Centre's interference weakening states: Kejriwal

In the midst of his government's turf war with the Centre, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday demanded complete decentralisation to strengthen India's federalism and alleged Modi dispensation was interfering in functioning of states as well as "undermining" the judiciary.

Centre's interference weakening states: Kejriwal

New Delhi: In the midst of his government's turf war with the Centre, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday demanded complete decentralisation to strengthen India's federalism and alleged Modi dispensation was interfering in functioning of states as well as "undermining" the judiciary.

Addressing a Chief Ministers' conclave organised by his government on 'cooperative federalism', Kejriwal accused the NDA regime of doing politics in allocation of funds and "arm-twisting" the states by using agencies like CBI which he said was weakening the Centre-State relations.

The Delhi Chief Minister alleged that Lt Governor Najeeb Jung was acting like "an agent" of the Centre by declaring 30 AAP government orders "null and void" which he said was unprecedented in the country's history.

Kejriwal, in presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, contended that only judiciary has the authority to declare the government orders illegal if they go against the Constitution and wondered what was the need of courts in such a scenario.

"Centre and the LG are not only impinging on powers of the state governments. They are also taking away the powers of the judiciary. They are saying we will declare orders null and void and not the judiciary. It seems we do not need judges in Delhi any more," he said.

The Delhi Government had invited all the Chief Ministers including those from BJP and Congress ruled states to the conference. But only Banerjee and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar attended it while Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Mizoram's Lal Thanhawlal and Puducherry's N Rangaswamy sent letters of support.

"All of you are aware about the level of interference by the BJP-led Centre which is not only limited to Delhi as you can see it happening in states like West Bengal. In Constitution, separation of powers is clear and going against it is not right. Complete de-centralisation is a must. States will have to be given more power, rising above party politics," said Kejriwal.

Pitching for supremacy of elected governments, he also demanded a say for the state governments in appointments of Governors and Lt Governors as per recommendation of the Sarkaria Commission. The states can send a panel of three names to the Centre which can pick one from them."

Kejriwal accused the Centre of using "three instruments" to "interfere" in functioning of state governments -- Lt Governors or governors, central investigating agencies like CBI and finances.

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