Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday offered his “support” to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) against the Centre’s ordinance giving control of ‘services’ back to the Delhi lieutenant governor.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann met Pawar in Mumbai to seek NCP’s support against the Centre’s ordinance on control of administrative services in the National Capital.
Addressing a joint press conference with Kejriwal, Pawar assured his party’s support to AAP on the matter and said that talks will be held with other leaders to support the Delhi chief minister in his effort.
“There is a crisis in the country and it’s not an issue limited to Delhi. The NCP and the people of Maharashtra will support Kejriwal. We will also talk to other leaders to support Kejriwal. We must focus on bringing all non-BJP parties together,” the NCP chief said.
Addressing the press conference, Kejriwal said if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fails to pass the Bill in Rajya Sabha, it will imply that the “Narendra Modi Government will not be able to return to power at the Centre after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.”
“Sharad Pawar ji has assured us that NCP will support us in defeating the Bill in Rajya Sabha. We are trying to gather support from all non-BJP parties against the Centre’s ordinance on control of administrative services in the national capital,” Kejriwal said.
The Delhi chief minister thanked Pawar for his assurance to support the AAP in the Upper House and said that it is a fight for the “federal structure” of the country.
“I thank Sharad Pawar that he has assured his support that when the Bill comes to Rajya Sabha, they will not let the Bill pass in the House. If all non-BJP parties come together in Rajya Sabha, this Bill can be failed. This is not a fight for Delhi, it is a fight for the federal structure,” he said.
“If the BJP is not able to pass the Bill in Rajya Sabha, then one should consider it a semi-final of 2024. The message will be that the Modi government is not returning in 2024,” the Delhi Chief Minister added.
When asked if he will meet Congress leadership in connection with the matter to seek their support, Kejriwal said he will seek time from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi to meet them on the issue.
Yesterday, Kejriwal and Mann had met former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and secured the Shiv Sena-UBT’s support in his campaign for Delhi’ rights, and has earlier met other CM’s and political leaders around the country.
The Central government has brought an ordinance to set up a permanent authority known as the National Capital Civil Service Authority whose chairperson will be the Delhi chief minister along with chief secretary, Delhi; Principal Secretary (Home), Delhi to make recommendations to the Delhi L-G regarding matters concerning transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters. However, in case of difference of opinion, the decision of the L-G shall be final.
On May 11, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court ruled that it is ideal to hold that a democratically elected Delhi government should have control over its officers and the L-G is bound by the advice of the elected government in everything other than public order, police, and land. The top court stressed that if the government is not able to control and hold to account the officers posted in its service, then its responsibility towards the legislature as well as the public is diluted.
The ordinance came after the apex court gave the Delhi government control in services matters, including transfer and posting of officers.