Anil Baijal overrules Delhi govt's decision to reopen hotels, weekly bazaars; AAP decries move

AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha, in a presser, said that the central govt derives sadistic pleasure by inflicting pain and misery on the people of Delhi and the elected govt of Delhi

FP Staff July 31, 2020 20:44:35 IST
Anil Baijal overrules Delhi govt's decision to reopen hotels, weekly bazaars; AAP decries move

File image of Lt Governor Anil Baijal. News18

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal stoked a fresh controversy over recent guidelines issued by the Arvind Kejriwal government on Friday, as he rejected the state Cabinet's decision to allow hotels and weekly markets to open under Unlock 3 guidelines.

The Arvind Kejriwal government had decided to allow hotels to reopen in the city on the Thursday. It also allowed weekly bazaars (markets) on a trial basis for seven days with social distancing and all necessary COVID 19-appropriate measures in place. The move had come after the Central government had issued fresh guidelines for Unlock 3.0, the third phase of the gradual lifting of curbs imposed in the wake of coronavirus.

However, senior officials in the L-G’s office said the situation in Delhi continues to be "fragile" and the threat is still "far from over". Therefore such relaxations cannot be allowed.

The Print quoted sources in the L-G's office as saying, "We don’t think Delhi is in a position to get back to a normal life this soon. Corona(virus) hasn’t vanished and we cannot resume activity at this pace … Hence, keeping the safety of everyone in mind, the decision has been taken."

The Aam Aadmi Party has, meanwhile, reacted strongly to the L-G's move.

AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha, in a presser, said, "It appears that the central govt derives sadistic pleasure by inflicting pain and misery on the people of Delhi and the elected govt of Delhi. We would like to tell the Centre to stop interfering in areas that come under the domain of the elected government. On 8 June, Centre allowed weekly markets and hotels to open. Even though in Gujarat and UP, the corona situation is bad , both hotels and weekly markets are open. But when it comes to Delhi, the central govt has problems."

This is the second time in two days that there have been conflicts between the Delhi L-G and the AAP government. On Thursday, the two had clashed when Baijal overruled the Delhi cabinet’s decision to reject a panel of lawyers chosen by the Delhi Police to represent it in cases related to the communal riots in northeast Delhi after the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.

The Delhi cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Kejriwal on Tuesday, had rejected the panel of lawyers proposed by the city police, saying it would not help a "free-and-fair" trial of the cases related to the northeast Delhi riots. But Baijal, on Thursday, overruled this, directing the home department to grant approval to the Delhi Police's proposed panel of lawyers.

With inputs from PTI

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