New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday hit out at the Centre over its ordinance on control of services in the national capital, saying Delhi is the first to be “attacked” and similar ordinances will be brought for other states also.
Addressing the Aam Aadmi Party’s “Maha Rally” at Ramlila Maidan, Kejriwal, who is also the party’s national convener, claimed the Centre’s ordinance was an insult to the people of Delhi.
“The BJP can abuse me and I don’t mind that. But I won’t tolerate the insult of the people of Delhi,” he said.
Braving scorching heat, thousands of people gathered at Ramlila Maidan to participate in the “Maha Rally” that was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann as well as senior AAP leaders and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal.
Addressing the rally, Kejriwal accused the BJP-led Centre of not believing in the Constitution.
“When Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he does not accept the Supreme Court’s decision, it is ‘Hitler shahi’ (dictatorship). This black ordinance of Modiji says ‘I don’t accept democracy’. Now there will be a tyrannical rule in Delhi. Now the people of Delhi are not supreme, but the LG is’,” he alleged.
The Centre on May 19 had promulgated the ordinance to create an authority for the transfer and posting of Group-A officers in Delhi, which the AAP government had called a deception with the Supreme Court verdict on control of services. Transfer and postings of all officers of the Delhi government were under the executive control of the lieutenant governor before the top court’s May 11 verdict.0
Following the ordinance, Kejriwal has been reaching out to leaders of non-BJP parties to garner their support against the ordinance so that the Centre’s bid to replace it through a bill is defeated when it is brought in Parliament.
“I have been travelling across the country and meeting leaders from other political parties. Please don’t think you are alone. You have the support of 140 crore people of India,” the Delhi chief minister told the rally.
“Delhi is the first city to be attacked. This is Modiji’s first strike. If this ordinance that snatches the rights of people of Delhi is not opposed, similar ordinances will be brought for other states such as Rajasthan, Punjab and Maharashtra,” he claimed.
On the arrests of AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, Kejriwal claimed that their arrest was aimed at stopping the work being done in Delhi. “But we have 100 Sisodias and 100 Jains. They will continue the good work,” he said.
Sisodia, who was then the deputy chief minister of Delhi, was arrested in February over alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped liquor policy for 2021-22, while Jain was arrested in May last year in a money-laundering case.
“Modiji has been in power as Gujarat’s chief minister and then as prime minister for a total of 21 years. Kejriwal has been in power for eight years. Who has done more work for the people? Despite having complete power, he has not done the kind of work I have done in the face of so many hurdles,” Kejriwal claimed.
He accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of wanting to stop the “good work” being done by the Delhi government.
“I construct schools and hospitals, Modiji says he won’t let it happen. He stopped free yoga classes in Delhi, free medical tests in the national capital,” Kejriwal alleged, adding that the country was grappling with unemployment and inflation.
The AAP supremo also recalled how Ramlila Maidan played a key role in the country’s politics 12 years ago. “This is a sacred platform. Twelve years ago, a movement against corruption became successful from this very Ramlila Maidan. Similarly, the movement to save democracy and Constitution that is beginning from this stage today will also be successful,” he claimed.
Kejriwal’s Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann attacked the BJP, by calling it the ‘Bharatiya Jugaad Party’ that knows how to topple governments.
In his address, Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal stressed on opposition unity to fight the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. “They talk about double-engine governments but actually it is a double-barrel government with one barrel being CBI and the other ED,” he claimed.