Delhi House adjourned amid ruckus over LG’s alleged remarks on SC rulings
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday alleged Saxena told him that the “administrator” could do all the work in Delhi irrespective of SC judgments as the two resumed their weekly meetings after months
The Delhi assembly was adjourned on Monday for a day amid repeated ruckus over lieutenant governor (LG) Vinai Kumar Saxena’s alleged remarks about the Supreme Court (SC)’s 2018 ruling on the power tussle between the government and the Centre.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday alleged Saxena told him that the “administrator” could do all the work in Delhi irrespective of SC judgments as the two resumed their weekly meetings after months. In 2018, the top court said only subjects of land, services, and police rest with the lieutenant governor.
Kejriwal’s claim sparked a fresh row amid the power tussle between the two authorities that govern the capital. An official in Saxena’s office called Kejriwal’s claims misleading and twisted to suit a particular agenda while denying the lieutenant governor ever made such remarks.
AAP lawmaker Saurabh Bharadwaj referred to Saxena’s alleged comments as the assembly proceedings began on Monday and sparked an argument between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (BJP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmakers.
“The LG [lieutenant governor] has said that the July 4, 2018, judgement of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court [on the power tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre] could be an opinion of the court. The SC’s judgements become law and they are not opinions,” he said.
Bharadwaj also called the attention of deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia to “illegal and unwanted obstructions and interferences in the education of children and training of teachers”. He spoke about the government’s good work in education while accusing Saxena of creating obstacles in it.
Opposition leader Ramvir Singh Bidhuri objected to Bharadwaj’s comments and added Saxena did not say anything about the SC rulings. He accused Bharadwaj of wrongly attributing the remarks to Saxena as the BJP legislators protested.
Bharadwaj wondered whether Bidhuri has become Saxena’s secretary. “[Saxena] is not ready to follow the constitution...and is indulging in a dictatorship, but the BJP lawmakers are supporting him.”
He questioned whether a cost-benefit analysis of the lieutenant governor’s office be done to find out why taxpayers’ money was needed to fund it as AAP lawmakers jumped into the Well of the House and raised slogans against Saxena. They demanded that Delhi government school teachers should be allowed to go to Finland for a training programme.
AAP on Thursday accused Saxena of stopping the programme even as his office denied this. The office said the government was “advised to evaluate the proposal in totality and record the cost-benefit analysis in tangible terms, so as to assess the effectiveness of various foreign training programmes for teachers undertaken in the past.”
On Friday, Kejriwal insisted there is “no independent authority vested” in the lieutenant governor to take decisions except in three reserved subjects. Kejriwal said Saxena differed with his opinion at their meeting.
Kejriwal said the lieutenant governor’s interference is not only obstructionist but also a strong deterrent in the fulfilment of the needs and ambitions of the people of Delhi.