Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Tuesday as part of his efforts to garner support of opposition leaders against the Centre's ordinance on the control of administrative services in the national capital. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha and Delhi minister Atishi Singh were also present at the meeting.
"We support AAP in the fight against the Central ordinance,” Banerjee said after a nearly hour-long meeting. She said that a forthcoming vote in Rajya Sabha on the bill to convert the central ordinance into law, will be a semi-final before the 2024 elections.
The Trinamool Congress leader also took a sarcastic jibe at the Narendra Modi government, saying "The double engine (BJP rule in both state and centre) has become a troubled engine."
Both Kejriwal and Mann, while addressing the post-meeting press conference, also launched a scathing attack on the Centre, alleging that the BJP uses CBI and ED to try to break opposition governments.
"The BJP has made a mockery of democracy where it cannot form a government, it buys MLAs, uses CBI, ED to try to break the government Governors to disturb non-BJP governments such as Bengal and Punjab,” Kejriwal said.
The Centre on May 19 promulgated an ordinance to create a National Capital Civil Service Authority for the transfer of IAS and DANICS cadre officers and disciplinary proceedings against them in the national capital. The ordinance came just a week after the Supreme Court ruled that the control of services, excluding those related to police, public order and land, rests with the elected government in Delhi.
The parliament has to ratify the ordinance within six month, for which the Centre will have to bring a bill for its passage in both houses.
Kejriwal and the AAP government have termed the ordinance “unconstitutional” and termed it an insult to the apex court and an attack on the country's federal structure. He said if the bill is defeated in Rajya Sabha, it will send out the message that the BJP will lose the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The AAP leader is likely to meet Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai in the next two days.
Earlier, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav met Kejriwal at his residence and offered full support to him over the ordinance issue. Nitish said he will also request other opposition parties to support the Delhi government.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav have already come up in support of Kejriwal, slamming the Centre for bringing in the ordinance.