Jharkhand Mukti Morcha formally announced on Friday that it will support the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in opposing the Centre's ordinance on control of administrative services in Delhi after a meeting between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Jharkhand counterpart Hemant Soren in Ranchi.
Announcing this at a press conference here, Kejriwal said the ordinance must be defeated collectively in Parliament where it is likely to come up for voting as a law in the forthcoming session.
Soren, who accompanied him at the press meet after their meeting where Punjab CM Bhagwant Singh Mann was also present, said, "The Centre's attack on democracy is a matter of serious concern."
Keriwal and Mann arrived here on a special flight from Chennai on Thursday night accompanied by AAP MPs Raghav Chadha and Sanjay Singh besides AAP MLA Atishi.
"JMM will support AAP in opposing the Central ordinance on control of administrative services in Delhi.
"The Centre is creating a crisis for the AAP and is preventing a duly elected government from functioning independently," the Delhi CM said.
"Despite the Supreme Court verdict in favour of the AAP government (the apex court had ruled that the control over transfer and posting of top bureaucrats in Delhi would vest with the state government), the Centre brought the ordinance,” Kejriwal stressed.
He described the movement against the ordinance "like a fight for independence."
Kejriwal said, "This ordinance should be collectively defeated in Parliament as it is undemocratic, against the federal structure and unconstitutional.”
He added, "We will not allow the Central government to suppress democratic rights of people."
He said he had "brotherly relationship" with Soren and they frequently interacted with each other on various topics.
Last month injustice was done with the people of Delhi and their rights were taken away, which amounts to insulting people, he said.
"The ordinance bill is likely to be tabled in the Monsoon session....If non-BJP parties come together in Rajya Sabha, it can be defeated. If not stopped, they can bring similar ordinances for other states to take away their rights. The move is like interfering with the basic tenets of the Constitution," Kejriwal said.
Appealing to every citizen to come foward to oppose the ordinance, he said, "We are getting response from all parties. Soren has assured full support outside and inside the Parliament over the issue. I urge other parties to support AAP against this anti-people ordinance. People of Delhi have got Jharkhand’s support for which I am grateful."
Soren said elected non-BJP governments were being targeted systematically and it is a blow on the “unity and diversity" of the country.
"The ordinance is a blow to democracy. The Centre is misusing central agencies to weaken democratically elected governments, which is not good for a healthy democracy," Soren said.
Soren also spoke about alleged manhandling of protesting wrestlers on the day the new Parliament building was inaugurated.
"Delhi is also home to people from Jharkhand, Bihar, UP, Kerala, Maharashtra and other states. Decisions like this (ordinance) will impact 80 per cent of the country’s people including farmers and villagers...There is need for a political and legal battle to thwart attempts to throttle democracy," he said.
Punjab CM Mann said, "The wrestlers had gone to throw their medals in Ganga in Haridwar. If voices are not raised now, ashes of democracy will be immersed in Ganga next. There is a battle between the elected and the selected in the country."
Meanwhile, Jharkhand’s main opposition party, the BJP, said corrupt politicians were joining hands due to action against them.
BJP state unit chief and MP Deepak Prakash alleged that all three CMs who “patronised corruption” had become restless.
On Thursday, both Kejriwal and Mann met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin who accused the Centre of creating a crisis in non-BJP-ruled states.
Kejriwal has been reaching out to leaders of non-BJP parties to garner support against the ordinance so that the Centre's bid to replace it through a bill is defeated when it is brought in Parliament.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have so far extended their support to the AAP.
Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, as well as his deputy Tejaswi Yadav, have also supported Kejriwal in the matter.
-With PTI Input