Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said the Centre is shaking hands with Pakistan and the ISI but not with Delhi government.
The BJP-led Centre and the AAP government in Delhi had been at loggerheads over several issues of governance and jurisdiction due to the national Capital’s unique constitutional status of a semi-state.
“You can shake hand with ISI, Nawaz Sharif then what is the problem in making Delhi government your friend,” the Delhi CM said in his reply to the discussion on the Delhi Budget, which was passed by the Assembly.
He, however, assured the Opposition BJP MLAs that he will follow ‘cooperative federalism’ in the right spirit and sought their help in getting the bills pending Centre’s approval passed.
“I want to put a proposal before the House. I want to work with the opposition as they are an integral part of the assembly. I would request the opposition to tell the mistakes of government and we will correct it. In return, they must get the bills cleared, which are pending with the central government. Let’s divide work,” said Kejriwal in his speech.
Among the several bills that are pending Centre’s approval are the AAP government’s flagship Janlokpal bill and the MLA’s salary bill.
Kejriwal said if there were technical issues with the bills then the Centre should return them to the Delhi government instead of ‘sitting on them’. “Whatever work you want from Delhi government, we will get it done but you get our work done by central government. The GNCTD Act provides that we could take post-facto approval from the Centre after passing the bill in the assembly. In some cases, all rules were followed but still they are pending with them. You please get these bills cleared from them,” Kejriwal told Vijender Gupta, the leader of the Opposition.
Earlier, Gupta had asked Kejriwal to follow the Constitution as prior approval of Union government was not taken before passing the bills in the assembly.
Kejriwal also targeted the Centre for making the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government ‘dysfunctional’. “We had ended corruption in Delhi during our 49-day rule because ACB was with us. Currently, ACB is lying defunct. You please ask them to give us ACB back. Ask DDA to give us land and central government to give us funds for the municipal corporations,” he said, addressing the opposition bench.
Kejriwal hailed finance minister Manish Sisodia for presenting a people-friendly budget. Kejriwal said the West is praising AAP government’s initiatives such as Mohalla clinic and odd-even scheme. “Hamen karna bhi aata hai, aur dharna bhi (we know both to govern and protest),” Kejriwal said.