The Delhi Assembly on Friday started on a fiery note with the opposition demanding that the letter sent by the Lt. Governor be read out before the house. They said they would support the jan lokpal Bill only if the letter stated that the bill can be tabled.
The BJP said if the bill was tabled as per the constitution, they would support it. Following the uproar, the Speaker read out the letter sent by the Lt Governor, which stated the bill should not be tabled as it did not have the consent of the central government.
Friday’s session was probably the first time that AAP MLAs appeared aggressive. They criticised the opposition for not supporting a bill that is aimed at fighting corruption.
“House proceedings will be conducted through proper procedure. Please tell the House whether or not the LG has sent any communication to you. It should be put before the House,” said BJP leader Harsh Vardhan. He was joined by Congress MLAs Arvinder Singh and Haroon Yusuf among others.
When the chief minister tried to introduce the bill, the opposition demanded voting to find out who all supported tabling of the bill. Trouble broke out immediately as BJP and Congress members opposed the chief minister’s move and shouted slogans, saying the government cannot violate the Constitution. They said the Bill should not be introduced in the House.
Angry MLAs took to the well which forced Speaker M S Dhir to call for a voting. As many as 27 MLAs favoured introduction of the Bill, including expelled AAP MLA Vinod Kumar Binny. Forty-two members, including BJP and Congress MLAs, opposed tabling of the bill in the 70-member House .
“The Speaker is not supposed to vote. The Bill is not being introduced,” the Speaker said soon after voting was over.
The Congress supported the finance bill, which was tabled in the Delhi assembly on Friday to foot the power subsidy announced by the AAP government last month to ensure the government did not fall.
Had the Congress not supported the finance bill, it would have led to the fall of the AAP government, but little did they know that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal would resign over the janlokpal bill not being tabled.
Reacting to Kejriwal’s remarks about the Congress and BJP being in connivance as the Delhi government ordered filing of an FIR against RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, Harsh Vardhan said Kejriwal has “consistently lied” trying to mislead the people.
“He should stop telling lies and making such baseless allegations,” Harshvardhan said, adding that Kejriwal should resort to transparent politics.
HT asks the following questions to understand the political impact of Kejriwal's decision to quit as Delhi CM.