Kejriwal-Jung row: AAP govt calls 2-day emergency session

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 24, 2015 08:59 IST

The Aam Aadmi Party government has called a two-day emergency session of the Delhi assembly from Tuesday following a standoff with the lieutenant governor and the Centre over its powers.

The session will discuss a gazette notification by the central government that specified the role of L-G Najeeb Jung. Relations between Jung and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal have hit rock bottom over a series of contentious bureaucratic transfers and postings.

The NDA government threw its weight behind Jung on Friday, saying he was well within his powers to make the senior appointments.

As the no-holds-barred turf war between the Capital's two most powerful men intensified, the Union home ministry issued the gazette notification saying services, public order, police and land fell under the lieutenant governor, who may consult with the chief minister on services using his discretion.

On Friday, Kejriwal accused the Centre of trying to run the Delhi government by proxy, saying it had stabbed the people of the city in the back with the notification.

The CM's remarks reflected deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia's allegation earlier that the AAP government has been under attack because "it had stopped the practice of taking money to assign lucrative posts to bureaucrats".

The scramble for controlling the city stems from Delhi's complicated position as a Union territory functioning as the Capital. The state government has no power over a number of important departments and agencies that function under the lieutenant governor, who reports to the home ministry.

The decision to hold the special session was taken at a Cabinet meeting presided by Kejriwal. The assembly was due to meet in June for the passage of the Delhi budget.

Officials said government had sought legal opinion from constitutional expert KK Venugopal and former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium and both felt that the notification is against the provisions in the Constitution and laid down norms.

"Legal opinions from noted constitutional expert KK Venugopal and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanium were placed before the Cabinet and discussed in the meeting," the chief minister's office said.

The Cabinet also decided that depending on the requirement, the session can be extended further.

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