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

Posted on February 17, 2014 in Featured, Politics at Play

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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