‘Cooperative federalism made a joke’: Kejriwal to boycott NITI Aayog meeting

New Delhi, May 26:  Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced a boycott of the Niti Aayog meeting scheduled here on Saturday, saying if “cooperative federalism becomes a joke, then it is not worth to join the meeting”.

He made the announcement in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he also urged him to allow the non-BJP government to also work.

In his letter, Kejriwal said, “Tomorrow is the meeting of the Niti Aayog. The job of the Niti Aayog us to promote cooperative federalism and prepare the vision for India. However, the way in which democracy has been targeted and non-BJP governments are being brought down and not allowed to work, then it is not the vision for new India and not in spirit of cooperative federalism.”

He claimed that in the last few years, a message is being given that if any state choose to elect a non-BJP government then it would not be “tolerated”.

Targeting the Centre, Kejriwal said: “Either the non-BJP governments are brought down by buying the MLAs or MLAs of non-BJP governments are threatened by the action of central agencies like the CBI or the ED.”

He alleged that if the MLAs do not bow, then ordinances is brought for non-BJP governments or through Governors, they are not allowed to work.

Citing the May 11 judgement of the Supreme Court, he said, “After a long fight of eight years, the people of Delhi won in Supreme Court and then an ordinance was brought by your government to negate the top court orders.”

The Chief Minister said that if today any of the officers of the Delhi government does not work, then it cannot take any action against them.

“How the government will work in such a scenario? In this way the government is not allowed to work. Why do you want to make the Delhi government not work? Is this the vision for new India? Is it cooperative federalism?” Kejriwal asked.

He highlighted that there is anger among the people across the country over the ordinance brought by the BJP government. “The Supreme Court is considered to be the temple of justice and people are asking if the Prime Minister does not accept the Supreme Court, then where will people seek justice?”

“When in this way the Constitution and the democracy will be targeted openly, the cooperative federalism being reduced to a joke, then what is the meaning of attending the NITI Aayog meeting. It is the reason why people are saying that we should not participate in the meeting and thus we have decided to boycott the meeting.”

He further said that the Prime Minister is like a father and elder brother and he has to deal with each and every state in same manner without being partisan.

“If the people of the country and the state governments work together then only the country will move forward and if you only keep on supporting the BJP governments and not the non-BJP governments, then the development of the country will stop,” he said.

Kejriwal had met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav over the government’s ordinance. Both the parties — Janata Dal-United and Rashtriya Janata Dal — were first to announce support to Kejriwal.

He also met his West Bengal counterpart and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, former Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena-UBT leader Uddhav Thackeray and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and all the three parties had extended their support.

Kejriwal has also sought time from Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and senior party leader Rahul Gandhi for a meeting over the issue.
IANS

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