New Delhi: The survivors of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots are staying put in “horrible” conditions in the national capital and the Delhi government will repair their houses, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today.
“The 1984 riot victims and refugees from Punjab (are) staying in horrible conditions. Delhi government today decided to repair their houses,” he tweeted.
Assembly elections in Punjab are slated to be held early next year and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has emerged as one of the main contenders for power in the state.
In June, the AAP had alleged that the Centre was incapable of providing justice to the victims of the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi that occurred in the wake of assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
The party also demanded that the Delhi government should be allowed to form its own SIT (Special Investigative Team) to probe the riots.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a Delhi government plea that the high court be asked to first decide the preliminary issue as to whether it has the jurisdiction over disputes between the Centre and the state or is it “exclusively” triable by the top court.
The top court also asked the Delhi government, which had moved the high court seeking judgment on a scope of its powers under Article 239 AA of the Constitution, to approach it only after the Delhi High Court decides all the issues including the preliminary issue as to whether it has the jurisdiction over the dispute.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit said when the high court has heard the matter and reserved the judgement on all the issues including the preliminary issue of jurisdiction, it will be open to the Delhi government to approach it after the high court verdict on the entire issue.
Disposing off the AAP government’s appeal, the bench said the high court was a “constitutional court” and had the power to decide and interpret constitutional matters like this.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for Delhi government, referred to constitutional provisions dealing with the powers of Delhi as a union territory.
“Delhi has an elected and responsible government and judgment of this court applies in this case that the Lt Governor has to run the administration on the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and Council of ministers,” Ms Jaising said, adding that this dispute was exclusively triable by the top court.
“Tell me why you (Delhi government) knocked the door of the Delhi High Court first. You knocked the doors of the Delhi High Court under Article 226. Now High Court has reserved the judgment and every court has the power to determine its jurisdiction. Whether it is adjudicable under Article 226 or under Article 131, the High Court can very well decide the jurisdiction,” the bench said.
Ms Jaising in her brief arguments said the high court has no power to decide the dispute of this nature between the Centre and the state and hence it be asked to decide the jurisdictional aspect as the preliminary issue.
The Supreme Court then asked the senior lawyer as to why the Delhi government did not withdraw its plea from the high court.
However, the top court agreed with the submission of the Delhi government that the dispute of the Constitutional nature between two federal entities should be decided expeditiously.
“You have come with the Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the matter when the High Court has already reserved the judgment,” the bench said, adding that high court is entitled to its views on Constitutional matters as they are “independent”.
“Had it been a (civil) suit or a writ petition, we will have issued notice instantly. What order can we pass today in this case. Why should we tell the high court that decide this issue or don’t decide it on merits”, the bench said.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, referred to an earlier order of the top court asking the Delhi High Court to finalise the matter by the end of July this year.
“High court had reserved the verdict pursuant to Supreme Court’s order. This is a misconceived SLP,” Mr Rohatgi said.
The bench also said “constitutional issues cannot be compromised. Once the matter is pending in the high court, then it shall decide the issue rightly or wrongly.”
Delhi government’s plea was listed for today’s bench as two judges of the top court — JS Khehar and L Nageshwar Rao had earlier recused from hearing it.
In its plea, Delhi government, has sought a declaration of its power and to restrain the high court from delivering the verdict on host of issues including the scope of its powers.
On July 4, the Arvind Kejriwal government had made unsuccessful efforts to ensure that its lawsuit for declaration of powers of Delhi as a state be heard along with its plea to restrain Delhi High Court from delivering verdict on a host of issues, including the scope of its powers.
Prior to this, the court had agreed to hear the Delhi government’s plea.
In its plea, Delhi government has claimed that only the top court had jurisdiction under the Constitution to deal with issues relating to the powers of States and Centre.
It has been alleged by the AAP government that it has been unable to function as most of its decisions are either annulled or changed by the Centre at the behest of Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung on the ground that Delhi is not a complete state.
In its appeal, the city government alleged that its power to do public services in the state has been adversely affected. It also raised a question as to whether the Union of India can take over all powers of the state government.
