In a bold move towards safeguarding the federal structure and democratic principles of India, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal has called for a fixed time limit for Governors/Lt Governors’ decision on bills passed by state legislatures. The announcement came through a letter through which Shri Arvind Kejriwal congratulated Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Thiru MK Stalin on the passing of a similar resolution in the Legislative Assembly.
The Delhi wrote that in the coming session, the Delhi Assembly will pass a resolution and demand for a fixed time limit for taking decisions on the resolutions passed by state legislatures. He further added that the Governors/Lt Governors of non-BJP ruled states are flouting the federal structure and the Constitution by deliberately keeping bills pending. He also condemned the attempt made by the Center and its representatives to usurp the powers of non-BJP ruled state governments. He also emphasised that the time has come to safeguard the constitutional rights of state governments and ensure the smooth functioning of democracy.
Delhi Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal has written to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Thiru MK Stalin, highlighting the critical state of democracy and federalism in India. The letter has outlined how every tenet of the Indian Constitution stands compromised, and the federal structure, which enfranchised people in the most remote corners, is in grave danger from forces that seek to illegitimately centralise all power.
In his letter the Delhi CM has written that it is a foregone conclusion that democracy in India is suffering from blows every single day. “Every tenet of our glorious constitution stands compromised – be it liberty, equality, secularism, or fraternity. It is also beyond doubt that our federal structure, which enfranchised people in the most remote corners, is in grave danger from forces that seek to illegitimately centralise all power,” he wrote.
The CM further noted that federal polity, and clearly laid out roles and responsibilities of the Union and State Governments in the Constitution of India, have resulted in a united nation and a cohesive society despite all apprehensions of fragmentation that arose when we achieved independence from colonial rule. “However, it is disheartening to note that these principles are being regularly discarded nowadays. The fact that the Governors/Lt. Governors of non-BJP ruled governments are indefinitely holding Bills passed by Legislative Assemblies or files sent by the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) is not only a violation of our constitutional scheme, but also a disrespect for the people’s mandate which is supreme in any democracy,” he added.
He further stressed that the situation in Delhi is further exacerbated by the fact that the Lt. Governor has regularly meddled with the democratic mandate of Delhi’s Legislature, blocked the presentation of Delhi’s Budget and going even further to bring day-to-day executive functioning of the GNCTD to a standstill under the guise of the unconstitutional 2021 amendment to the GNCTD Act. “The actions of the Lt. Governor are hindering the functioning in every area where our Government seeks to make giant strides be it healthcare, education, water, power, industries, finance or infrastructure,” he noted.
Explaining the state of the nation, he wrote that the interface of State Governments and their Governors/Lt. Governors have effectively become a battlefront where a silent war is being waged by the Union Government. “Governors/Lt. Governors are wilfully undermining democratically elected state governments, and obstructing administration as per their whims and fancies. They have become the face of the deepening chasm between the Union and the States run by non-BJP governments,” he said.
The CM further wrote how the cherished ideal of cooperative federalism has been rendered a lip-service, despite the State Governments honouring the principle to its core. “Unfortunately, this has resulted in the people raising questions about the very role of the solemn office of the Governor/Lt. Governor. No constitutional functionary should think that they are law unto themselves. It is high time that we unequivocally highlight that India is governed by the rule of law, and not by the writ of the Central government and its representatives,” he added.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal further commended the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for taking a firm stand against these centralising tendencies by passing the Resolution urging the Union Government and the President of India to fix a time limit for the Governors to approve the Bills passed by respective Legislature.
In this spirit, the Delhi Government will table a similar resolution in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha in the upcoming session urging the Centre to fix time limits for Governors and Lt. Governors to carry out their constitutional functions. “We should collectively resist any action to decimate or obliterate State/NCT Governments,” he said.