BJP, AAP exchange barbs over delay in anti-graft body.
New Delhi: Three BJP legislators on Friday staged a walkout from the Delhi Assembly after their request for the government’s reply on the Jan Lokpal bill was turned down.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had earlier accused the Centre of sitting on the bill for about 21 months.
Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta and BJP MLAs Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Jagdish Pradhan, after staging the walkout, sat on a ‘dharna’ outside chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office in the Assembly premises. They sought his apology for spreading “lies” that the file of the bill is pending with the Centre. They alleged that the bill was pending with the Delhi government for nine months.
The Assembly had passed the Jan Lokpal bill on December 4, 2015, and sent it to the Centre through the lieutenant-governor for approval, Mr Sisodia said.
The deputy chief minister said, “After sitting on the bill for around 21 months, the Centre wakes up and says there should be a discussion on whether the bill comes under the competence of the Delhi Assembly or not.”
“The Centre is raising the question on the right of the Assembly. If Delhi was a full state, Jan Lokpal would have been enforced in Delhi,” Mr Sisodia said.
He, however, did not counter the Opposition’s allegations that the file related to the bill was still pending with the Delhi government.
As the House proceedings began on Friday, Mr Gupta, Mr Sirsa, and Mr Pradhan demanded a reply from the government on the bill. However, their request was turned down, following which they staged the walkout. The three BJP leaders also wrote to Mr Kejriwal, demanding that files related to the bill be tabled in the Assembly without delay.
The three-day special Delhi Assembly session to discuss full statehood for Delhi was adjourned till Monday. The Jan Lokpal bill proposes strict punishment for corrupt government officials in the national capital.
On Wednesday, Mr Sisodia “misled” the House, saying that the Jan Lokpal bill is pending with the Centre.
“The government is running away from replying on the status of the bill. The CM and deputy chief minister should apologise to the House over the issue,” the Leader of the Opposition said.
Mr Sirsa said the Opposition will fight for the Jan Lokpal bill and ensure that it is implemented in the national capital.
Mr Gupta, on Thursday, gave a memorandum to Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, bringing to his notice that the Delhi government was “misleading” the Assembly by levelling “false” allegations against the BJP-led Centre during the discussion on full statehood to Delhi.