There is an ongoing power tussle between Delhi government and LG on various issues including the control over Anti-Corruption Branch and power to transfer or retain bureaucrats.
The high court had on May 24 reserved its verdict on the plea of AAP government seeking a stay on the proceedings on petitions arising out of its standoff with the LG over powers to appoint bureaucrats in the national capital and other issues.
The AAP government had sought a stay on proceedings on the ground that the issues involve a dispute of “federal nature” between the Centre and Delhi government and the Supreme Court had exclusive jurisdiction to deal with them.
A total of 11 cases arising out of the confrontation between the LG and Delhi government are being heard together by the high court.
Delhi government had on May 28 last year approached the high court challenging the Centre’s notification of May 21, 2015, giving the LG absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats in the city.
New Delhi: Delhi BJP workers today staged a protest at ITO in New Delhi and demanded resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging he was embroiled in the 400-crore water tanker scam and protecting corrupt officials.
The party workers raised slogans against the Kejriwal government and tried to march towards the Delhi Secretariat but were stopped by police personnel who used water cannons to disperse them.
Thereafter, the protesters, including Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay and party lawmaker Ramesh Bidhuri, sat on a dharna on the road. They were taken to IP Estate police station but were released later.
“The Chief Minister suppressed the case of tanker scam for 11 months. His government made payments at a disproportionate rate to the tanker mafia and shared benefits,” Mr Upadhyay alleged in a statement.
He accused the AAP government of “protecting” Mr Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar and demanded that CBI probe the “activities” of the official.
New Delhi: BJP MLA Vijender Gupta on Wednesday raised questions over the quality of services in the city’s mohalla clinics alleging that a pregnant woman was wrongly diagnosed to have Thalassemia, a claim rejected by Delhi government.
“The pregnant woman, Mausam Kumari, visited the mohalla clinic at F Block in Rohini along with her husband Mukesh on April 24, where tests were done. The report said that she had Thalassemia,” he claimed.
The tests were then done at a private pathology laboratory where it was found that she was not suffering from the disease. The doctor at the laboratory said the mohalla clinic lab report was “incorrect” and “technically wrong”, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly claimed.
A government spokesperson described the charge as a “deliberate attempt” to defame the concept of mohalla clinics, a flagship initiative of the AAP government.
Mukesh claimed that he had lodged a complaint with the Delhi Health minister and officials of the department but no action was taken.
There were also some other cases of “negligence and wrong reports” at mohalla clinics and its laboratories but people are not coming out with their complaints, the BJP leader claimed.
He also alleged at a mohalla clinic in Nihal Vihar, a person was transfused blood of another group due to the wrong blood group test report, endangering the life of that person.
Claiming that people are reluctant to report these cases for different reasons, Mr Gupta alleged, “The mohalla clinics and pathological labs are substandard,” and appealed people to reveal cases of wrong treatment and tests to make others aware about it.
The government should “stop playing” with the lives of people with “negligent and substandard” health services at these clinics and labs, he said and demanded a probe into the case of Mausam Kumari and other such incidents.
The AAP-led Delhi government, working on neighbourhood clinic concept, has opened 100 mohalla clinics in different parts of the national capital. It aims to increase the number of these clinics to 1,000 by the end of this year.
Malerkotla: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said some “anti-national” elements were trying to “destabilise” the country but they would never be successful in their nefarious designs.
Mr Kejriwal was addressing a gathering on the occasion of Roza Iftari at Malerkotla in Punjab.
“Some people are trying to malign me and my party in the name of religion. But I am anguished that they had to resort to sacrilege to malign me. In their endeavour to malign AAP, they have rather played with the sentiments of minority community,” he said.
“They could have adopted other ways and means to malign me and my party, as they have been doing in the past by throwing ink at me or assaulting me, but they should not have resorted to desecrate the holy book,” he said.
AAP MLA Naresh Yadav has been summoned by Punjab Police in connection with the incident of sacrilege in Malerkotla in Punjab.
