AAP MLAs today criticised Leader of Opposition (LOP) Vijender Gupta's appeal to Lt Governor Anil Baijal to dismantle house committees of the Delhi Assembly and moved a resolution to send the matter to the Privilege Committee. Hitting out at Gupta over the issue on the first day of the Monsoon Session, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia suspected "mala fide" intention behind the demand of the LOP. "Being part of the executive, I do not have any objection over the functioning of house committees. I am not able to understand as to why the BJP is making such a baseless demand.
It indicates there's something wrong," Sisodia said. It is "strange" to know that an MLA, who is a member of the House, is demanding to "curtail the power" of its committees, the deputy chief minister said. "There are several Lok Sabha committees which fix responsibility of executives on various issues. Like the Lok Sabha, the Delhi Assembly has similar committees whose members step out to check desilting of drains, availability of medicines at hospitals and others. "The BJP does not believe in democracy and that's why Gupta is demanding the dismantling of assembly committees," Sisodia alleged. AAP MLA Sourabh Bhardwaj, who is the chairperson of the Petitions Committee, which had recently slammed the PWD Secretary over desilting of drains, moved a resolution seeking to send Gupta's demand to the House Privilege Committee. He said the Lt Governor, who reportedly sought the Additional Solicitor General's opinion over the functioning of such committees, "is not above the House". The AAP MLA said there are several cases, including those relating to desilting of drains, preparedness of chikungunya and dengue, being heard by various courts, but house committees are separately looking after these issues which is not against the laid down rules. The resolution was adopted by a voice vote in the absence of Gupta and the two other BJP legislators -- Jagdish Pradhan and Manjinder Singh Sirsa. Other AAP MLAs Adharsh Shastri, ALka Lamba, Rituraj Jha, Somnath Bharti, Madan Lal were among those who demanded action against Gupta. In a press note last week, Gupta, an MLA from Rohini, had said, he "will expose how the government formed unconstitutional house committees in the Delhi Assembly such as special inquiry committees and the department-related standing committees". "These committees are taking over the executive, judicial, investigative functioning of the government. The fact is that these committees have been constituted primarily to settle score with senior IAS, DANICS, allied services and other officers," he had alleged.
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