It’s unpardonable that the SC had to reprimand Jung, Kejriwal
The elected government has the responsibility to look after the people and if that means it has to seek an accommodation with the L-G or whoever it thinks is standing in its way, it cannot shirk from thatUpdated: Oct 05, 2016 20:11 IST
“You may be great, but you have to do something to maintain that stature. No digging in the past should happen.” These were among the words that the Supreme Court used to admonish the AAP government and Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung to get them to sit together and deal with the chikungunya crisis which has gripped the capital. In the week ending October 1, there were 1,598 recorded cases, though mercifully this is showing a downward trend. However, there is no room for complacency. It is unpardonable that the apex court has had to step in and reprimand the top authorities in the Capital, as if they were errant schoolboys, on an issue on which ego clashes should not figure at all. This is a matter which involves people’s lives and health, something both are mandated to protect.
For weeks on end, the blame game has been going on. After the courts ruled earlier that the L-G is the administrative authority in Delhi, the battle between the two sides has intensified with bickering on almost every issue. But when confronted with a health crisis, both should have put their differences aside to deal with it. Earlier, the AAP government even went to the extent of saying that the L-G had transferred key health officials in order to hobble its efforts to combat dengue and chikungunya. The government’s contention is that it has no authority over the civic bodies responsible for keeping the city clean. But instead of complaining, we are yet to hear any attempt by it to work out a solution. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been very vocal on national issues, but he cannot abdicate his responsibilities on the grounds that his government and the L-G cannot see eye to eye. Earlier, he and many of his ministers were missing when these diseases were gaining ground. This is clearly not what the people signed up for when they gave AAP a massive mandate.
If nothing else, the government should make an effort instead of blaming everyone else but itself for the problems of Delhi. The people had high hopes that AAP’s localised style of governance would see to it that their grievances would be addressed speedily. But now that seems to have vanished with the party focusing on extending its reach in other states. The apex court has clearly said that the elected government has the responsibility to look after the people. If that means it has to seek an accommodation with the L-G or whoever it thinks is standing in its way, it cannot shirk from that. If the court’s slap on the wrist doesn’t work, we wonder what will.