Extending support to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal against the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on May 23 urged all Opposition parties to oppose the ordinance in the Rajya Sabha.
With Mr. Kejriwal by her side, Ms. Banerjee said that the ordinance has provided all the Opposition parties a “big opportunity” to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The Trinamool Congress chairperson said that if the Opposition can stall the ordinance it will give a strong message to the people.“ From our party we have decided to oppose the ordinance in Rajya Sabha,” she said.
Emphasising that Delhi government employees are under the Delhi government, Ms. Banerjee said that such ordinances are dangerous for the country. “ We are afraid that they will change the name of the country and keep it on the name of their party. We are afraid that they will change the Constitution,” the West Bengal Chief Minister said addressing a press conference with Mr. Kejriwal and other leaders of Aam Aadmi Party including Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann by her side.
Mr. Kejriwal said that the Supreme Court order that Delhi government can make laws and administer civil services in the national capital came after a fight for eight long years and the BJP government overturned it in eight days.
“They have made a joke of democracy,” he said. The AAP national convenor said, adding that there were three ways by which the BJP was trying to disturb the elected government of the Opposition parties ; either by buying MLAs, or using central investigating agencies and third was by using Governors and ordinance.
“This is not my fight alone. It is the fight of 140 crore people. It is the fight against the arrogance of the BJP that if people do not vote for BJP they will not let the Opposition government work,” he said. The Delhi Chief Minister said that in several states like West Bengal and Punjab, Governors were trying to interfere with the functioning of the State governments.
Mr. Kejriwal said that the police misbehaved with Delhi’s former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia while producing him before a court in Delhi. “ This is not the way to treat a Deputy Chief Minister. He is an accused not a convict,” the Delhi Chief Minister said. The CBI had earlier this year arrested Mr. Sisodia in a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of Delhi. Ms. Banerjee also added that those who came to hand over summons to Abhishek Banerjeee also came at 2.30 am and spoke in a threatening tone.
Before meeting the West Bengal Chief Minister, the Delhi Chief Minister had met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna on the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 brought by the Union government on May 19. A Constitution Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on May 11 held that the Delhi government can make laws and administer civil services in the national capital. Prior to this meeting, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Janata Dal ( Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy had met Ms. Banerjee at the State Secretariat and discussed the issue of Opposition unity for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.