Kejriwal govt won`t table Jan Lokpal Bill today, Congress protests outside Delhi Assembly
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014, 15:50
  
Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: In a dramatic turnaround, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government will not be tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly, reports said on Thursday.

The report said that the AAP government will distribute the copies of the bill to all the lawmakers before tabling it.

Earlier, reports had said that the Delhi government will table the controversial Jan Lokpal Bill in the state Assembly today.

Meanwhile, the Congress leaders today protested against the AAP Government outside Delhi Assembly.

The Chief Minister, who looks prepared for a showdown with the Centre, had earlier warned that he "will go to any extent" to get the bill passed in the Assembly.

The Law Ministry on Wednesday clarified that the Delhi government needs prior consent of the Centre before it can table the Bill and both Opposition BJP and Congress insisting on "constitutional provisions only" for their support. Earlier, reports had said that the Delhi government will table the controversial Jan Lokpal Bill in the state Assembly today.

Meanwhile, the Congress leaders today protested against the AAP Government outside Delhi Assembly.

The Law Ministry on Wednesday clarified that the Delhi government needs prior consent of the Centre before it can table the Bill and both Opposition BJP and Congress insisting on "constitutional provisions only" for their support.

Kejriwal had recently threatened to quit if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed. He had said, "If the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed then there is no reason I should be the Chief Minister. I am ready to sacrifice the chair of Chief Minister to free the country from corruption."

On Wednesday evening, the Law Ministry conveyed its opinion, sought by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung on the Bill, that the state needs the Centre's approval. That is of no consequence to the AAP government since it has already announced that legal luminaries they consulted believe there is no such bar.

With Lok Sabha polls approaching, AAP is attempting to convert this battle between the Centre and State into a fight for full statehood, a promise made in its manifesto during the Assembly polls.

Meanwhile, the Kejriwal government has stuck to its gun and is insisting on holding the final day of the Assembly session in an "open ground". However, no venue has been specified as yet. The Vidhan Sabha Secretariat's agenda for the session has further added to the confusion with the notice to MLAs mentioning only Thursday and Friday as session dates, perhaps leaving to House to decide if a sitting needs to be held on Saturday.

There is no mention of Sunday, February 16, which is when the government wanted to hold the session in an open venue outside the Vidhan Sabha premises with the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium not being available.

The cabinet on Wednesday took up the issue of holding the special session in an open stadium following the LG's reply to the CM's letter. In his response, the LG had asked the CM to reconsider the February 3 decision of the cabinet to hold the session in an open stadium citing security concerns raised by Delhi Police.

The cabinet reconsidered and decided to reiterate its earlier decision to the LG, saying it was of the unanimous opinion that such a crucial anti-corruption legislation needs to be taken to the people directly and democracy must not be confined within four walls.

Meanwhile, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief Arvinder Singh said that his party's support to AAP was on and it will continue to give it "outside support" till it fulfills its manifesto promises. "As far as Jan Lokpal goes, we are clear that it has to be in keeping with the constitutional provisions," he added. BJP's Dr Harsh Vardhan too is sticking to the constitutional position.


First Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014, 04:55


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