Arvind Kejriwal vs Anil Baijal: Waqf board to mohalla clinics, Delhi state govt and L-G locked horns on several issues

The Supreme Court on Wednesday handed a major victory to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in his bitter power tussle with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, ruling that the L-G has no independent power to take decisions and is bound by the elected government's advice.

This brings to an end the two-year-long tussle between the L-G and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led state government, which had been at loggerheads since the time Baijal was appointed in late 2016. Among the main points of contention between the AAP and the L-G's office was the argument that the latter was blocking many of the government's key schemes. Here are some of them:

Delhi Healthcare Corporation Ltd: The state government claimed that a file for establishing the Delhi Healthcare Corporation Ltd (DHCL), a public limited company that would provide certain essential support services, was sent to the L-G's office back in August 2016, but is yet to be cleared. Calling it part of the government's efforts to improve functioning of state-run hospitals, it alleged that the L-G has "practically rejected" the proposal.

Waqf board constitution: The Delhi Waqf Board has sat idle since October 2016, and the AAP has alleged that Baijal is stalling its constitution "without valid reason". As reported by The Tribune, AAP leader Manish Sisodia alleged Baijal's predecessor Najeeb Jung "illegally" dissolved the Waqf board in 2016, and "usurped the powers of the board to run it through his officers in complete violation of the law".

 Arvind Kejriwal vs Anil Baijal: Waqf board to mohalla clinics, Delhi state govt and L-G locked horns on several issues

File image of Arvind Kejriwal and Anil Baijal. PTI

He added that the L-G's delay is "seriously hampering" the functioning of the Waqf board, since imams of various mosques are not getting their salaries. He also alleged that it's an attempt to delay the constitution of the elected board in accordance with law, and gives rise to a reasonable view that it is being done to allow the officers selected by him to continue administering the Waqf Board, the article added.

Water scarcity: Earlier this year, when crippling water scarcity hit Delhi, Kejriwal and Baijal were engaged in another war of words. As reported by Hindustan Times, while Kejriwal claimed Baijal didn't pay heed to his repeated appeals to resolve the crisis, Baijal hit back saying the chief minister shouldn't have "spent time on dharnas without reason" given how important the issue was. He also criticised the state government for moving court in the matter, saying it should have tried to resolve the crisis through mutual negotiation and dialogue rather than through confrontation.

Mohalla clinics: This was among the key points of argument between Kejriwal and Baijal. Mohalla clinics are aimed at providing free primary healthcare to Delhi residents, and Kejriwal attacked Baijal for stalling the file "at the behest of the BJP". Kejriwal said his government wanted to build 1,000 mohalla clinics in the city, "but the L-G did not sign the files".

On 30 August last year, 45 AAP MLAs had camped at the L-G office for several hours, insisting that Baijal clear the Mohalla clinics file, an act his office termed as "laying siege" to the office of a "constitutional functionary".

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 04, 2018 14:29:59 IST