Can’t appoint my peon: CM Kejriwal says Centre has rendered Delhi govt powerless
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday alleged that despite being in power, the Delhi government has been rendered “powerless” due to constant interference by the Central government.
The comments came on a day when the Supreme Court of India said Delhi’s lieutenant governor (L-G) cannot “scuttle an executive decision by sitting on a file”.
“We tried to curb corruption in our 49-day stint and the anti-corruption branch (ACB) sent 35-40 officials to jail creating fear among officials. We won with 67 seats in the next elections but still they (the Centre) are trying to hamper our work through L-G, who sits on our files. My government is so powerless that I can’t even get my peon appointed,” said Kejriwal, also Aam Aadmi Party’s national convener, at the national council meet held in Alipur on the outskirts of Delhi.
AAP has maintained that if an elected government did not get control over ACB, it cannot live up to its anti-graft stand or deliver on its promise made to Delhi’s electorate. Soon after the AAP government came to power in 2015, a joint-commissioner-level officer was made the ACB chief by the then L-G, a move that AAP government alleges took away its control of ACB.
Kerjiwal also cited the L-G’s approval of Mohalla clinics for which he claimed, his lawmakers had to stage a demonstration outside the L-G’s house to get the bill passed. He also raised the issue of Jan Lok Pal bill, which was passed by the Delhi Assembly but returned by the Centre.
“Despite all the hurdles, our government’s work is being recognised worldwide while people are disappointed with the BJP. After nearly three years in Delhi, all sections — student, traders, common people — are happy with the AAP government. Imagine if we had all the powers. We will not give up and continue to work with passion,” he said.
Earlier, during the day-long national council meet discussed a wide array of issues including the “worsening” economy, farmers’ predicament, Jan Lokpal, “interference” of Delhi’s lieutenant governor in the government’s functioning and the recent attacks on journalists.
“India is being known at the world stage due to the Delhi model of governance. The ease of business ranking of India took a giant leap from 130 to 100 due to two cities- Delhi and Mumbai,” said deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who presided over the meeting.
Apart from Sisodia, senior party leader Sanjay Singh addressed the members on the economy, Ashutosh on social media and Gopal Rai on how to strengthen the organisation.