AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal strongly denounced the Centre’s ordinance on Services, stating that it represents a slap on the face of the judiciary. In a series of scathing remarks, Shri Arvind Kejriwal accused the Centre of disregarding the mandate of the people of Delhi and launching a direct attack on the SC and the federal structure of the Constitution. According to the Delhi CM, the Centre deliberately waited for the Supreme Court’s vacation period. This period coincided with the absence of key officials such as the Services Secretary and Chief Secretary from work, as well as delays in clearing important files by the Lieutenant Governor (LG). Highlighting the actions of the Services Secretary and Chief Secretary, he pointed out that they had mysteriously disappeared for several days, causing significant delays in the Central Services Board (CSB) meeting and subsequent transfers. He said these actions were part of a deliberate effort to hinder the functioning of the Delhi government.
Undeterred by the Centre’s ordinance, Shri Arvind Kejriwal affirmed his intention to challenge the Centre’s ordinance in court as soon as the SC reopens, confident that it would not withstand legal scrutiny for even 5 minutes. He accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to send a message to the people of Delhi that regardless of their electoral choices, the BJP would seize power and impose its rule like a dictator. He emphasised that despite Delhiites consistently delivering a landslide mandate in favour of his party, the Centre had continuously attempted to undermine the powers of the elected government through notifications in 2015, amendments in 2021, and the current ordinance. He pledged to visit every doorstep in Delhi and inform the residents about the BJP’s actions in stealing power away from them.
Asserting that the people of Delhi are tired of BJP’s dictatorship and hooliganism, Shri Arvind Kejriwal confidently predicted that the BJP would lose all seven Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming elections. Furthermore, he announced that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would organise a Maha-Rally in Delhi soon, and also seek the collective support of the opposition to oppose and reject the ordinance in the Rajya Sabha.
In a press conference on Saturday, Shri Arvind Kejriwal strongly hit out at the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi-led Central Government for an ordinance nullifying the Supreme Court order that gave the state government the authority over the services department in Delhi.
He also slammed the Central Government for waiting for the Supreme Court to go on its annual vacation before issuing the ordinance. He said that as soon as the Supreme Court vacation began after the end of day yesterday, the Central Government decided to bring an ordinance and revoke the order that the court had given on the matter of the service department in Delhi on 11th May. “On that day, the Supreme Court in its order had very clearly said that the government officials of the Delhi Government should be answerable to the democratically elected state government. The court in its order also very clearly has stated that if this was not the case, and if a government official was aware that the minister cannot transfer or suspend him, then there is no reason for the official to follow the instructions of the minister,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that for any responsible state government to function it is necessary that the government officials directly report to the elected government of the state. He added that yesterday, the court went on vacation at 5 pm and later in the evening, the Central Government brought out its ordinance. He further alleged that as soon as the Supreme Court gave its order, the Central Government had decided that it was going to overturn its order.
Narrating the sequence of events, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “There were eight days between the time the judgement was delivered and it was overturned by the Central Government. In the first three days, the Secretary (Services) vanished from the office and his phone was switched off. After that he re-emerged and said that he is willing to follow the court order, but after that the Chief Secretary disappeared, and it took three days for the meeting of the Civil Services Board to be convened. Eventually this meeting took place and then when the government decision was sent to the LG Office, he sat on the decision for two days. All of this was done so that the Supreme Court goes on its vacation. These people were all waiting for the court to go on vacation, and as soon as that happened, the ordinance was issued,” he said.
The Delhi CM asked why the Central Government was waiting for the court to go on vacation before issuing the ordinance. “The Central Government could have issued the ordinance before the Supreme Court was to go on vacation. The ordinance could have been issued three, four or five days after the SC order came out on May 11. But it waited for the court to go on vacation because it is aware that this order is illegal, unconstitutional and against the people of Delhi. The Central Government was fully aware that if it brought in the ordinance before the court vacation and if the Delhi Government challenged it, it would not last in the court for even 5 minutes as it is completely unconstitutional,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal questioned the validity of this ordinance and said that even the Central Government is aware that it will only last for the duration that the court is on vacation. He said that on 1st July, the Supreme Court resumes and this will not be valid for even a couple of minutes after that.
