The government of India should come to senses and withdraw the ordinance, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said today after a meeting with his Delhi and Punjab counterparts Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann in Hyderabad. The two Aam Aadmi Party leaders have been travelling across the country to shore up support to defeat the BJP-led Centre’s ordinance on officers’ postings and transfers, which effectively overrides a major Supreme Court win for the Aam Aadmi Party granting it control over the bureaucracy, when it is tabled in the Rajya Saha as a Bill.
KCR, as the Telangana Chief Minister is popularly known, drew a parallel with the Emergency, and advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the capacity of a fellow contemporary politician, to withdraw the executive order as it would do him no good.
“Modi government today has insulted the people of Delhi. We request you Mr Modi, withdraw the ordinance, This is not good. You are bringing back the Emergency. There was a similar situation in the country before the Emergency was imposed. The Allahabad High Court gave a judgement, and they brought an ordinance through a constitutional amendment. You are on a similar path. BJP leaders keep screaming about “dark days of Emergency”, what is this, then? Is this ‘acche din‘? It’s worse than Emergency,” KCR said, the two AAP chief ministers seated on either side.
The Bharat Rashtra Samithi chief said the PM Modi-led government was not allowing a popularly elected government to function.
“You are not able to even honour the Supreme Court judgement. Not honouring a larger bench Supreme Court order means your journey is towards Emergency,” he said.
KCR then took a shot at the PM, calling him “maafi ka saudagar (merchant of apology)”, and requesting him to take back the ordinance, like he took back the three farm bills, and the land acquisition law.
“We demand the Prime Minister to withdraw the ordinance yourself or else we all will support Kejriwal Ji. We will stand by him. We will use all our strength in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to defeat the ordinance. Unnecessarily, don’t make an issue. Let the government work,” Mr Rao told the NDA government at the Centre.
“Modi government has insulted the people of the Delhi by bringing in the ordinance. I can say without an iota of doubt it is an insult to the Delhi state people,” KCR said.
AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh, and others accompanied Mr Kejriwal on his trip.
The AAP chief expressed gratitude to KCR for offering support to “get justice for the people of Delhi”.
“This isn’t just about Delhi, it’s about saving the country’s democracy. The ordinance is unconstitutional and undemocratic,” he said.
Mr Kejriwal then pointed out that AAP first formed a government in Delhi in February 2015, and the PM Modi-led government brought a notification within three months to “snatch” all its power.
The earlier Delhi government led by Shiela Dixit of the Congress had full control over Delhi’s bureaucracy, Mr Kejriwal said, adding that the Centre on May 23, 2015, snatched all services-related power through a notification.
“As the Chief Minister, I can’t even transfer, post, education secretary, health secretary, deputy secretary. I can’t do anything,” he said, adding that they fought for eight years to get the notification cancelled, and the Centre overturned the court order within eight days.
The AAP chief then accused the Centre of not letting non-BJP governments work. They use three methods — buy MLAs of other parties and topple the government, or break away MLAs by intimidating them with probe agencies like ED and CBI, or bring ordinance and misuse Governors — Arvind Kejriwal said.
The Delhi Chief Minister on May 23 embarked on a nationwide tour to seek support from the Opposition parties against the ordinance.
So far, Mr Kejriwal has met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav.
Arvind Kejriwal has also sought time from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former MP Rahul Gandhi.