Mr Narendra Modi
The Prime Minister of India
I am writing this letter to you with deep disappointment, disgust and disillusionment. I know fully well that this letter is addressed to the Prime Minister of India and not to an ordinary swayam sewak of the RSS, which you take great pride in being. I am also aware that this letter is written by me who till about two years ago was the editor of a news channel, but is now a full-time political activist and spokesman of the Aam Aadmi Party. Neither as a journalist nor as a political activist have I ever claimed to know you too well – as is the habit with both breeds. But yes, I do know you a bit.
As an anchor and as a reporter, I met you several times, hosted many discussions and debates with you in TV studios. I remember when my dear friend Ranjan Jha and cameramen Gopal Bisht were killed in a plane crash in Uttar Pradesh in 2001, you had come to the cremation ground to pay your last respects. I was pleasantly surprised then. I want to remind you that it was on this day that you were formally asked to go to Gujarat and be the Chief Minister. The next time we met was when you came to the Aaj Tak studio to record Seedhi Baat with Prabhu Chawla. It was just after the riots in Gujarat. After that, I never met you. But I did request you for an interview twice and both times, your office suggested that questions about riots were not to be asked, so I very politely said no to that offer.
By 2014, when I decided to contest parliamentary elections from Delhi, you were the darling of the masses and later became Prime Minister. AAP lost all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and people wrote AAP’s obituary. But there was something else in store for AAP. The 2015 Delhi elections re-wrote history. AAP won 67 out of 70 seats. Your party was reduced to 3 seats from 32. This was the first and the worst defeat of your life since you became Chief Minister. We in the AAP were happy and were of the opinion that the bitterness of the elections was over and with such a massive majority, AAP would be entitled to and receive full cooperation from your government especially since you had been advocating cooperative federalism.
Let me share with you, sir, how wrong we were. We did not know that the road ahead would be so difficult. Not because of us, but because of you. Today, I have lost all hope from you; I am convinced that your idea of cooperative federalism was a big hoax. In the last 16 months, you have unleashed all kinds of forces and agencies to discredit, malign and destabilise the AAP government. Yesterday, Rajendra Kumar, the Principal Secretary of the Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, was arrested. He has been charged with corruption. Can I remind you what the CBI special court has said about CBI officials in this case?
In April, the court sent a reference to the Delhi High Court to initiate contempt proceeding against the investigation officer in the Rajendra Kumar case. The court said, “CBI being the premier investigating agency is expected to follow the mandate of law.” The Court said that CBI was “conspicuously ambiguous”. Can any court be more scathing than this? Does it not prove that charges against Rajendra Kumar are malicious? The CBI could not produce any evidence to convince the court to prove the culpability of the officer. Modiji, you know what happened afterwards – the concerned judge was mysteriously transferred, and now the same CBI which was pulled up in this case has arrested him. Let me tell you very frankly that AAP has been created to fight corruption. It will not compromise on the issue of corruption – and if there is an iota of evidence against any of us, please put us in jail and give us the severest of punishment, but for God’s sake, don’t create fictional cases just because AAP defeated you in Delhi.
Modiji, can you please tell me why this sudden carpet bombing of us with fake cases? Last week, our MLA Dinesh Mohaniya was arrested because a woman filed a complaint against him. When I read the FIR, the charges were vague, but suddenly she was produced before the magistrate and he was charged with non-bailable offence? Since the Delhi Police reports to your government, can you please tell me why? Two days later, another MLA, Naresh Yadav, was booked for conspiring to desecrate the Holy book of Quran. The Punjab Police which had arrested three persons in this case belonging to the RSS said that they tore the pages as they “wanted to seek revenge for the Pathankot terror attack and harboured deep hatred towards Muslim.” Suddenly this theory changed and Punjab police is singing a different tune. Modiji, you have more experience in politics than me – can you please tell me the reason behind this change of heart of the Punjab Police?
