriwal was seeking Anna Hazare’s support now, but did not even remember him during his swearing-in as Chief Minister. “At swearing-in as CM Delhi, AK completely forgot Anna! There was no expression of gratitude even! Now Anna’s support being sought yet again!!” she tweeted.

The Aam Aadmi Party government is looking to table the Bill this week. This even as the Home Ministry has sought legal opinion on Kejriwal’s letter in which he asked the Ministry to withdraw the central notification that makes the Lieutenant Governor’s sanction mandatory to introduce Bills in the Delhi Assembly.

But the Home Ministry has said that rules were amended in 2002 making Centre’s approval necessary. The Delhi Chief Minister will meet Lt Governor Najeeb Jung at 12.30 pm on Monday.

Najeeb Jung had upset the AAP government by asking the Solicitor General for his comment on the constitutionality of the procedure. “Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has made it clear that we will go to any extent to pass the Janlokpal Bill. The party will stand by him. We believe that the L-G Najeeb Jung is working as a Congress agent,” said AAP member Ashutosh.

The passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill is one of the poll promises of the Aam Aadmi Party government and the Kejriwal regime is planning to pass the Bill in a special session at the Indira Gandhi stadium on February 16. The Delhi Cabinet had cleared the draft Jan Lokpal Bill on February 3.

Kejriwal said, “If the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed then there is no reason I should be the Chief Minister. I am ready to sacrifice the chair of Chief Minister to free the country from corruption.”

Asserting that both Congress and BJP will never allow passage of the Bill, Kejriwal said since the government has decided to probe the alleged corruption in Commonwealth Games projects, the Congress’s “pitch” has become more “shrill” in this regard and also there were allegations against BJP, which is in power in MCD for the past seven years.

Last week, the Delhi Cabinet had cleared the draft of the much talked-about Jan Lokpal Bill which provides for covering all public servants – from chief minister to Group D employees – and seeks life term as maximum punishment for those found guilty of corruption. Bringing the Jan Lokpal Bill to contain corruption was a key election promise made to the voters by AAP.

“They (Congress) realise that if there is a strong Lokpal then many of these people will get into trouble. For seven years, the BJP is in power in MCD and they may also get into trouble. If the bill is passed then all these CWG cases will go to Lokpal,” he had said.

The Constitution said the Delhi government has “power to make law except in three subjects. But they cannot make any law which is repugnant to any Central law. If they are and if the President grants assent after the passage of the law, then that also can be done”.

The Solicitor General, whose opinion was sought by Jung on the constitutionality of Delhi Government’s proposal to enact the Bill without seeking Centre’s clearance, had conveyed to him that it will be illegal if enacted without the consent.