Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Kejriwal says he wants to work with ‘elder brother’ Modi

Hours after the home ministry approved the Delhi government’s Budget, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Prime Minister Narendra Modi his “elder brother” and said he wants to work together with the Centre.
Addressing the Delhi Assembly’s Budget Session, he said Delhi would have seen 10 times more progress had there been no tussles between the Centre and the state government.
“The Delhi government wants to work and not fight. We are tired of fighting and it serves no one. We want to work together with the prime minister, we do not want any tussle,” he said.
Kejriwal said if the prime minister wishes to win Delhi, he will have to win the hearts of the people of the city first. “This is my mantra to him.”
“You are the elder brother and I am the younger brother. I will reciprocate if you support me. If you want to win the heart of the little brother, love him,” he said. Kejriwal also said the practice of sending the Delhi government’s budget to the Centre for approval is against the basic structure of the Constitution and democracy.
The chief minister said the provision will not stand judicial scrutiny for “even two minutes”.
“The budget had to be presented today. The Centre stopped it. We replied to MHA’s query without making any changes to the budget and they have approved it now. They wanted me to bow down. It’s their ego and nothing else,” he said.
The chief minister said the Centre’s objection to the Delhi government’s budget was a departure from tradition. “It happened for the first time.”
“It is an attack on the Constitution. Even B R Ambedkar would not have thought of a situation where the central government would stop the presentation of a state government’s budget,” Kejriwal said.
Earlier in the day, sources in the LG office said the MHA had approved the Delhi government’s budget and it was conveyed to the AAP dispensation.
They also accused Kejriwal, his ministers and the Aam Aadmi Party of “deliberately making false statements with the sole purpose of misleading the people of Delhi and the media and distracting them from the failures of the AAP government”.
“He has been saying that the Centre has blocked a state’s budget. This is patently false. Delhi is a Union Territory and not a state and therefore it is fully a part and partial of the government of India. Moreover, the budget has not been blocked,” said a source in the LG office.
The AAP on Monday alleged that the Centre had conspired to stop the budget of Delhi, with Kejriwal even writing to Modi urging him not to do so.
The LG office source explained the constitution provides that prior consent and approval of the president is required before laying the budget of Delhi in the legislative assembly and this has been going on for the last 28 years without fail.
“Fixing the date for the presentation of the budget before seeking the president’s approval for the budget, in itself is wrong and shows mal-intent on part of the AAP government,” the source said.


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