Mamata Banerjee backs AAP against Centre’s Ordinance; hits out at BJP

Mamata Banerjee said that the Trinamool Congress will support AAP in its fight against the Centre’s ordinance.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and senior party leaders Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh and Atishi Marlena, in Kolkata, Tuesday, May 23, 2023. (PTI Photo)

As part of a nationwide tour to garner support for his fight against Centre’s ordinance on control of services in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Tuesday. He was accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister and AAP leader Bhagwant Mann, as well as AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh, and Atishi.

Addressing a press conference, Mamata Banerjee said that the Trinamool Congress will support AAP in its fight against the Centre’s ordinance.

Kejriwal, on his part, slammed the BJP saying that the saffron party had made a “mockery of democracy”. “BJP buys MLAs, uses CBI, ED to try and break Opposition governments,” he said, as quoted by PTI.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor accused the Centre of “taking away the rights” of the people of Delhi and said that the ordinance “should not” be allowed to pass in Rajya Sabha.

Before embarking on the journey, Kejriwal took to Twitter and said, “From today, I am leaving on a tour across the country, for the rights of the people of Delhi. After many years, SC passed an order and gave rights to the people of Delhi. But, the central government took away all those rights by bringing an ordinance. The law should not be allowed to pass under any circumstances when it is brought in Rajya Sabha. I will meet presidents of all political parties and seek their support”.

Kejriwal will be meeting Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray on May 24 and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on May 25, according to AAP.

His tour comes after the BJP-led Union Government on May 19 brought an Ordinance to create the National Capital Civil Service Authority which will administer the transfer and posting of bureaucrats serving the Delhi government. The move empowers the Lieutenant Governor to have a final say on the matter, thereby nullifying a Supreme Court order from May 11 that had given the power to the Delhi government.

Meanwhile, the Ordinance passed by the Centre will need approval in the Rajya Sabha, and will have to be approved in the next session of Parliament – which is scheduled to be the Monsoon session.

The BJP does not have a clear majority in the Rajya Sabha, and the Ordinance issue could be a litmus test for the Opposition parties to check all of them can come together.

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First published on: 23-05-2023 at 18:31 IST