NEW DELHI: AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj on Sunday challenged Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta for an open debate on the contentious Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) bill that aims to give overarching power to the lieutenant governor.
Addressing a press conference here, Bhardwaj said the fight is not between the AAP and the BJP over the bill, but between “democracy” and “Hitlershahi” (Nazism).
“I challenge BJP state president Adesh Gupta for an open debate in any assembly constituency in which the rule is better–LG’s or that of the elected Arvind Kejriwal government,” he said.
Bharadwaj said the right-wing Bharatiya Jana Sangh fought for years to make Delhi an independent state after independence.
“Today the BJP which came from the same Jana Sangh is trying to bypass Delhi’s elected government,” he said.
The AAP spokesperson alleged that the Centre is taking away all the rights of the Delhi government elected by the people who gave it 62 seats out of 70.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) (Amendment) bill, 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy earlier this week.
According to the bill, the “government” in the city would mean the “lieutenant governor” (LG) in context of any law made by the legislative assembly.
The bill also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the LG before any executive action.
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor maintained that his party has never said that lieutenant governor’s rule is better than that of an elected government.
“All we feel and believe is that any government or administration will be better for Delhi than the present Arvind Kejriwal dispensation which has stalled the development of the national capital,” he said.
Kapoor claimed that the city does not have an elected government on the basis of a manifesto or development commitment.
The truth is that Kejriwal has manipulated electoral victory through the “politics of freebies and communal divide”, he said.
“We challenge Kejriwal to fight one election against the BJP on the issue of development of Delhi and see the results wherein he will be ousted from power,” the BJP leader added.