Zee News Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appears to be on his way out after MLA Rambeer Shokeen declared that he will pull the plug on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Monday.
Independent MLA from Mundka, Shokeen, would be meeting Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to formally withdraw support from the AAP government. He has accused the AAP government of going back on the promises made to the people.
If Shokeen withdraws support, the AAP government`s strength in the 70-member assembly would drop to 35, one short of a majority.
The crisis comes at a time when the AAP government is already under pressure over the Jan Lokpal Bill. The Congress,which is supporting it from outside, has declared that it will not support the “unconstitutional” move to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill without the Centre`s nod.
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But Kejriwal is defiant and has threatened to quit if the Jan Lokpal Bill and Swaraj Bill are not passed by the Delhi assembly.
Kejirwal wants the Delhi Assembly to clear the Jan Lokpal and the Swaraj Bill- to be tabled in the Assembly on February 15 and 16, respectively. He has threatened to resign is the bills are not passed.
While the Jan Lokpal Bill seeks life term as maximum punishment for government servants – including the chief minister - found guilty of corruption, the Swaraj bill intends to decentralise power by segregating the city into 2,700 mohalla sabhas.
Both the bills are inspired by Kejriwal`s book `Swaraj` which questions the existing democratic framework in the country. The book itself is mired in controversy after a primary school teacher from Noida , who has written a similar book, accused the AAP chief of plagiarism.
The Congress is clear that it will not support the bill. Reports indicated that the party, which is supporting the AAP government from outside, may chose to abstain from voting.
“Congress has always maintained that it will support the Jan Lokpal Bill. Our only request to the AAP government is to follow the rules and respect the Constitution. The CM is not above the Constitution,” Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said.
However, the AAP asserted that Central government`s prior clearance was not required for the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill. As per their view, the Constitution provides the Delhi government to pass any law except for the law related to police, law and order and land.
Also Read: Jan Lokpal row: Arvind Kejriwal threatens to resign, Congress calls it `shrewd` tactic
Kejriwal meets `Guru` Anna Hazare
With the going getting tough on the Jan Lokpal Bill, Arvind Kejriwal met the original Jan Lokpal Bill crusader Anna Hazare and sought his support on the issue. Hazare has supported the Delhi Chief Minister on his threat to resign.
However, Kiran Bedi, who was part of the Lokpal agitation, hit out at Kejriwal for threatening to resign if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed in the Assembly by questioning whether the anti-graft legislation was drafted just to cause a “major confrontation while blaming others”.
“I wonder if the Delhi Lokayukta bill is drafted to be passed? Or was it to cause major confrontation to walk away while blaming many others!” Bedi tweeted late Sunday evening.
She also claimed that Kejriwal was seeking Anna Hazare’s support now, but did not even remember the Gandhian during his swearing-in as Chief Minister.
“At swearing-in as CM Delhi, AK completely forgot Anna! There was no expression of gratitude even! Now Anna’s support being sought yet again!!” she tweeted.
Kejriwal had on Saturday threatened "to go to any extent" over the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Explaining his government`s stand on the bill, the Chief Minister said, "They said the Union government`s clearance is needed. Then why are we elected? We are asking for removal of corruption, they are saying no to it. The law is for the people and not vice versa."
(With agency inputs)