‘Centre wants to bulldoze Constitution’: Mamata Banerjee supports AAP on Delhi bureaucrats
‘Even if they [BJP] are in majority they cannot do anything that they please,’ the Trinamool Congress leader said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday extended support to her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal in opposing the Centre’s move to give the lieutenant governor the final say on postings and transfers of all bureaucrats in the national capital.
On May 19, the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Centre introduced an ordinance to create the National Capital Civil Service Authority to administer the transfer and posting of bureaucrats serving the Delhi government.
The ordinance negates the May 11 Supreme Court verdict stating that the Aam Aadmi Party government in the national capital has legislative power over bureaucrats excluding the departments of public order, police and land.
Since ordinances cease to exist if they are not approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembly, the Centre will need to introduce a bill regarding the subject in the upcoming Monsoon Session. The Aam Aadmi Party has urged the Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP only has 93 seats out of the 238 elected representatives seats, to vote against the bill when it gets introduced.
A delegation of Aam Aadmi Party leaders including Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Atishi, and Raghav Chadha met with Banerjee in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The Trinamool Congress Party chief criticised the Centre for utilising governors to disrupt work in states where it is not in power.
“I would like to request every Opposition party that if you have the intention of working together then please do not let any vote go to the BJP,” Banerjee said in a joint press conference with Aam Aadmi Party leaders. “Even if they are in majority they cannot do anything that they please. There are some systems in place.”
The Trinamool Congress accused the Centre of misusing investigative agencies and remarked that it was a “government of the agency, by the agency and for the agency”.
Banerjee alleged that the BJP wants to “demolish” and “bulldoze” the Constitution, and said that it does not respect the decisions of the Supreme Court.
“We are worried about whether they will change the Constitution, or even change the name of the country,” she said.
Kejriwal’s meeting with Banerjee comes two days after he met with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav. The two leaders from Bihar had also expressed their support to the Aam Aadmi Party in light of Centre’s ordinance.
“I have requested that if all non-BJP opposition parties gather together, the Ordinance can be defeated in the Rajya Sabha in the form of a bill,” Kejriwal had said. “It will be a semi-final of the 2024 general elections if the move is defeated in the upper house. A message will go across the country that BJP will not be able to return in 2024.”