Kejriwal thanks ex-PM Manmohan, Cong chief for supporting Delhi services bill

Kejriwal also said that Singh's "unflinching commitment towards the principles of our Constitution will be remembered for decades" and deeply inspire the coming generation of parliamentarians.

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to Congress stalwart and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thanking him for his “sheer presence” in Rajya Sabha despite his poor health to vote against the Delhi services bill.

He also wrote to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and MP Rahul Gandhi expressing his gratitude “on behalf of the two crore people of Delhi” for voting against the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

Parliament on Monday passed the bill that gives the central government control over bureaucrats in the Delhi government with the Rajya Sabha approving it with 131 votes in favour and 102 against.

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“I write to you expressing gratitude on behalf of the 2 crore people of Delhi for your party’s support in rejecting and voting against the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill, 2023,” the AAP national convener said in his letter.

The Aam Aadmi Party and Congress are part of the opposition alliance INDIA.

While thanking the former prime minister, Kejriwal said, “I would like to place on record the heartfelt appreciation that the people of Delhi have for you for championing the rights on the floor of the Rajya Sabha, despite your deteriorating health.

“Your presence by our side, despite the constraints imposed by your age and ailing health, conveyed a story of calm, grace and conviction to preserve India’s democracy and federal structure against all odds,” he wrote.

Kejriwal also said that Singh’s “unflinching commitment towards the principles of our Constitution will be remembered for decades” and deeply inspire the coming generation of parliamentarians.

“Your sheer presence in the Rajya Sabha also sent a loud and clear message to all those forces working to weaken Indian democracy that any such attempts will be met with fierce resistance by political leaders cutting across age and party lines,” Kejriwal said.

“As we enter a new phase in the struggle for securing the rights of Delhi’s citizens”, Kejriwal said in the letter, “we look forward to your continued support and guidance in the fight against forces that are undermining the Constitution.”

Soon after Rajya Sabha passed the Bill, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said it was a “black day” for India’s democracy. He had accused the BJP-ruled Centre of trying to “usurp” power through the backdoor. He also said it was an “insult” to the right to vote of the people of Delhi.

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