A chief minister attending a review meeting called by the city administrator, the lieutenant governor, is a routine affair. But not the one chaired by L-G Najeeb Jung at his office on Wednesday in which CM Arvind Kejriwal was present.
This meeting came after a gap of over four months.
Kejriwal had been refraining from visiting the L-G’s office, with which the elected state government has been locked in a bitter tug of war over administrative jurisdiction.
The AAP government is fighting both a political and legal battle with the Centre and its appointee, the L-G .
The government challenged in the Supreme Court the August verdict of Delhi High Court that stamped the L-G as the city’s administrative head.
“Even Wednesday’s appearance seemed very formal. The chief minister hardly participated in the discussion in the meeting and the government’s view was presented by heath minister Satyendra Jain,” an official present in the meeting said.
Sources said Jung and Kejriwal have not met officially for months, barring formal encounters at official functions such as an ‘At Home’ party hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee on Independence Day.
Earlier, the CM used to attend the review meetings at L-G’s office every one or two weeks, senior officials said. With the CM not holding any portfolio, it is deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia who has been attending them.
This has been the trend for a few months after the government came to power in February 2015.
A day after the August 4 high court order, L-G Jung told HT that he would request the CM to visit his office as he wanted to apprise him of the high court mandate.
“The CM used to meet me once in two-three weeks till about two months ago. Every time I meet him, it is my constitutional duty to tell him that he should work with us. I have never had a falling out or a nasty bickering one to one. Everything happens after he goes back and he rethinks whatever has been discussed here. So, it is my constitutional duty to request him to make a visit to this office and tell him that this is what the high court has so far said,” Jung had said.
At the time, Kejriwal was away at a Vipasana session in Dharmashala. L-G secretariat officials did not say whether a formal communication was sent to the chief minister. However, they confirmed that the two have not had such a meeting so far.