Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Shri Sitaram Yechury pledged support to AAP National Convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal’s campaign against the ‘Anti-Delhi’ Ordinance imposed by the Modi Government. Prominent political parties including JD(U), RJD, TMC, Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP and the BRS have already rallied behind Shri Arvind Kejriwal’s cause against the ordinance. The AAP delegation, led by Shri Arvind Kejriwal visited the CPI(M) headquarters in New Delhi and met Shri Sitaram Yechury and other senior leaders of the party on Tuesday. AAP leaders including Rajya Sabha MPs Shri Sanjay Singh, Shri Raghav Chadha and Delhi Cabinet Minister Ms Atishi were also present in the meeting. The CPI(M), along with other major opposition parties, has resolved to oppose the central government’s ordinance in the Rajya Sabha. With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lacking a majority in the upper house, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal believes that if the opposition bands together, they can successfully defeat the bill.

Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal highlighted the detrimental consequences of the 2015 notification, which stripped Delhi of its powers. He emphasised that despite the challenges, his government has managed to govern effectively, showcasing the resilience and capability of the Delhi administration. Expressing his discontent, he also pointed out that the Supreme Court’s order, which brought justice to Delhi after an eight-year legal battle, was swiftly overturned by the Modi Government within a mere eight days.

Shri Sitaram Yechury denounced the ordinance, describing it as an assault on the constitutional system and democracy. He also deemed it a contemptuous act against the Supreme Court’s ruling. He further warned that this crisis is not limited to any specific political party or state, as any non-BJP ruled state could face similar challenges. Drawing attention to the Modi Government’s alleged attempts to destabilise non-BJP state governments, he emphasised the urgency of putting a stop to such actions. He called upon all opposition parties to unite and oppose this ordinance vehemently, considering it an attack on the constitution and the nation itself.

At the same time, Shri Arvind Kejriwal urged the Congress party to make a choice between standing with the public or aligning with the Modi Government over this contentious ordinance.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Shri Arvind Kejriwal spoke about the ordinance promulgated by the PM Narendra Modi-led Central Government against the people of Delhi. He highlighted how after an eight-year-old fight to get its powers back from the Centre, the Supreme Court on May 11 ruled in the favour of the state government. “In 2015, soon after our government was formed in Delhi, the Central Government issued a notification and snatched the powers that the Constitution gave to the state government. These are powers that the Shiela Dikshit-led state government possessed when they ruled in Delhi, but soon after AAP formed the government these powers were snatched away from us,” he said.

The Delhi CM said that despite having little powers, the AAP-led government went on to achieve so much in Delhi in the last eight years. He stressed on the injustice of the Central Government and said that the court had unanimously ruled in the favour of the state government. “From May 2015 to May 2023, for eight long years, we fought against this injustice and approached the Supreme Court. Finally now, when the court unanimously ruled 5-0 in our favour and the people of Delhi won the battle, the Centre promulgated an Ordinance on 19th May and overturned the court order within eight days,” he said.

He added that the issuance of this ordinance is nothing but disrespect towards the people of Delhi. “It is as if the PM is trying to punish the citizens of Delhi for voting against the BJP. The PM is clearly telling the people that you may vote for whichever party you want to, but if you vote for a party other than the BJP, then I will not let the government function,” he said.

The AAP National Convenor said that this Ordinance, when it is brought up in the Rajya Sabha in the form of a Bill, it has to be defeated otherwise it would be an anti-democratic step. “Currently, the BJP does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, out of 238 MPs in the Upper House, the BJP has only 93 MPs. Therefore if all the non-BJP parties get together then this Bill can be defeated in the Rajya Sabha. This is the reason that I am going around the country and meeting the leaders of all the opposition parties and asking for their support in defeating this Bill. It is in this regard that I met Shri Nitish Kumar, Shri Tejashwi Yadav, Ms Mamata Banerjee, Shri Uddhav Thackeray, Shri Sharad Pawar, Shri K Chandrasekhar Rao and they all provided the support of their parties in defeating this Bill in the Rajya Sabha. Today I came here to meet Shri Sitaram Yechury and he has also extended his solidarity in defeating this anti-constitutional ordinance and standing with the people of Delhi,” he said.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that it was on 19th May that the Centre promulgated this ordinance against the people of Delhi, and the very next day his party condemn it and said that it was against the principles of democracy and federalism. He further added that this issuance of this ordinance also classifies as a case of contempt of court. “One of the key aspects of our democracy is the principle of federalism – the relationship between the Centre and state governments. This Central Government led by PM Narendra Modi has been involved in constantly destroying the very basis of federalism that was enshrined in our constitution. There have been multiple attacks on the powers of the state governments throughout the country and now this ordinance is nothing but another very brazen attack to snatch the powers that the Centre does not possess. This is anti-democratic and the CPI(M) will oppose such ordinances and Bills in Rajya Sabha and everywhere else,” he said.

He further said that what matters at the moment is not which political party is supporting or opposing this ordinance, but if the political parties in the country do not unite against such anti-democratic practises of the ruling party, then it will become impossible to save democracy in India. “It does not matter if CPI(M) or AAP or Congress or RJD is opposing it or not. But this ordinance is against the principles of the constitution and therefore all the opposition parties should come together and oppose it. Therefore my appeal is to all those political parties that have not yet opposed this ordinance. Today this is happening to Delhi, but tomorrow it could happen to any other state. It could happen in Rajasthan or Himachal Pradesh, where there is a Congress-led state government. This could also happen in states like Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu where a regional party is in power. This Modi sarkar can go to any extent to destabilise a non-BJP ruled state. Therefore everyone needs to come together to oppose it,” he said.

Shri Sitaram Yechury also made a special appeal to the Congress party and said that the biggest opposition party needs to make its stand on this issue clear. “Our appeal is to everyone and particularly the Congress as it is one of the biggest opposition political party. We would like that the Congress party also sits across on the table with us and discusses this issue with us and together we will fight against those who are trying to throw away the constitutional norms of the country,” he said.

Replying to a question from the media about the support of the Congress party to his campaign, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “From what I have been reading in the media about this topic, the leaders of the Congress seem to be saying that they do not want to support Kejriwal. This is not an issue about Kejriwal. I am not important in this issue. This issue is about upholding the Constitution of India. It is about following democratic principles and respecting the mandate of the people of Delhi. I would request them to forget about Kejriwal and not look at it in terms of supporting Kejriwal. They should look at it as an insult of the people of Delhi that has been caused due to an order of Modi Sarkar. Tomorrow, if the Centre does something similar with the state government of Rajasthan, the Aam Aadmi Party will immediately stand with the people there. We will not look at it in terms of whether this is an issue of the Congress or the BJP. What matters is that this is about the country. So, the Congress party needs to decide on whether it wants to stand with the Modi Government or the citizens of the country,” he said.

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