21 May, 2015 is a critical date in the history of the way governance is carried out in the national capital. The gazette notification passed on the day superseded the one passed on 24 September, 1998 that made it mandatory for the Lieutenant Governor to consult the chief minister regarding reserved subjects of police, public order, land and services, which is the bureaucracy and those who run the state machinery. Article 239 AA was inserted through the 69th Amendment Act, 1991, to create Delhi's framework for governance, according to which the chief minister does not have executive power over the three reserved subjects.
However, the notification passed in 1998 mandated that the L-G can exercise his powers on matters related to public order, police and services ‘in consultation’ with the Chief Minister of Delhi. Even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal finally got a reply from L-G Anil Baijal on the ninth day of his protest, following which he called off his sit-in protest at Raj Niwas, some of the points raised by Deputy Chi f Minister Manish Sisodia earlier in the day were quite interesting.
Criricising the L-G in his first press conference after being discharged from Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan hospital after his health improved, Sisodia said that Kejriwal has written to the prime minister demanding that the powers during Sheila Dikshit’s government be granted to this government too. He asked in the history of democracy anywhere in the world, which Lt. Governor has refused to acknowledge the presence of a chief minister who has come to visit him at his residence? The deputy chief minister said the AAP government had written to the L-G four times who in turn asked for more time. He stated at the press conference at his residence on Mathura Road that the L-G didn't revert to letters sent to him during the nine days of protest and didn’t reply to Whatsapp messages either.
Sisodia stated that the L-G asked his secretary to take care of them but didn't come and engage with them even once. He said Sanjay Singh is a member of the parliament and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, and Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought Baijal's permission to meet Kejriwal at Raj Niwas, which was denied. Moreover, he added that when two AAP MLAs visited the L-G house, they were manhandled and forced to leave the premises. "Where in a democracy does this happen," asked Sisodia.
Mounting the blame of the L-G's arrogance on the central government, the deputy chief minister accused the Prime Minister of being party to the systemic process of disrupting the innovative policies of the AAP like mohalla clinics and doorstep delivery of ration. He said efforts to stall governance have been going on for a while and reflect in the way IAS officers are pulled up if seen drinking a cup of tea with AAP politicians and are scared of being transferred. He also cited that CBI inquiries against bureaucrats trying to execute the vision of AAP are a proof of this.
Sisodia quoted Adam Gondvi’s Urdu prose – ‘tumhaari filon mein gaon ka yeh mausam gulaabi hai, yeh aankde jhoote hain, yeh daave kitaabi hain’ to make the point that not going through files but making field visits are a prerequisite to good governance. He further added that the ministers need the DMs, SDMs and secretaries to accompany them during field visits for any work to get done.
Updated Date: Jun 19, 2018 20:39 PM