New Delhi: In the ongoing tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of Delhi, which seems to be tiring out even the die-hard fans of 24X7 news gimmicks, the frustration of the former over efforts to prevent him from functioning was evident in his speech made on the floor of the Delhi Assembly on 27 May.
Firing salvo at the Centre, Kejriwal in his fiery speech in the 70-member House of the Delhi Assembly during the second day of ‘emergency session’ on Wednesday, claimed that there was a “deep-rooted conspiracy going on against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Delhi government and against him”.
Mincing no words, the Delhi CM alleged that the L-G had been “dancing to the tunes of the Centre.” Kejriwal stated it was a political issue, not a constitutional one. “It's Modi government's vendetta against us.”
The ‘emergency session’ had been called to move a resolution against the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the Delhi government.
During the proceedings, Kejriwal launched a scathing attack on the Modi-government and raised the following points to justify his stand:
1. The Centre wants to appoint people in key positions in transportation, water and other departments to disrupt operations and bring bad name to the AAP government.
2. Before AAP government was formed, transfer-posting in Delhi was a multi-crore industry. We have put an end to it. As a result, all the corrupt officials rushed to the Prime Minister’s Office and the MHA.
3. Whenever, I had met the L-G, he never asked me about the issues like water, electricity, safety or civic amenities…but was more interested in transfers and postings.
4. For the last 20 years, the Congress and the BJP had their governments in Delhi. They gave birth to contract system (Thekedaari), under which when one party used to be in power, it favoured the other with tenders and contracts, and vice versa. Both shared a Chacha-Bhateeja (Uncle-Nephew) relationship. We have stopped this practice and want this corruption to end.
5. The BJP wants to appoint its own governors, who would make chief ministers of opposition parties miserable. That’s why the L-G has been dancing to the Centre’s tunes. The day he does something against the Centre, he’ll be removed in 24 hours.
It wasn’t a public platform where Kejriwal had been trying to woo his voters, but it was his grievance against the Centre that he wanted to bring to the notice of the lawmakers in the Assembly.
And, Kejriwal has a point. Has AAP government’s anti-corruption drive proved a threat for the opposition?
The AAP got a landslide victory and was voted to power by promising Delhi voters free water, discounted electricity, safety for women and a corruption-free Delhi. In fact, Kejriwal had said that Delhi would be the first corruption-free state in the country. For this, he needs a free hand to function.
A visibly frustrated Kejriwal said, “I’m the Delhi CM and I made certain promises to the people of Delhi. If I have to supply free water to my people, I need good and honest officers in Jal Board. But, if I’m not allowed to get the right officers on duty, how can I perform? Is the PM, the L-G or Rajnath Singh going to do it?”
A former principal secretary, who had served the Delhi government in various capacities told Firstpost, on condition of anonymity, “After all, it’s the people of Delhi, who chose the AAP over the Congress and the BJP and voted them to power with such a huge mandate. It seems the BJP wants to deprive Delhi government of its tools to function and prove it a failure. They should be allowed to function without hindrance and within the constitutional framework. Both, the L-G and the Delhi government need to show resilience and work in harmony for an overall development of Delhi, which has been missing since long. There are several grey areas identified by the AAP government and they should sincerely address those areas.”
The second day session witnessed a ruckus in the Assembly as the AAP MLA from Rithala Mahendra Goyal tore a copy of MHA notification during discussion on resolution tabled by Delhi government. In protest, the three BJP MLAs staged a walkout from the house.
A senior AAP leader involved in Delhi Dialogue said, “We prepared a blue-print through Delhi Dialogue on various sectors to provide all those facilities to the public that we had promised and we’re accountable to them. But, the Centre through its arm-twisting has been trying to jeopardize our plans, so that the AAP government can be proved a failure. This is the dirty politics that the BJP at the Centre has been indulged into. As the CM said in the Assembly, it’s a deep-rooted conspiracy to malign him and the government. But, we’ll fight till the end and won’t let it happen.”
Added, AAP spokesperson Ashutosh, “Both the Congress and the BJP are in unison. Why the police department in Delhi and the MHA are so concerned on bailing out a head constable, who has been booked for corruption? If we’re successful with our anti-corruption drive in Delhi, several big ones from the Congress and the BJP would be behind bars.”
However, the opposition parties condemned the Delhi government’s voice of protest.
Delhi Congress spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee said, “In a federal structure a government has to function following rules and regulations. Tamasha (drama) of this kind has never happened earlier, despite having two different parties at the Centre and in Delhi. AAP’s allegation against the centre of hatching conspiracy is in bad taste.”
Former AAP leader and Delhi BJP’s spokesperson, Ashwini Upadhyay said, “Instead of leveling allegations against the Centre and confusing people, Kejriwal should focus on deliverance. There are so many areas, where poor people are able to get only drinking water. Power-cut has begun.”
Updated Date: May 28, 2015 08:41 AM