The ongoing tussle between the Delhi government and the national capital Lieutenant Governor intensified with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal levelling fresh allegations on Vinai Saxena on Friday.
Friday meeting turns into flashpoint
Kejriwal after his meeting with the L-G, even as he asked him to keep politics aside from governance matters accused Saxena of not cooperating.
Conflict over power
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said that he had carried copies of the Constitution, the GNCTD Act, and Motor Vehicles Act, with him to his meeting with Saxena.
"Delhi L-G has been interfering in the government's work that is causing inconvenience to people of Delhi. My intention was to sort out the issues, which is why I carried copies of the Constitution, Motor Vehicles Act, School Education Act, Supreme Court judgement," he said.
Kejriwal said that there are two kinds of subjects in Delhi - "reserved subjects" that include police, land, and public order on which LG can only take decisions, and "transferred subjects".
"All the other subjects come under the Delhi government. On July 4, the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had passed a judgement that said the LG has not been entrusted with any independent decision making power in terms of transferred subjects," he said.
He also said, "There is no independent authority vested in L-G to take decisions. In some matters, he can act as a judicial authority."
Recovery notice for ad expenses "illegal and unconstitutional"
Kejriwal said that this means that various orders passed by L-G, including ones on sealing of Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission Vice Chairman Jasmine Shah's office and issuing of notice demanding Rs 164 crore in recovery for ad expenses, are "illegal and unconstitutional".
"However, he said that he has been referred to as the 'Administrator' and enjoys supreme authority," Kejriwal said.
The chief minister also alleged that several departments stopped payments to the Delhi government three months ahead of the MCD polls.
"Officials said that they had been unofficially told to do so. This was done to hurt the AAP in the polls," he alleged.
Kejriwal: Let elected governments function
The two sides have been locked in a power tussle for quite some time. On Friday morning, Kejriwal, while referring to a newspaper article on the role of governors, said, "Let elected governments function. Obstructing elected governments from doing their job for petty partisan gains is bad for the people, democracy and Constitution."
L-G Saxena's letter to Kejriwal
On January 9, L-G Saxena through a letter invited Kejriwal for a meeting to discuss the provisions of governing administration in Delhi. He had also suggested the chief minister have regular meetings with him for "conflict-free" governance of the national capital in the interest of its residents.
The L-G had also said the chief minister used to meet him regularly till October 2022 but later he expressed his inability to do so due to his preoccupation with Delhi municipal polls and elections in different states. The L-G's office and the AAP government in Delhi have often found themselves at loggerheads over various issues.
Kejriwal's letter to Saxena
Kejriwal, in his recent letters to Saxena, questioned the nomination of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi's presiding officer and aldermen as well as members of the Haj committee, asking if the L-G as "administrator" meant ignoring the elected government in Delhi.