This Article is From Feb 10, 2014

Arvind Kejriwal asked not to discuss anti-graft Jan Lokpal Bill at stadium

Arvind Kejriwal asked not to discuss anti-graft Jan Lokpal Bill at stadium
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says he's going for broke in his effort to ensure the anti-graft Jan Lokpal Bill is introduced as a law this month. Speaking exclusively to NDTV, Mr Kejriwal warned, "The Delhi government will fall if there's no Jan Lokpal." (Watch)

The 45-year-old chief minister has been asked by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to rethink plans to discuss the bill with lawmakers in a special session starting Sunday at a large city stadium. The chief minister was allegedly requested to factor in "law and order and the sanctity of assembly proceedings."

Mr Kejriwal met this afternoon with the Lieutenant Governor, who sought legal opinion last week on whether the anti-graft bill, which births an ombudsman or "Lokpal", can be presented for the review of Delhi law-makers without the Centre's sign-off. No, say the union government's lawyers. Mr Kejriwal says he will not seek the sanction of the union government, who he has repeatedly described as a hotbed of venality.

The Lieutenant Governor's office said today that he is waiting for the union Law Ministry's advice on the controversy.  A statement clarified, "The Lieutenant Governor shares the same values as the Chief Minister to avoid corruption at all levels.  The question is the need to follow procedures as mandated under the Constitution of India." (Lieutenant Governor's clarification to Arvind Kejriwal on Jan Lokpal Bill: Full text)

Mr Kejriwal rejects the point of view that all bills considered by the Delhi Assembly must first be cleared by the Centre. He told NDTV that this process was not followed for 13 laws that were introduced by the Congress government in Delhi which was voted out in December.

The confrontation has ignited a new flash-point between Mr Kejriwal and the Congress, which props up his minority government and anchors the ruling coalition at the Centre. The two-month-old partnership has seen both sides accusing each other of political malpractices.