Arvind Kejriwal Asks L-G Baijal to Restore 5 Powers Enjoyed by Sheila Dikshit Govt
Kejriwal demanded that transfers and postings of officers should be handed to the Delhi government, saying vigilance powers can only be exercised by an elected government.
File image of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Image: PTI)
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday accused Lt Governor Anil Baijal of attempting to "paralyse" his government and demanded that the five powers enjoyed by his predecessor Sheila Dikshit be restored to his dispensation.
The powers, Kejriwal referred to in his speech during a discussion in the Assembly on an "Outcome Report" on the performance of the L-G's office, included the authority to take vigilance and disciplinary action against government officers. Alleging that Baijal was "accountable" only to the BJP, and not the people of Delhi, he said the L-G enjoys "complete power without responsibility and accountability, while the Delhi government is accountable for everything without having any power at its disposal."
Kejriwal and Baijal have clashed on several issues in the past. The chief minister has accused the L-G of creating hurdles in the functioning of the Aam Aadmi Party government. Baijal had red-flagged a few provisions in the ambitious programme for doorstep delivery of public services, before he finally cleared it in January after two months.
"LG is behaving like a headmaster. Not even our teachers bothered us so much," Kejriwal said during the discussion on the "Outcome Report". The report details the alleged hurdles created by the L-G's office in the execution of Delhi government projects. It was tabled in the House earlier this week.
The chief minister said the L-G has admitted in a response to the report that he did not clear around 300 files sent to him. "While he (L-G) passed 97 per cent files concerning routine matters, he did not clear 300 files that were related with policy," he said.
A "misunderstanding" is being created that all was good when Congress governed Delhi, but AAP fights on every issue, he said. "Sheila Dikshit government had five powers including to undertake vigilance and disciplinary action against officers and punish them, recruitment on vacant posts, and anti-corruption branch - that have been taken away from us by the Centre. Also, the Sheila Dikshit-led government was not forced to send each and every file to the LG office," he said.
Pointing to L-G's objections on some of the files and his suggestion to Delhi government to send them to the Central ministries, Kejriwal said: "Why should policy related files be sent to the Centre. Delhi people voted for Kejriwal, not Modi." He also targeted Baijal on his government's proposal to establish Delhi Health Corporation Limited (DHCL). He said the L-G rejected the file noting "'I do not think it's a good idea'" and sarcastically added, "may be he had a fight with his wife and so he wrote this."
Kejriwal demanded that transfers and postings of officers should be handed to the Delhi government, saying vigilance powers can only be exercised by an elected government. "In matters where the Legislative Assembly has the competence to make laws, the powers to take decisions should be with the elected government and files on such matters should not be sent to the L-G to avoid unnecessary hurdles and delays," he said.
The chief minister, however, left room for agreement. He said the L-G should be allowed to exercise his difference of opinion with the council of ministers on matters mentioned in reserved subjects of the Constitution and on matters where the Union government's functioning will be affected.
He also mocked Baijal saying whether the L-G was accountable to anyone at all. "Is he accountable to the Queen of England, President of US, Prime Minister of India... He is not accountable to anyone. He is accountable only to the BJP."
"He is trying to paralyse Delhi, by sitting over recruitment of government staff and preventing action against guilty officers," he added. Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "restrain" the L-G, saying he should ensure that Baijal interfere only in matters that may concern the Centre.
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