Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit blames AAP for conflict with L-G
Asserting that the ‘conflict’ between the Delhi government and Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal was the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) creation, forrmer chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday said the government should get to work now that the Supreme Court had delivered its judgment on the tussle for Delhi’s administrative control.
Dikshit said there was no conflict with the L-G when she was in power from 1998 to 2013 “because the constitution clearly defines the roles of the chief minister, ministers and the L-G”.
“As per Article 239 (AA) of the Constitution, Delhi is not a state, it is a Union Territory. If the government and L-G do not work together, then Delhi will face problems. It is clearly written in the Constitution. But the conflict was their (AAP)’s own creation. They do not bother about the city,” Dikshit said.
Dikshit, who was the chief minister of Delhi for three terms between 1998 and 2013, said L-G has total control over land, police and law and order but beyond that, he went by the state cabinet’s advice.
“We would send all files to the L-G. We handled the services matters. Our government never faced such a situation. The cabinet took decisions and the L-G always used to agree. It was so for 15 years. Whenever we had a difference of opinion, we always talked and sorted it out. Governance was never affected.”
Disapproving of AAP’s ‘style’ of working, Dikshit said the L-G never stopped any file during the Congress rule.
“I do not understand what the conflict is all about. No L-G had ever held our files. Either the L-G got convinced or he convinced us (the government). All matters outside the ambit of land and law and order were taken care of by the government,” said Dikshit, the longest-serving Delhi chief minister.
Taking on AAP, Dikshit said they (AAP government) could always talk and resolve the matter.
“If AAP wants to create confusion then it is a different matter altogether. There has to be mutual understanding. What is their (AAP’s) intention? What does Arvind Kejriwal want to achieve with this? I don’t understand. The tussle makes things look bad and the government weak. AAP is terming it (court verdict) as victory but victory is when people of Delhi get good governance and the city gets development, “ she said.
Talking about AAP’s demand for full statehood, Dikshit said first of all, Delhi cannot get such a status as it is the National Capital.
“If you (AAP) want to change that, then go to Parliament and the prime minister. Say that you want these changes. The matter has to be decided by the Parliament,” she said.
At the same time, Dikshit said full statehood was not required for good governance. “Tools are available and good enough for the city to get good governance,” she said.
“We have ‘tools’ as per which we have to work. The Congress government has given good governance for three terms. We introduced the Metro, brought CNG, privatised power, and built schools and hospitals. Governance depends on how you use regulations,” she said.