KOLKATA: In a boost for AAP in its tussle with the Centre over the control of administrative services in Delhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the Trinamool Congress would oppose the ordinance brought by the NDA government and urged Opposition parties to come together.
Banerjee made the remarks while addressing a joint press conference with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann after their meeting in Kolkata. Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha and Delhi Education Minister Atishi were also present.
“TMC will oppose the ordinance brought by Centre against Delhi government. This government has become a government ‘of the agency, by the agency and for the agency’. We fear the Central govt might change the Constitution, they might change the name of the country…They don’t even respect the Supreme Court verdicts,” Banerjee said.
Kejriwal thanked the TMC supremo for her support in AAP’s fight aganst the ordinance, which reverses the effect of Supreme Court verdict that gave the Delhi government power over administrative services in the national capital. “I thank Didi (Mamata Banerjee) for assuring that she will support us in the Rajya Sabha. I believe if this Bill is stopped in Rajya Sabha, then this will be a semi-final for 2024 (Lok Sabha elections),” the Delhi CM said. Hitting out at the BJP, Kejriwal said the government was using Governors to “disturb” Opposition-ruled states. He also accused the saffron party of buying MLAs and using agencies like CBI, ED to try and break Opposition governments.
The meeting comes at a time when Banerjee has been holding talks with several Opposition leaders to form an alliance of non-BJP parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Before departing for Delhi, Kejriwal said he would be meeting Opposition leaders of various political parties to ensure that when a bill is tabled to replace the ordinance, is not passed in the Rajya Sabha. The Central ordinance has to be ratified by Parliament within six months.
Kejriwal will also meet former Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on Wednesday and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on May 25. The Delhi chief Minister on Tuesday embarked on a nationwide tour to seek support from the Opposition parties against the ordinance brought by the Central Government on the transfers and postings of bureaucrats in the national capital. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor accused the Centre of “taking away the rights” of the people of Delhi and said that the ordinance “should not” be allowed to pass in Rajya Sabha. Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal said, “From today, I am leaving on a tour across the country, for the rights of the people of Delhi.
The ordinance was brought to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 and it circumvents the Supreme Court judgement in the Centre vs Delhi case. Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is also putting in efforts to rally the opposition against the Centre ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Nitish Kumar, in this regard, met Arvind Kejriwal in the national capital and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi.
Last week, Kejriwal met Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and the JD(U) leader extended “complete support” to him in the AAP’s ongoing face-off with the Centre over the control of administrative services. Moreover, AAP has also announced plans for a ‘maha rally’ on June 11 against the Centre’s “black ordinance”. Days after the Supreme Court ruled that Delhi government had executive power over “services”, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Centre last week brought an ordinance making the Lieutenant Governor the final arbiter in the matter.
A ‘National Capital Service Authority’ has been established through an ordinance to make recommendations to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor regarding matters concerning transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters. The body will comprise of the Delhi Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and Home Secretary of Delhi government. “Provided also that in case of difference of opinion, the decision of the Lieutenant Governor shall be final,” the order read.(Bureau Report with Media Inputs).