In a bid to end the bitter battle between the Centre and the Delhi government, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in his maiden Independence Day speech on Saturday pitched for synergy between the two in a set-up of cooperative federalism.
“I accept the AAP government has major differences with the central government, but there must be some working arrangement between the PM and the CM,” said Kejriwal, addressing a packed Chhatrasal Stadium even as heavy rain lashed the venue. “I tried to meet the Prime Minister over the issue but could not meet him. I will again try to meet him,” he added.
He requested the Modi government to set aside political vendetta and help him conduct the affairs of the state without becoming a hurdle in Delhi’s progress. “Differences are healthy in a democracy. But it is important to have synergy between the two as well.”
In his 40-minute speech, the CM ran through the AAP government’s ‘unprecedented’ achievements in the first six months, mainly in the social sectors and in curbing corruption, claiming that Delhi has an ‘honest chief minister, ministers and officials’.
But he did not touch upon the acrimony between his government and the lieutenant-governor over issues of administrative jurisdiction.
Referring to the compensation awarded to victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Kejriwal showered lavish praise on home minister Rajnath Singh, saying he wholeheartedly cooperated with his government on the issue.
“Cheques will be distributed soon and I want the first cheque to be handed over by Rajnath Singh ji. He has assured us that the money for it will be given by the Centre,” he said adding that the family of victims would be given Rs 5 lakh each.
Highlighting that power tariff reduction had considerably eased people’s lives, he said the rates may further fall. He said this could come to fruition if the Centre gave Delhi the authority to ‘cancel’ the existing power purchase agreements with electricity generating companies, which was entered into by the Sheila Dikshit government. He also said the Capital was ‘power surplus’.