‘If Modi can’t ensure my security, he should quit’: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on attacks
While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that heads the government in Delhi, had been demanding control over the Delhi Police, this was the first time a resolution was passed for the same in the Delhi Assembly. The Delhi Police currently reports to the Union home ministry through the lieutenant-governor.
The Delhi Assembly on Monday passed a resolution asking the Union government to amend the Constitution to bring Delhi Police under the control of the state government of Delhi and to make the Capital’s police “accountable” to the state legislature. Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lieutenant-governor (L-G) Anil Baijal for “failing to ensure the security of an elected CM”.
While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been demanding control over the Delhi Police, this was the first time a resolution was passed for the same in the House, a government spokesperson said.
“The Union government must take immediate steps, in larger public interest, to bring the police in Delhi under the control of the elected government of NCT of Delhi and to make it accountable to the Legislative Assembly as in the case with any other state, by way of amending the Constitution and relevant laws,” read the resolution passed on the first day of the special assembly session called by the AAP government to discuss the “string of attacks” on chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, among other issues.
“In the meantime, pending such amendments, necessary steps be initiated by the government of India to devolve certain powers to the elected government so that it is in a position to have control over Delhi Police in implementing its decisions...” the resolution read.
Monday’s resolution was proposed by Delhi home minister Satyendar Jain, who presented numbers he said were from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on the “deteriorating” law-and-order situation in the national capital. Delhi Police, however, said the figures quoted by Jain were “incorrect”.
The Delhi Police currently reports to the Union home ministry through the lieutenant-governor.
The one-day session was later extended for another day. Senior government officials said the issue of the alleged “deletion” of names of voters from electoral rolls would be taken up for discussion on Tuesday.
‘PM Can’t protect CM’
Speaking towards the end of the nearly five-hour-long debate, Kejriwal targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lieutenant-governor (L-G) Anil Baijal for “failing to ensure the security of an elected CM”.
“If PM Narendra Modi cannot ensure security of an elected CM, he should resign. Or else, people will think that PM Modi has attacked Delhi’s residents and he is taking revenge from the people of Delhi,” said Kejriwal, adding that he has “no grudges against 95% of Delhi Police personnel” and did not approve of demands to exclude them from the state government’s compensation scheme.
The AAP chief said the “string of attacks on him were planned by the BJP because they cannot see a common man like him as chief minister of Delhi”.
“L-G has time for small-time BJP leaders but he doesn’t want to meet our ministers,” Kejriwal said.
Calling the special session a waste of taxpayers’ money, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the AAP claims were a diversionary tactic to deflect attention from real issues. “The CM should tell people why taxpayers’ money is being wasted on the special sessions and not on discussing issues like pollution, water crisis and poor condition of health, etc,” said Ravindra Gupta, general secretary, Delhi BJP.
The L-G’s office, however, did not respond to queries despite repeated attempts.
The Delhi Police, meanwhile, alleged that Jain had quoted “incorrect” figures. “As regards the alleged incident of attack on the Hon’ble CM, prompt legal action was taken by police and further investigation of the case is being conducted professionally and expeditiously as per law,” said Delhi police spokesperson, Madhur Verma. “It is incorrect to state that National Capital Territory of Delhi is the national crime capital as the heinous crime registered in NCT of Delhi has declined from the year 2016 to 2017,” Verma added.