New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Days after the Centre brought an ordinance to negate the Supreme Court's judgement placing 'services' under the control of the city government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has extended support to the AAP in fight against "injustice".
Kejriwal made the remarks after Nitish Kumar, along with his deputy and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, met him at his residence here. The two were also accompanied by Janata Dal-U President Lallan Singh and RJD Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha.
Talking to media persons after the meeting, Kejriwal said: "I thank Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav for coming to us. The constitutional bench of the Supreme Court had given all the powers to the Delhi government by 5-0, which after eight days the Centre overturned by bringing an ordinance, and gave all the power to Lt Governor. It is against the Constitution."
"Today when Nitish Kumar ji came, we had a detailed discussion and he said we are in your support. Nitish Kumar Ji said that he is standing with the people of Delhi and will fight together against the Centre in this injustice."
The AAP leader also said that as Kumar is trying to bring all the opposition parties together and if all the opposition comes together in Rajya Sabha, then it will be a big victory.
"If the Centre brings this ordinance in the form of a bill and all non-BJP parties come together, then this bill can be defeated in the Rajya Sabha. If this happens, then it will be a semi-final and in 2024 a clear message will go that the BJP government is leaving," he added.
Kejriwal also said that he will go to meet the presidents of all opposition parties with this formal request.
"The day after tomorrow, there is a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata," he added.
Nitish Kumar criticised the Centre for bringing the ordinance after the Supreme Court verdict in the matter.
Taking a pot shot at the centre, the Janata Dal-United leader asked: "How can you take away an elected government's power. Look at the Constitution and see what is right. Whatever he (Kejriwal) is saying is right. We are completely with him."
The Bihar Chief Minister said that Kejriwal is doing good work in Delhi and it's surprising that his government is being stopped from doing it.
"It is reason why we are saying that all (opposition parties) in the country should come together," he said.
The JD-U leader assured that he will make efforts to bring opposition parties together in support of Kejriwal.
"We will hold further meetings. We are trying to ensure that the maximum number of opposition parties come together and a nationwide campaign is launched to demand that laws are followed and there is mutual harmony and brotherhood in the country," he said.
He also said that efforts are being made to create conflicts among people.
"Such things should be stopped," he said.
To a question, Nitish Kumar said he will also speak to the Congress leadership on the issue of the ordinance.
"I don't think anybody will oppose it (supporting Kejriwal). We will talk to them," he said.
Tejashwi Yadav alleged that the Centre is "continuously troubling and harassing" non-BJP governments in different states.
"We have come here to extend our support to Kejriwal. The BJP government is doing injustice to him," he said.
The RJD leader said that the way the Centre is harassing the Kejriwal government in Delhi and governments of other parties in different states is not justified at all.
"There is a clear threat to democracy. They want to change the Constitution and we will not let that happen at all," he said.
"The more they (Centre) trouble and harass Kejriwal, the stronger he will become. I can say with full confidence that the BJP will never return to power in Delhi," he added.
This is second meeting of Kejriwal with Nitish Kumar in just over a month. The JD-U leader had earlier met Kejriwal here on April 12 as part of his efforts to bring all opposition parties together ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The Central government has brought an ordinance to set up a permanent authority known as the National Capital Civil Service Authority, whose Chairperson will the Delhi Chief Minister, and comprise the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary, Home, to make recommendations to the Delhi LG regarding matters concerning transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters. However, in case of difference of opinion, the decision of the LG 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 LG 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 days after the court verdict.