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Arvind Kejriwal Has Stood Up To His Words, But Was His Decision To Resign Justifiable?

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By Aparna Wanchoo:

AAP has, since its inception, maintained itself as a bold, fearless, upfront and opinionated party as they do not advocate diplomacy. But this has earned them obvious flak from both the opposition parties in the recent past. And the latest unprecedented resignation of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal has put the party’s dependability in question, but they declare themselves to be right in their decision. Well, they were resentful in joining hands with Congress in the first place, but did so to respect the will of the people. But what did that turn into? They rose to power, but for what? The support was absent when they needed it to prevent the failure of their foremost motive –  to pass the Jan Lokpal bill, which was stonewalled in the Legislative Assembly.

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The bill tabled in the Legislative Assembly on February 13th was blocked by the Congress and BJP MPs in a chaotic session at the Delhi assembly. The L-G Najeeb Jung had sent a letter to Speaker M S Dhir on Thursday, advising him against tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill “unless it is introduced with the recommendations of the Lt- Governor”. Immediately after the Lt Governor’s letter to Dhir, sources in the AAP government said they will not “revisit” the decision to table the bill. “We are ready to extend the session. We are not here to save the government. We will table the bill tomorrow. If they allow then it is okay, otherwise I will resign,” Kejriwal said. In his letter to Dhir, Jung had indicated that tabling the bill without his concurrence will be unconstitutional, whereas Kejriwal had been maintaining that there was no need to obtain prior approval from the Centre or Lt Governor to table the bill. As politicians tried to shout him down in the parliament, he said: “We have carefully gone through the Constitution. Article 239AA of the Constitution does not say anywhere that the government needs prior approval for tabling bills in the assembly. The entire reference was to the Transaction of Business Rules (TBR) for the Delhi Assembly, 1993, prepared by the Union Home Ministry and sent to the Delhi government with the direction to implement them,” Mr. Kejriwal said. He referred to Section 26, which according to him clearly says that if a bill is tabled and passed by the assembly, an approval from the LG can be sought even after its passage. The ex CM referred to the lokayukta bill of Uttarakhand, which is closest to Delhi government’s Jan lokpal bill.

The question is simple, In spite of the Speaker allowing the initial introduction of the bill and subsequent debate over the same, why did both the opposition parties remain so adamant against it? Why did every single person barring the AAP leaders vote against the mere introduction of the bill? One could smell fish as Mr. Kejriwal had clarified that he would accept the defeat of the bill after it has been put to vote, but resign if it’s not let to be introduced in the first place. The political parties who have been pushed to the back foot ever since AAP rose to power could wish for nothing more than this debacle. And they certainly would not have overlooked their move of letting so happen. They naturally created impediments that deterred the tabling of the bill leading to the consequent resignation of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal.

Mr. Kejriwal has maintained his stance of not having any affection for the post of the Chief Minister, but towards working for the people and the state; but now he felt himself to be helplessly failing in doing the same because of lack of majority required to pass the bill. One cannot quite easily find a feasible solution to this utter political mess and the conundrum that Mr. Kejriwal has found himself surrounded with. And being the novice that he is to the political scenario, one can somewhat empathize with him on not being able to handle the overdose of chaos. “Is it unconstitutional to fight against corruption?” asked Kejriwal while addressing the Delhi Assembly. “I can even give my life for the country and people, CMship is no big deal,” Kejriwal said. Well, he at least stood by his words, if nothing else. What do you think?

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  1. Amrita Roy

    Well at least he stood by his word! Sure there were issues related to the 49 days his government was in power. Sure he doesn’t know how to deal with parliamentary anarchy. But he stood by what he has always preached. He is one of the very few people who walked the talk. If he hadn’t resigned after the vote against tabling the Lokpal Bill, both Congress and BJP would have called him opportunist. They would have definitely said that Kejriwal wants the power of the seat of the CM and hence isn’t resigning even after his pet agenda was rejected. Now that he has resigned, both these parties have resorted to declaring that he can’t govern. Either way he would be attacked. The only thing that is in his control is to stand by his word. And he did just that.

    1. aparnawanchoo

      Firstly, thanks for the opinion Amrita 🙂
      and yeah, you worded my exact thoughts. The same occurred just a couple months back, when he accepted the support of the Congress to frame the government. He was against it, but did so to respect his voters and supporters, as he went all the way and took the opinion poll and acceded to its results. But what did that yield him? flak from the BJP, the media and the people even, going on to say that he did not stand on his words. So yeah, there would always be people to pull him down, and hence he and his party are better off taking decisions that they feel right in their hearts.

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