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CM-designate Arvind Kejriwal says Centre can't muzzle AAP's janlokpal bill promise in Delhi

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 25, 2013
First Published: 23:50 IST(25/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:57 IST(26/12/2013)

Chief minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday questioned the Centre’s directive that required the Delhi government to seek its nod before introducing any bill in the assembly. It could pose hurdles in fulfilling his key election promise of passing the janlokpal bill within 15 days of forming the governnment.

He equated the 2002 Union home ministry communique with the British rule, saying this reminded him of the days when the country was being ruled by foreigners and every clearance for governance was sought from London.

Read: Kejriwal to take oath as Delhi's CM on December 28, floor test by Jan 3

Reiterating his promise of holding a special session to pass the janlokpal bill for creating an effective anti-graft mechanism, Kejriwal refused to divulge the yet-to-be-formed AAP government’s strategy on how the hurdle would be crossed. He indicated the assembly would assert its power. 

“The Constitution provides powers to the Delhi assembly to pass bills on issues within its jurisdiction and it is only in matters that can affect other states or at variance with the constitution where the centre can step in,” Kejriwal said.

Read: Ready for re-poll if needed: Kejriwal

The 45-year-old activist-turned-politician said his government would not sit quiet on rules that were wrong and infringed upon the state’s powers.

Read: Kejriwal promises free water, to invite Anna for swearing-in

“In 2002, the Transaction of Business Rules for the assembly were amended to make it mandatory for the state government to take the Centre’s permission before introducing any bill, which is wrong,” he said.

“Such things used to happen under the British rule…. How can it continue now? Executive orders cannot bypass the Constitution,” he remarked.

Read: Kejriwal a lesson to India’s political class

Kejriwal said his government would “overcome every hurdle”. Former law minister and lawyer Shanti Bhushan said there was no requirement for the Delhi government to seek prior approval of the Centre. “The 69th amendment in the Constitution provides powers to the Delhi government to legislate under Article 239A. The bill only needs to be sent for the Presidential assent finally.”

Read: Kejriwal rejects VIP culture, says no to bungalow

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