This is the same police which does not take any action against BJP legislator OP Sharma who was caught on camera beating up a CPI activist when Kanhaiya Kumar was being taken to court. No action was a taken against lawyers who swore by BJP ideology and indulged in violence not once but twice within the court premises in the presence of the police. But AAP MLA from Vikas Puri Mahendra Yadav was arrested as he was fighting to get justice for a three-month-old who had been raped. Commando Surendra was arrested because he tried to save a boy from being beaten up by corrupt MCD officials. Modiji, you should have been proud of Surendra. He is a braveheart who fought terrorists in Mumbai on 26/11. The list is endless.
Modiji, when we won the Delhi election, we had a dream – to make Delhi a world-class city. We wanted to make Delhi corruption-free. But instead of acting against Sheila Dikshit, Mukesh Ambani, and others, you snatched the Anti Corruption Bureau from the Delhi government a year ago.
Modiji, despite all your non-cooperation and coercive actions, the AAP government is being appreciated by the citizens of Delhi. Prestigious newspapers like the Washington Post are writing that the USA should learn from the AAP government in Delhi in the field of health services. Major reforms have been initiated in government schools of the capital. The people of Delhi are enjoying almost no bills for water and paying half the amount for power. With your support, we could have made Delhi world-class. But you have made our life difficult. You don’t let the duly-elected government appoint one officer of its choice. You don’t let a single bill passed by the Delhi Assembly to become law. All the 19 bills passed by the assembly are returned by your government after a year without any signature. Every order passed by the Delhi government is declared null and void by the Lieutenant Governor who reports directly to you and declares himself as the government!
Pardon me for saying so, but you are scared of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal. Because you know the people of India believe him more than you. It is this belief that will ensure the people of Punjab hand over the state to AAP. The people of Goa are also singing the same tune. Gujarat is in the same mood. I know you are very sharp. You know that the emergence of AAP as a party and Arvind as a leader will jeopardise your chances in 2019.
But let me also tell you that AAP is made of different mettle. Your dirty tricks can’t scare us. You can send us all to jail, but that will not weaken our resolve to change the system. It is this system which has to be changed which you are personifying now. We know it’s tough but we will win in the end despite all your efforts.
In the end, I still pray for your good luck and good health.
Many regards and thanks
(Spokesperson AAP and once-upon-a-time-journalist)
Ashutosh joined the Aam Aadmi Party in January 2014.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
New Delhi: By any measure, Arvind Kejriwal is not a fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But he has delivered a back-handed compliment to the PM by deciding to launch regular fireside chats on the internet, for which the inspiration in clearly PM Modi’s “mann ki baat” radio addresses.
The Chief Minister of Delhi, sources in his party said, will, next weekend, speak to the public through TalkToAK.com, a site that is nearly ready for launch. It now features a countdown to 11 am on Sunday, July 17, for the debut episode.
In an attempt to ward off allegations of imitation amounting to flattery, sources in the Chief Minister’s Aam Aadmi Party said his addresses will be “interactive and not a monologue like Modi ji’s.”
Since his mega victory in the national election, the PM uses the radio to win support for his agenda and policies largely in rural areas which have no access to television. His speeches, made on Sundays, often mention those who’ve sent feedback to government sites, or offered suggestions for what the government should focus on.
The default mode for Mr Kejriwal and the central government is dislike. The Chief Minister says the PM regularly invades his turf through unsubtle back-door power play -like having fake cases levelled against legislators from his Aam Aadmi Party, or refusing to clear the legislation that the Delhi Assembly has passed.
In February last year, Mr Kejriwal stunned with a record victory in the Delhi election, winning 67 of Delhi’s 70 seats. He is now leading his party’s effort to wrest Punjab, which votes next year, from the BJP-Akali coalition. The Chief Minister has also begun campaigning in Goa, which is governed by the BJP, and will vote next year.
Amritsar: With an eye on the 2017 Punjab Assembly election, AAP today unveiled its ‘Youth Manifesto’ in Amritsar promising 25 lakh jobs in five years, free Wi-Fi hotspots in villages and a special law for ensuring imprisonment till death for drug dealers.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP National Convener Arvind Kejriwal unveiled the party’s manifesto for the youth. The party, which is aiming to capture power in the state, will come out with separate manifestos for different sections of society.
