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Nitish meets Kejriwal, assures support to AAP amid tussle with Centre

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday met his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi and extended "complete support" to him in the AAP government's ongoing tussle with the Centre over the control of administrative services. Kumar was accompanied by his deputy and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. The Centre promulgated the ordinance on Friday to create a National Capital Civil Service Authority for transfer of IAS and DANICS cadre officers and disciplinary proceedings against them. This came a week after the Supreme Court handed over the control of services, excluding those related to police, public order and land, to the elected government in Delhi.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kejriwal said he will personally reach out to the chiefs of all opposition parties to seek their support in the matter so that any bill brought by the Centre to replace the ordinance is defeated in Rajya Sabha. "I have a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Tuesday. After that, I will meet every party's president to seek their formal support for defeating the bill when it comes in Rajya Sabha," Kejriwal said. "I have also requested Nitish Kumar ji to talk to all the (opposition) parties in this regard," he added.

An ordinance has to be ratified by Parliament within six months. Kejriwal said if the bill is defeated in Rajya Sabha, it will send out the message that the BJP will lose the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. "It will be the semi-final of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls," the AAP national convenor told reporters. The National Capital Civil Service Authority will comprise the chief minister of the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi as its chairperson, along with chief secretary and principal secretary, home, who will be the member secretary to the authority. 

The Bihar chief minister assured that he will make efforts to bring opposition parties together in support of Kejriwal. "We will hold further meetings. We are trying to ensure that the maximum number of opposition parties come together and a nationwide campaign is launched to demand that laws are followed and there is mutual harmony and brotherhood in the country. "Efforts are being made to create conflicts among people. Such things should be stopped," he said. When asked, Kumar said he will also speak to the Congress leadership on the issue of the ordinance. "I don't think anybody will oppose it (supporting Kejriwal). We will talk to them," he said. Kejriwal was among the few non-BJP chief ministers who were not invited by the Congress to the swearing-in ceremony of its new government in Karnataka on Saturday, an event which was seen as a show of strength by opposition parties.

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