There was much confusion over introduction of the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill-2014 in the Delhi Assembly on Friday and though at one point it appeared that it had been “introduced” just before an adjournment, Speaker M.S. Dhir later called for a vote on it in which the introduction was defeated.
After repeated demands and disruptions from the BJP and the Congress legislators, the Speaker decided to get a sense of the House on whether or not the proposed Bill could be introduced in the light of a written “message” of the Lieutenant-Governor over its constitutional status.
And when the introduction of the Bill was put to vote in the 70-member House, 42 legislators opposed it forcing the treasury benches to withdraw the tabling and seek a discussion on it.
Earlier, pandemonium prevailed in the Assembly as members across party lines kept referring to the constitutional validity of the Bill even as the government tried to table it. The members repeatedly demanded that the Speaker inform the House about the written communication from the L-G.
There were loud protests from the Congress and BJP members as the Speaker asked Chief Minister to table the Jan Lokpal Bill after reading out the letter of L-G. While some Congress MLAs including Mohammad Asif and Hasan Ahmed even reached up to the Speaker’s chair to protest, former Ministers Arvinder Singh and Haroon Yusuf also trooped into the well and vociferously protested the move.
The House was immediately adjourned by the Speaker. Confusion prevailed during the break as the ministers claimed before TV news channels present in the hall that the Bill has been introduced in the House.
The matter was clarified only after the Speaker, on insistence from the BJP and Congress, decided to take a sense of the House through voice vote after the session reconvened.
As the introduction was defeated, the Speaker clarified that the Bill has not been introduced.
Thereafter, while speaking as Leader of the House, Mr. Kejriwal made a passionate speech attacking both the Congress and the BJP for not allowing the Jan Lokpall Bill to be tabled. “Many of us have for the first time fought elections and come here. We do not have experience. We have seen so many legislators who have been here for 15-20 years and we thought we will learn from our seniors. We agree we don’t know the rules but watching proceedings over the last two days has made me feel bad. Especially, yesterday when legislators broke microphones and tore papers. This appears to be our last session. I will consider myself fortunate if I have to sacrifice the Chief Minister's post 1,000 times and my life to eradicate corruption,” he said in a brief speech in the Assembly.
“There has been match-fixing inside the House between Congress and BJP. They have been working together to loot the people of Delhi. We had said that our fight will be from the streets to the House. Today, we brought this revolution to the House. Whether our government is here or not, we are here to rid the country of corruption,” he added.