“Appeal To BJP MPs”: Raghav Chadha’s “Mahabharat” Pitch On Ordinance

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Congress backing under its belt, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party today appealed to all parties to stand with them and oppose the Centre on a bill regarding Delhi bureaucrats that is expected to come up in the monsoon session of parliament. Asked if it was precipitate of them to pressurize Congress on spelling out its stand, AAP’s Raghav Chadha questioned why should any party with national interest in mind, should hang back on opposing what is clearly an anti-national bill.

Asked about the response from Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, he said he can only appeal to them to oppose the bill in parliament.

“It will go down in history who supports it and who opposes it. Through your channel, I’d like to appeal to every member of parliament, of the BJP also, that this bill is against democracy, it is violative of India’s constitution, of India’s federal structure – oppose it when it comes and support us,” Mr Chadha told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

In this context, he cited the story in Mahabharat when Yudhisthir, the eldest Pandava brother, just before the great battle, appealed to anyone from the Kaurava army to join him if they felt he had truth on his side.

The Centre’s recent ordinance to bring Delhi bureaucrats under its control is expected to be replaced by a law passed by parliament in the monsoon session. Mr Kejriwal has been canvassing support to block it in Rajya Sabha. Most opposition parties have backed him. Today, the Congress joined the group.

AAP has been contending that the bill is an experiment of the BJP-led Central government that can be replicated in any state tomorrow.

The Ordinance or executive order passed in May overrode a Supreme Court order that said Delhi’s administrative control belongs to its elected government.

It created a National Capital Civil Services Authority which is tasked with postings and transfers of bureaucrats serving in Delhi. The Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary and the Principal Home Secretary will be members who can vote on issues. The final arbiter is the Lieutenant Governor.

The judgment came after an eight-year tussle between the Centre and the Arvind Kejriwal government, following the Centre’s decision to place the Services department under the control of the Lieutenant Governor in 2015.

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