Attacking Centre, AAP MLAs set the tone for assembly session
Setting the tone for the 'emergency' session of Delhi assembly, AAP MLAs on Sunday mounted attack on the Centre over its notification, alleging it was a "violation" of the federal structure, and hinted that the House may pass a resolution on the issue.
The party legislatures went into a huddle with the top leadership in this regard at chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence in Delhi ahead of the two-day long 'emergency' session of Delhi assembly starting Tuesday and criticised the "infringement" on their rights.
AAP MLAs vowed that they won't accept any attempt to run an elected government through the "back door" using the Lt Governor.
Although the MLAs refused to come on record on whether the party would move a resolution condemning the Centre's move, sources indicated such a step was likely to be taken.
The party has also kept the legal route open as confirmed by MLA Alka Lamba, who said, "If the assembly decides to go to court we would go to the court". "You can't run an elected government through the back door using the LG," she added.
Terming assembly as the "temple of democracy", AAP's Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri alleged, "BJP government is trying to infringe on that right and it is a violation of the sanctity of federal structure by design."
In the meeting that lasted for around an hour, the MLAs demanded that they be given the chance to speak individually on the MHA notification that gives absolute powers to the LG in appointment of bureaucrats and issues of police and public order.
"The Constitution does not give any power to transfer or appoint even a clerk to the Centre so they had to take the route of issuing a notification. If the CM does not have the right to appoint or suspend, then how is an elected Government of Delhi supposed to fight corrupt officials?" Chandni Chowk MLA Lamba asked.
In the notification issued on Friday, the Centre gave absolute powers to the LG in appointment of bureaucrats while also clarifying that he need not "consult" the chief minister on subjects like police and public order.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau of Delhi government has also been barred from registering any case against officers and political functionaries of the central government.
According to Shastri, the party also discussed the ways and means to project its achievements in the first 100 days of the government to the people.
Kejriwal and his cabinet will hold a public meeting at the Central Park in central Delhi's Connaught Place in this regard.
MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, who along with Lamba addressed reporters after the meeting, said that the Centre was "shadow-boxing" going against the principles of democracy.
"According to the constitution, the LG can interfere in matters of land, public order and police. But the encroachment on the rights of the elected legislature is a serious infringement. The central government is shadow-boxing going against the basic principles of democracy," MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
"The MLAs want the session to be completely open. People should know how the BJP is conspiring to weaken the AAP government and take the reign in their hands by issuing such a notification. They are even talking of weakening the ACB by putting the body under LG. We also want a debate on the full statehood issue," Lamba said.