“Our endeavour is to make the Punjab youth job creators, instead of job seekers,” the party said in the manifesto, prepared by Punjab Dialogue Committee Chairman Kanwar Sandhu, adding that 25 lakh jobs and employment opportunities will be created in the next five years.
AAP, if it forms government in the state, will create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in both rural and urban areas, it said.
The party has also promised to make the administration corruption-free. “AAP government will launch a massive drive to root out corruption from all levels of administration and restore the credibility of the government of Punjab and the prestige of the state as the pre-eminent destination for setting up businesses, industry and trade,” it said.
AAP will also set up 147 entrepreneurship and skilling centres, one in each block of the state. Special emphasis will be laid on agriculture and allied industries, including food processing, dairy farming and horticulture.
Incubation centres, called Punjab Launch Pads, will be set up in 10 major cities — Mohali, Batala, Pathankot, Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur and Amritsar.
“This will help the youth of Punjab turn their dreams of becoming innovators and entrepreneurs into reality with access to technology, infrastructure, finance, industry mentors and market opportunities,” the party said.
Foreign Employment Youth Board with five branches in Jalandhar, Amritsar, Mohali, Ludhiana and Sangrur will be established to advise and train the youth for foreign jobs.
A skill university, called Kanshi Ram Youth Skill University, will be set up in Doaba Region, with two regional campuses in Malwa and Majha. The university will conduct advanced studies in skill development.
Free Wi-Fi hotspots will be set up in all villages, cities and government colleges. This will provide connectivity to hundreds of thousands of youths in both rural and urban areas, it said.
AAP, if comes to power, will root out the mafia raj from government contracts. No MP, MLA, minister and their relatives will be eligible for government contracts. Youths will be preferred for the award of government contracts, it said.
On the issue of drug menace, the manifesto states that AAP, if voted to power, will “annihilate” the drug supply chain within one month of forming government.
A special law will be enacted to give imprisonment till death for drug dealers. Assets of all such convicts would be seized and auctioned, it said.
The Narendra Modi government has been suppressing evidence of corruption against former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit under a “deal” with the Congress, Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra said on Monday.
Mishra is set to be questioned on Monday by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in the water tanker scam.
“Modiji we have given you all the evidence against Sheila Dikshit. Then why are you saving her? What is your deal with corrupt Congress,” he asked in one of his tweets.
“You control the ACB and CBI (the Central Bureau of Investigation). If you find any evidence of corruption against us, put us in jail. But why are you suppressing the evidence against Ms Dikshit that we gave you,” Mr Mishra said in another tweet.
In yet another tweet he said: “Modiji you have used all your machinery against us. Everyone has been ordered to go after Arvind Kejriwal. I am just a scapegoat. But God is with us.”
Mr Mishra, along with his supporters, will march to the ACB office to appear for questioning.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in June 2015 set up a five-member fact-finding committee to probe alleged irregularities in hiring 385 stainless steel water tankers by the Delhi Jal Board in 2012 during the Congress government led by Ms Dikshit.
The committee’s report, submitted to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in August 2015, highlighted alleged corruption of Rs. 400 crore in the process of awarding tenders for hiring water tankers.
It recommended that a first information report (FIR) be registered against Ms Dikshit and an investigation be conducted by the CBI and the ACB.
On June 20, the ACB registered an FIR not only against Ms Dikshit but also against Mr Kejriwal in connection with the water tanker scam.
The FIR against Mr Kejriwal was registered on the complaint of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Vijender Gupta “for causing delay in the probe and not cancelling the contract for water tankers”.
There is a famous Modi Model which has been ideated, projected and sold by Narendra Modi, which was lapped up by a large number of people and was the reason for his ascension to Prime Minister. This Modi Model was camouflaged into a robust model of development and Zero Tolerance for corruption. Decisive and strong leadership is an integral part of that model. But this model has another side, which, like Anurag Kashyap’s film, is dark and edgy; in that part, there are no democratic bones in its body. There is no place for disagreement and dissent. And that is the part that is coming to the fore now.
