Nitish meets Kejriwal in Delhi, assures support to AAP govt amid tussle with Centre
New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday met his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal at the latter’s residence here and extended “complete support” to him in the AAP government’s ongoing tussle with the Centre over the control of administrative services.
Kumar was accompanied by his deputy and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
The Centre promulgated the ordinance on Friday to create a National Capital Civil Service Authority for transfer of IAS and DANICS cadre officers and disciplinary proceedings against them.
This came a week after the Supreme Court handed over the control of services, excluding those related to police, public order and land, to the elected government in Delhi.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kejriwal said he will personally reach out to the chiefs of all opposition parties to seek their support in the matter so that any bill brought by the Centre to replace the ordinance is defeated in Rajya Sabha.
“Day after tomorrow (Tuesday), I have a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata at 3 pm. After that, I will meet every party’s president to seek their formal support for defeating the bill when it comes in Rajya Sabha,” Kejriwal said.
“I have also requested Nitish Kumar ji to talk to all the (opposition) parties in this regard,” he added.
An ordinance has to be ratified by Parliament within six months.
Kejriwal 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.
“It will be the semi-final of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” the AAP national convenor told reporters.
Kumar criticised the Centre for promulgating the ordinance after the Supreme Court verdict in the matter and assured that he will make efforts to bring opposition parties together in support of Kejriwal.
When asked, the Janta Dal (United) leader said he will also speak to the Congress leadership on the issue. “I don’t think anybody will oppose it. We will talk to them,” he said.
Kejriwal was among the few non-BJP chief ministers who were not invited by the Congress to the swearing-in ceremony of its new government in Karnataka on Saturday, an event which was seen as a show of strength by opposition parties.
Kumar, on the other hand, had attended the event.
Extending his party’s support to Kejriwal, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Yadav alleged the Centre is “continuously troubling and harassing” non-BJP governments in different states.
“We have come here to extend our support to Kejriwal. The BJP government is doing injustice to him,” he said.
Yadav said the way the Centre is harassing the Kejriwal dispensation in Delhi and governments of other parties in different states is not justified at all. “There is a clear threat to democracy. They want to change the Constitution and we will not let that happen at all,” he claimed.
“The more they (Centre) trouble and harass Kejriwal, the stronger he will become. I can say with full confidence that the BJP will never return to power in Delhi,” he added.