Service ordinance brings Kejriwal, Didi closer

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee offers support to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal against central government’s services ordinance

| Updated: 24 May, 2023 1:30 am IST

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s effort to garner support against the central government’s ordinance, that took away the Delhi government’s right to transfer officials, met with another success with the support of West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

CM Kejriwal, who is also the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), met with Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, CM Banerjee, in Kolkata on Tuesday, May 24, to seek her support over the issue of the opposing service ordinance brought by the central government.

CM Kejriwal was accompanied by party leaders, including Punjab CM Bhagwant Maan, AAP MPs Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha and Delhi education minister Atishi.

Earlier, Bihar CM and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar and his deputy and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav also extended support to CM Kejriwal.

Meanwhile, CM Banerjee announced that TMC will oppose the ordinance in the Rajya Sabha. She also expressed her strong opposition to the Centre’s ordinance, asserting that it undermines the authority and autonomy of the Delhi government.

She called upon all opposition parties to unite in the Rajya Sabha to defeat this ordinance, emphasising the opportunity it presents to thwart the BJP ahead of the 2024 elections.

“We all can come together and defeat the BJP in the Rajya Sabha regarding this ordinance. This will be a good opportunity to defeat the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” CM Banerjee said.

“The Trinamool Congress has decided that it will oppose this ordinance in the Rajya Sabha if it happens to be introduced over there as a Bill. We are also willing to approach the Supreme Court to plead for justice in this case,” she added.

Thanking CM Banerjee for her support, CM Kejriwal said, “Didi is like my elder sister. Today I have travelled here to Kolkata to ask for her support in opposing the unconstitutional ordinance that was promulgated by the Centre last week.”

“When our government was formed in Delhi for the first time in 2015, the Centre passed a simple notification and snatched away the powers that the Constitution had given to the state government,” CM Kejriwal recalled.

“After that, we did not have the powers to conduct the transfer posting of any government officer or suspend any corrupt officer. For eight years, we fought against this injustice and approached the Supreme Court. Finally, now, when the court ruled in our favour and the people of Delhi won the battle, the Centre promulgated an ordinance and overturned the court order,” he added.

The Delhi CM highlighted that the Centre waited for the court to go on vacation before promulgating the ordinance because it was aware that this order is illegal, unconstitutional and against the people of Delhi.

“The Central Government was fully aware that if it brought in the ordinance before the court vacation and if the Delhi Government challenged it, it would not last in court for even five minutes as it is completely unconstitutional,” Kejriwal added.

CM Kejriwal further said that what the Centre has done in Delhi is completely against the mandate of the people. He further said that by promulgating an ordinance, they have basically told the country that now they are not willing to follow the order of the Supreme Court of India.

Meanwhile, Punjab CM Mann raised concerns over the threats posed to the country’s constitution by the actions of these political parties. He questioned the course of action political parties would take if the very existence of the nation was compromised.

“The relationship between Punjab and West Bengal has historically been a very strong one. Even during the country’s freedom struggle, Shahid-e-Azam Bhagat Singh would often come from Lahore to Kolkata to fight against British rule. Even now, the relationship between the two states is very strong and several of our Punjabi brothers and sisters live and work over here in West Bengal, particularly in the transport sector,” he said.

He further highlighted how the Centre has been bossing over states, particularly those that are run by opposition parties.

“Despite having 91 out of 117 MLAs in Punjab, to have a Budget session of our legislative assembly, I was forced to take the matter to the Supreme Court. It was only after the SC rapped the Governor and said that he had no power to stop a Budget session from taking place, was allowed to happen. If this is how this country is to be run, then what is the point of holding elections? The 30 or so odd Governors and the Prime Minister can run the entire country. There is no point in electing any state government then,” he said.

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