Delhi ordinance: Cong to consult like-minded parties before taking call on opposing bill

The party, however, has lent support to the AAP, asking the Centre to honour the Supreme Court verdict on the matter

Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi ordinance
The AAP supremo has been actively engaging with leaders of non-BJP parties to seek their support in opposing the ordinance I File Photo

As the war between the Delhi government and the Centre over the posting and transfer of civil servants in Delhi intensified, the Congress lent support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), asking the Centre to honour the Supreme Court verdict on the matter.

The party, however, said that it will take a final call on whether to oppose a bill the government plans bring to replace an Ordinance that nullified the top court verdict would be taken after consulting state units and like-minded parties.

Also read: Delhi ordinance, Parliament building debate help Oppn close ranks, mull anti-BJP alliance

Sources said the Congress may consider opposing the bill when it is introduced in Parliament.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is in power in Delhi, has been seeking the support of various political parties on the matter.

The BJP will have to seek the support of parties such as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and YSRCP, which have nine MPs each in the Rajya Sabha, to get the legislation passed in the Upper House in case the Opposition gets together on the issue.

While a united Opposition has 111 MPs in the Rajya Sabha, the ruling BJP and its allies have almost an equal number of MPs.

“The Congress Party has not taken any decision on the issue of the Ordinance brought against the SC judgment on the powers of the Government of NCT of Delhi with respect to appointment of officers. It will consult its state units & other like-minded parties on the same. The party believes in the Rule of Law and at the same time does not condone unnecessary confrontation, political witch-hunt and campaigns based on lies against political opponents by any political party,” Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal tweeted.

Senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said his party welcomed the Supreme Court decision when it came.

“Today too, we have the same view that the Supreme Court decision was right. The Constitution bench has given a detailed judgment on the Delhi issue and the government should honour that,” Sharma told reporters.

Also read: Centre’s ordinance on Delhi ‘unconstitutional’, shows Modi scared, says AAP

Cong may oppose ordinance: Sources

Congress sources, however, said that the party is likely to oppose the bill when the government brings it in Parliament to replace the ordinance.

Sharma said the government has brought an ordinance as well as sought a review of the Supreme Courts May 11 judgment.

“It is very clear that the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had come out with a very detailed judgment and also, its interpretation of the constitutional positions and the rights of states and elected governments. It was a larger question, it was not only limited to those parts of the judgment, not confined in my view only to Delhi, it was about India being a country,” he said.

The Congress leader said under the Constitution, the government has the authority to bring an ordinance, but in this instance, it has also decided to file a petition for a review of the top court verdict.

“Since this is a Constitution bench judgment, it is only a Constitution bench which will re-visit (the verdict). And we will await what the Constitution bench decides in this matter and we leave it at that,” he said.

Prodded further on whether the Congress will oppose the bill to replace the ordinance, Sharma said, “Let us cross the river when it comes.”

“I would expect that the Congress leadership, the Congress president, who is also the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, and the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, along with the leaders of all other political parties, will discuss this matter as and when the session is convened, but we do hope that since it is the Constitution bench and the government has gone back there, the Supreme Court will come out with its view,” he added.

Also read: Delhi: Centre issues big ordinance on postings, transfers; AAP says it defies SC order

AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been seeking the support of opposition parties, urging them to defeat the ordinance that sets up the National Capital Civil Services Authority and gives it the power to transfer bureaucrats in the city.

(With inputs from agencies)