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Rediff.com  » News » I haven't approved it; don't table Lokpal Bill: Lt Gov to Delhi Speaker

I haven't approved it; don't table Lokpal Bill: Lt Gov to Delhi Speaker

February 14, 2014 12:17 IST

As Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal remains adamant on his stand of resigning if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed in the ongoing Assembly session, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Friday said that the ombudsman bill cannot be tabled as it has not been approved by him.

Jung on Friday wrote to Delhi Speaker M S Dhir asking him not to allow tabling of the bill as it is yet to get his clearance.

Jung's statement comes after Kejriwal said that his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government will introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi Assembly on Friday.

Meanwhile, a rift appears to have emerged within AAP as party leader Ashok Agarwal wants the party to follow legal framework while introducing the bill.

The Delhi government had yesterday failed to table the bill due to repeated disruptions by the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs.

JD(U) MLA Shoaib Iqbal, whose support is critical for passage of the bill, was today quoted as saying that the bill is unconstitutional.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is adamant on passing the ombudsman bill and has even threatened to resign if bill is not cleared, said that the government did not introduce the bill on Thursday as it wanted the copy of the bill to be seen by all the Lawmakers. “We will table the Jan Lokpal Bill on Friday,” the AAP leader said.

The law ministry has made it clear that it was necessary to take the Centre's consent before introducing the Bill in the Assembly

The first day of the session specially convened to pass the anti-graft legislation saw a stormy start with BJP and Congress repeatedly disrupted the proceedings leading to the house's adjournment by Speaker MS Dhir.

The Congress - which props up the government from outside - has opposed the bill since the AAP government did not get the central government's nod before it is introduced in the Assembly, an IANS report said.

Kejriwal said his government was ready to extend the session for the passage of the bill. He however, retreated his stand of quitting if the bill gets stuck.

"We are ready to extend the session. We are not here to save the government. We will table the bill tomorrow. If they allow then it is okay, otherwise I will resign," he told reporters.

The AAP leader also accused the Congress and the BJP of joining hands to paralyse the Delhi Assembly so that the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed.

"This is the first time in India both the Congress and the BJP had such a synchronized setting,” Kejriwal said.

"I don't think this had happened in the history of India in any legislative assembly where BJP and Congress came together. They have exposed themselves," PTI quoted Kejriwal as saying.

"The way they were charging at me, I thought they were coming to beat me up. They broke the mike in front of my seat and tore papers. They also broke speaker's two mikes. Similar things happened in the Parliament today. I was thinking is it democracy. This is anything but democracy," he said.

The AAP government is desperate to pass the anti-graft bill during the four-day session which started on Thursday, but it seems to be daunting task for it as it has only 28 MLAs in the 70 member Delhi Assembly. To its dilemma, the AAP had recently expelled its rebel MLA Vinod Kumar Binny.

The BJP has 31, Congress, which has lent outside support to AAP has 8 MLAs and the Janata Dal-United legislator and an independent virtually having one each. All these have come together citing one reason or the other to block the clearance of the bill.

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