NEW DELHI — The BJP Thursday accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of “declaring war on the Supreme Court” and said it is considering filing contempt of court proceedings against him.
After Kejriwal slammed the apex court’s split verdict on the contentious issue of division of powers between the Delhi government and the Centre over control of services as “against the constitution and democracy and an injustice to people of Delhi”, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said his remarks were “the biggest attack on the apex court in political history”.
The judgement is a “big defeat” for Kejriwal, he asserted and demanded an apology from him for criticising the order.
While delivering the verdict, a two-judge bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, however, agreed upon matters pertaining to the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), setting up of commissions of inquiry and land revenue matters among other issues.
BJP spokesperson and Supreme Court lawyer Nalin Kohli said the verdict makes it clear the Kejriwal government was trying to “usurp” the Centre’s power as it has turned down its plea seeking control over the ACB and posting of senior officials.
Both powers remain with the Lt Governor, he said.
Addressing a press conference after the verdict, Kejriwal said, “The judgment is against the constitution and democracy. We will seek legal remedies.”
Patra said Kejriwal’s language was “appalling”, and also targeted opposition parties, saying while they claim to be working together to “save democracy and institutions”, they have maintained silence on the AAP leader’s broadside against the court.
“Where are Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee who speak daily of saving democracy and institutions, as this is the biggest attack on the Supreme Court in our political history. Kejriwal has declared war on our highest court,” the BJP leader said, adding his party is considering moving a contempt of court plea against him in the court.
Kejriwal, who is the AAP national convener, has joined opposition parties in their campaign against the BJP.
Patra also took strong exception to Kejriwal’s claim, against the backdrop of the judgment, that people hold the key, and accused him of instigating AAP cadre to attack the court for upholding the constitution.
The Delhi chief minister has been an “anarchist” and attacked institutions like the Election Commission and the Army in the past. He has now not spared the SC either, the BJP spokesperson said.
Kohli termed Kejriwal’s comments “strange”, saying the constitution cannot be twisted based on the number of seats a party gets in elections.
Taking a jibe at him, the BJP leader said, “There are millions who have not passed class XII but respect the constitution, understand constitutional morality and constitutional statesmanship. On the other hand, some people may have studied in IIT but are unwilling to respect the constitution.”
Kejriwal had Wednesday said people made a “class XII-pass” the prime minister of the country but they should not repeat the “mistake” in 2019.