The first sign of nervousness in the opposition camp and the first sign of victory are complimentary to each other and happen simultaneously. The BJP has ruled Gujarat long enough to get delusional about its own immortality in the state. Modi won the state for the BJP for three consecutive terms and before him, the BJP won twice despite being faction-ridden. But since Modi moved to centre and Anandiben Patel took over the reins of the government, there are clear indications of BJP losing ground and she is nowhere close to what Modi was.
Ideally, the Congress should have been the perfect replacement. By now, they should have successfully challenged the BJP and left it feeling insecure. Unfortunately, the Congress in last 20 years or so has been reduced to a non-entity. It has ceased to even be a political party. This has created a vacuum in the political space. It is this vacuum which AAP is filling up very fast. It is emerging as a real alternative. It is challenging the dominance of the BJP. AAP volunteers can be seen in every corner of the state. They are taking up small and big issues on behalf of the common citizens of Gujarat and fighting it out in the streets for them.
It is this fighting spirit which has made the BJP nervous. Therefore, in this context, when traders of Surat district invited Arvind Kejriwal for a meeting and interaction, and he readily accepted, Anandiben Patel had sleepless nights and finally the Vice chancellor of the university that was selected as the venue announced that the permission for the venue of the meeting was being revoked. Anandiben Patel did not stop there. She threatened the traders’ association and they were reprimanded for daring to call Kejriwal to Gujarat. They were told that their business would be ruined if they went ahead with the function. The President of the Association was also asked to give in writing that he had been misled by the AAP. Poor man had no option but to capitulate.
The Vice Chancellor said that the venue could not be given for political activities. The gentleman has forgotten that the same venue was used by the BJP and Congress in the past many times. He also said that university had no idea that Kejriwal was coming for the meeting. Does it mean that no venue would be provided to Kejriwal for any meeting? When other political parties have been allowed, why was AAP denied permission? It is rather clear that the BJP is nervous with the exponential growth of AAP.
This is not the first time that AAP had been denied permission by the Gujarat government. Last year in October, permission for a Kisan Ekta Sammelan, to be led by local leaders, was sought 15 days in advance, but permission was denied on the eve of the Sammelan. The party went ahead with the show and MP Bhagwant Mann was arrested along with other party volunteers.
AAP also wanted to hold a protest in Bhavnagar in February about the corruption charges against Anar Patel, the Chief Minister’s daughter, but permission was not granted. Yet again AAP volunteers were detained. In Saurashtra, our planned Padyatra in April to save Gauchar or land for grazing by cows was not allowed. Senior leader of the AAP Gujarat unit Kanubhai Kalsariya was arrested and then got bail.
So now there is a pattern. Under the Indian constitution, every citizen and group has every democratic right to protest against the government. As long as such protest is peaceful and doesn’t resort to violence or doesn’t threaten the sovereignty of the country, the government of the day has no reason to stop a protest from taking place.
Unfortunately, during the Modi regime, the state has turned into a police state. All voices of dissent are muzzled. Disagreement is strongly disliked by the BJP government. There is a long list of government officers who had to pay a heavy price for the disagreement with then Chief Minister Modi. Many landed in jail. The non-governmental organisations that exposed misdeeds of Modi government are being hounded even now. Several cases are lodged against them and their finances have been choked by the government. This is dictatorship in democratic attire.
Unlike her predecessor, Anandiben is not a charismatic leader; she does not have a similar grip over the administration and the party. She is perceived as a weak Chief Minister who is struggling with intra-party factionalism. AAP’s rise has made her very nervous in a state which in the last 20 years has not seen a robust opposition. But like AAP in Delhi, which is fighting the relentless onslaughts of the Modi government, AAP’s Gujarat unit will withstand BJP’s intimidating tactics and dirty tricks.
AAP is not like the Congress that it will buckle under the BJP’s pressure. Anandiben might be smiling with the cancellation of Kejriwal’s meeting in Surat but AAP will come back strong soon with a massive mobilisation and Kejriwal leading the rally. That will be the crushing blow to her corrupt regime. It is just a matter of time.