Kejriwal to resign today?


kejriwal-resignNew Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party government may make good a threat to resign over its anti-corruption Jan Lokpal Bill today, with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung writing to Delhi Speaker MS Dhir that the Bill cannot be tabled for enactment in the Delhi assembly as it doesn’t have his approval.

“The government will fall if the Jan Lokpal Bill and Swaraj Bill are not passed,” Mr Kejriwal told NDTV on Sunday.
Here are the latest updates on this story:

The Lieutenant Governor’s letter to the Speaker makes it clear that if the government tables the Jan Lokpal Bill, it will be unconstitutional. The Law Ministry has advised that the Lieutenant Governor, as a representative of the Centre, has the power to veto the bill if it is introduced or passed without his clearance, as the Jan Lokpal will be partly funded by the Centre.

Law Minister Somnath Bharti is to table the bill in the assembly at 2 pm. At a late night meeting at Mr Kejriwal’s home, AAP reportedly decided to go for broke.

The Congress, which provides external support to the Aam Aadmi Party government, has called for a vote on the Lieutenant Governor’s letter to decide if the bill can be tabled.

“A bill with financial consideration needs the involvement of the Lieutenant Governor. This is not a kangaroo court, Mr Kejriwal wants to write his own Constitution,” said Congress’ Haroon Yusuf.

Mr Kejriwal has rejected the view that he has to take the Centre’s sanction and has said he will resign if his pet proposal, which creates an ombudsman or “Lokpal” to investigate corrupt government officers, is not passed.

The opposition BJP has backed the Congress and said it will not support any move that violates the Constitution. The party said the Lieutenant-Governor must clear the bill before it is brought to the legislature. (read)

Tomorrow is the last working day of the special session called just to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill and the Swaraj Bill, two pieces of legislation that AAP had showcased in its manifesto for the December Delhi election.

Mr Kejriwal’s unorthodox plan to discuss the Jan Lokpal Bill in an open session at a city stadium on Sunday has been shelved. The Lieutenant Governor had flagged concerns about security and the sanctity of legislative business.

The BJP and Congress joined forces on Thursday to demand Law Minister Somnath Bharti’s removal over a series of controversies, including his raid last month in his constituency targeting Ugandan women he alleged were involved in a drugs and sex racket. Mr Kejriwal accused the two parties of “match-fixing.”

A BJP legislator, RP Singh, placed bangles and lipstick on Mr Bharti’s table and a Congress lawmaker walked up to the speaker, tore up a file and yanked his mic, accusing him of bias. The MLA, Asif Mohammad Khan, also walked to the Chief Minister’s seat and tried to rip out his mic.