He also said that through the media he had been informed that the Central Government has also reviewed the court order and expressed his surprise at the decision. “When the Central Government has brought an ordinance and overturned the order, then what is the point of the review petition. What exactly are you reviewing over here, when you have upturned the ruling? The review petition will be maintainable in court only if the ordinance is taken back before the review petition goes to a bench of the court. Is this an indication that just before the court re-opens in July, this ordinance will be taken back?,” he asked.
Hitting out strongly at the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi-led Central Government, the Delhi CM said that this ordinance is nothing but a cruel joke that has been played on the residents of Delhi. He also said that with this ordinance, the Central Government is directly challenging the authority of the Supreme Court. “If barely a week after a very clear order of the Supreme Court, the Central Government issues an ordinance completely overhauling the order, then it is an attack on the authority of the Supreme Court. The Central Government is telling the court that whatever order of the SC it does not like, it will bring an ordinance and overturn it. This ordinance is a direct challenge to the authority of the court and says that we will run the country in the way we want, irrespective of what the Supreme Court thinks or does. This is an insult to the Supreme Court and a direct contempt of the court,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal went on to say that within the last decade, AAP has received an overwhelming support of the residents of Delhi four times – thrice in the Assembly elections and once in the MCD. “The residents of Delhi have time and again said that they want a government led by the Aam Aadmi Party, but yet constantly so many attempts have been made to stop us from working for the people. It is as if the BJP is directly challenging the people of Delhi and saying that only if you vote for us, your work will take place, otherwise it will not. How can this country run like this?” he asked.
Pointing out how the Central Government has constantly been trying to usurp the power that the Constitution of India gives to the elected government of Delhi, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “In 2015, the Central Government brought in a notification to curb our powers, then in 2021 another law was brought and this further reduced our powers. Earlier this year, our Education Minister was put in jail only because he was building excellent schools for the children of Delhi. Before that our Health Minister was put in jail just because we were building excellent hospitals and Mohalla Clinics. Now they have brought this ordinance. So, it is clear that the BJP is taking all the steps possible to stop the AAP-led Delhi Government from working,” he said.
He further said that the BJP-led Central Government has no intention of working for the people of the country and nor does it have the capacity that the AAP-led Delhi Government has shown in the previous years. He assured the people of Delhi that the actions of the Central Government will not be able to stop the developmental works in the city. “The speed of the work may slow down a little because of these restrictions, but I want to assure the people that the developmental works in Delhi will continue,” he said.
He further said that this ordinance by the BJP-led government is a slap on the face of the residents of Delhi. “It is essentially the BJP telling the people that if you elect a government other than that of the BJP, it will do everything in its capacity to stop the works of the people,” he said.
The Delhi CM said that AAP is a very small political party and what is more important is the country and the people of the country. “Tomorrow it may not be an AAP-led government in Delhi, but this country will remain. Therefore, to crush the ideals of the Constitution of India and the Supreme Court is not right for any political party. We will not tolerate such actions and will certainly go to the Supreme Court against such an ordinance,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that since the ordinance has been issued, he has been receiving messages and phone calls from people across the country, and he further emphasised that even the BJP supporters have told him that what Modiji has done this time is shameful. “In 2015, the Central Government issued a notification. It could have brought this ordinance at the time. But today, after an 8-year old fight, where it has clearly lost, and the Supreme Court has said that this is wrong, the BJP now says that it does not believe in what the court says. The entire country is watching this and the people are clearly saying that what the BJP has done is incorrect, “he said.
The Delhi CM further said that he will personally take this issue upto the people and a “maha-rally” will be conducted on this matter. “Looking at the reaction of the people at the moment, I firmly believe that in the Lok Sabha elections next year, the people will not give the BJP even one out of the seven seats. The people are very angry with the bullying of the BJP and their dictatorial attitude towards the people of Delhi,” he said.
He concluded by saying that through this press conference, he wants to appeal to the other opposition parties and said that when this Bill is introduced in the Rajya Sabha it should not be allowed to be passed. “I will personally meet the political leaders of different parties and will urge them to oppose this bill in the Rajya Sabha. This bill is against the people of Delhi and we should definitely not allow it to be passed in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.