New Delhi, July 7: The already stressed ties between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal strained further after CM Arvind Kejriwal accused the LG of working at the behest of Centre. The Delhi CM alleged that Centre has asked Anil Baijal to ignore the Supreme Court’s order, which restricts his powers to only three subjects. Also Read - Sushant Singh Rajput's Roommate Siddharth Pithani Doesn't Visit ED For Questioning Despite Being Summoned
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, after 25-minute long meeting with Baijal at Raj Niwas, Kejriwal posted,”MHA has advised LG to ignore that part of SC order, which restricts LG’s powers to only 3 subjects. Very dangerous that central govt advising LG not to follow Hon’ble SC’s orders. “Have sought time from Rajnath Singh ji to urge him to follow Hon’ble SC’s orders,” he added. Also Read - Containment Zones in Delhi Dip to 293 | Check Full List
MHA Hits Back
Hitting back at Kejriwal over the accusations, the MHA in a statement said that it has not advised Baijal to ignore any part of the apex court’s order. Terming the CM’s remarks, ‘misleading’, the MHA asserted that it has only advised the L-G, based on a reference received from him, to follow the law.
“This advice is based on the Ministry of law’s opinion that the Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court has clearly ordered that the matter be placed before the appropriate regular bench. In fact it would be against the law to take a final view on the matter related to services which is still pending before the regular Bench. This is also in accordance with the Proviso to Article 145(3) of the Constitution,” News 18 quoted MHA’s statement.
First Meet After SC’s Order
Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia met Baijal for the first time after the Supreme Court’s landmark judgement. Addressing reporters after the meeting, CM alleged that the LG refused to abide by the Supreme Court’s order regarding the control of Services.
“He (Baijal) openly refused to agree that Services Department was under the control of the elected government because a 2015 central Home Ministry order had not been quashed by the Supreme Court in its July 4 ruling that said the central representative was constitutionally bound to listen to the Delhi cabinet,” Kejriwal told reporters.
Furthermore he claimed,”This is for the first time in the history of India that the Central government has openly refused to accept a Supreme Court ruling. If it becomes a precedent, there will be anarchy.”
He said the Central government’s intransigent attitude in keeping the Services Department under its control had caused delay in Delhi’s development projects because “they (the BJP) for their political gains will want us to fail as we are their rivals and have to face elections”.
“You have Services but you did not fill the post of Director, Education. How can we bring reforms in education if there are so many vacancies? Had Services been with us, we would have appointed a new official 15 days ahead to ensure efficiency,” Delhi CM asserted.
In his remarks, LG Baijal said that the Home Ministry in its on May 21, 2015 notification, which has been upheld by the Delhi High Court, ruled that the elected government will have no executive powers on Services.
The Lt. Governor said he told the Chief Minister and his deputy that in the wake of the judgment of the Supreme Court constitutional bench, the Home Ministry had advised his office that its earlier notification remained valid as nine appeals including the one relating to Services shall be taken up by the regular bench of the apex court separately.
The Chief Minister said despite Lt. Governor’s inflexibility, his government would continue making efforts to expedite development and welfare projects stalled so far. “Within the powers that we have after the SC order, I have asked officials to expedite projects. The Lt. Governor told us there is no need to send these files to (him). You can go ahead with the projects,” Kejriwal said.
CM Clears Three Pending Projects
On the other hand, CM Kejriwal was on an announcement spree on Friday following which he cleared three held up projects. At first, he approved the doorstep delivery of rations in the morning, over-ruling “all objections” the Central government had raised through its representative.
The Delhi government also cleared two major pending projects- completion of a signature bridge and two new academic blocks in the Delhi Technological University (DTU). After missing multiple deadlines due to inadequate funds, the iconic bridge in Wazirabad will open to public in October, Kejriwal announced.
Kejriwal said the work of installing CCTV cameras would be put on the fast track after he “directed the Public Works Department (PWD) Secretary to place the proposal” at a cabinet meeting on July 10. This is the fourth decision after doorstep delivery of ration, construction of the bridge and construction of two more administrative blocks in DTU by the Delhi government after the Supreme Court vested it executive powers.
Supreme Court’s Landmark Order
Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court in its verdict had ruled that the LG has no “independent decision making power” and has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government. The order by a five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, laid down broad parameters for the governance of the national capital, which has witnessed a bitter power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government since the AAP government first came to power in 2014.
(With inputs from agencies)