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‘Black Day For Democracy,’ Says CM Kejriwal As Rajya Sabha Passes NCT Bill

On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was an attempt by the BJP to “snatch governance” through the “chor darwaza.”

Kejriwal further accused the BJP of “backstabbing the people of Delhi” in a video address shortly after Rajya Sabha passed the Bill, claiming Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised statehood for Delhi in a pre-poll speech in 2014.

“I want to remind the Prime Minister… in the 2014 elections… you promised to make it (Delhi) a full state if you were elected… just pick up your own speech. Before that, prior to every election, the BJP undertook political agitations for the cause of statehood for Delhi. Today, you have stabbed the people of Delhi in the back. You have gone back on your word. If this is what you do, who will believe the Prime Minister,” he said.

Kejriwal, who referred to himself as “Dilli ka beta” and said Modi was attempting to become “Dilli ka neta,” claimed that the people of Delhi will not give the BJP a single Lok Sabha seat in 2024.

He said the Bill was an attempt to govern Delhi indirectly. “They (BJP) know it is very difficult to defeat the AAP in Delhi. They have lost four elections… It has been over 25 years since a BJP government was formed in Delhi. They realised that it is difficult to defeat the AAP so they have tried to snatch the governance of Delhi through the chor darwaza,” he said.

Calling it a “black day for democracy in India”, Kejriwal said it would “enslave the people of Delhi”, drawing comparisons with the Government of India Act enacted by the British in 1935.

Kejriwal said Modi had become so “arrogant” that he neither wanted to listen to the people of Delhi nor the Supreme Court. Asking him not to “interfere” in Delhi’s affairs, he said: “The law that has been passed today says that the Centre will make policies for all categories of Delhi government’s employees from top to bottom… the PM will sit and decide which peon will do what work. Is this what the Prime Minister’s job is now? Why don’t you run the Centre? Why are you interfering in Delhi?”

“Their government has been in power in Gujarat for the past 30 years and it is down in the dumps. The same situation prevails in Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. They have burnt Manipur where their government is in power,” he said.

In response to Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Rajya Sabha that no other Delhi administration has challenged the Centre before 2015, Kejriwal stated he was fighting for schools, mohalla clinics, free power, and water.

“They say he is giving free ke revdi (freebies). Whatever it is that I do, even if I fight, the people of Delhi like me. This is why they’ve chosen me three-four times. Whatever I am doing must be right, that is why they have elected me so many times. Amit Shahji says the Constitution has empowered us to pass laws… Power has been given to you to serve the people, not to commit atrocities against them,” he said, adding that Shah had “slapped” the people of Delhi for rejecting him and the BJP in the 2020 Assembly polls.

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