NEW DELHI: In no mood to back down on the issue of jurisdiction over appointments, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is reaching out to non-BJP chief ministers to mount political pressure on the Modi government even as the matter reached court.
Kejriwal is conveying to chief ministers of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal among others that the Centre's notification, throwing its weight behind Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, was detrimental to India's federal structure and it may happen to their states as well.
Sources said Kejriwal is sending separate letters to his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Bihar's Nitish Kumar.
They said AAP may separately approach leaders of major Opposition parties to persuade them to raise the issue during the monsoon session of the Parliament.
On May 25, Banerjee posted a few tweets putting her weight behind Kejriwal.
"Too much interference in the federal structure is unacceptable. The state govt is an elected body. Central govt is also an elected body," one of her tweets said.
"Every elected body has its own jurisdiction. One must respect the other," she said in another tweet.
Sources said Banerjee tweeted as Kejriwal called her up for "advice".
Speaking at the assembly yesterday, Kejriwal had said that the notification conferring more powers on Lt Governor Najeeb Jung was part of an "experiment" to take the country towards "dictatorship", asserting that it was ready for a long fight on the issue.
In the notification, the Centre had given absolute powers to the LG in appointment of bureaucrats while also clarifying that he need not "consult" the chief minister on subjects like police and public order.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Delhi government, which is probing a number of high-profile case, has also been barred from registering any case against officers and political functionaries of the central government.
However, the Delhi High Court ruled that the ACB has the authority to probe central government officials, including Delhi Police personnel. The Centre has challenged the High Court order in the Supreme Court.
The AAP government also moved the Delhi High Court challenging the Centre's notification.
The Delhi Assembly yesterday passed a resolution holding the notification "completely unconstitutional, illegal and invalid".