Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in resolving the “unprecedented” situation arising due to differences between his government and the Centre and said he was ready to go the “extra mile” to settle them for sake of the city’s development.
In a letter to Modi, Kejriwal said Delhi’s development has been hit by the fissures between the two sides and that there should be no reason why the two “well-meaning” governments cannot resolve their differences.
Referring to Supreme Court’s observation regarding confrontation between the two sides, he said a “little open mindedness” and “primacy” for welfare of people of Delhi would help in finding solutions to the issues and noted that he has personally made efforts to solve them amicably.
“I personally do not believe that there is any such issue which cannot be resolved by two well-meaning governments in the interest of the people of Delhi. All that is required is a little open mindedness and primacy for the welfare of the people of Delhi. Now when the apex court has also expressed its concern about the state of affairs, I would urge that we should resolve these differences in the interest of people of Delhi. I assure you that I shall be more than willing to walk an extra mile in this direction,” Kejriwal said in his letter.
He said a number of orders issued by the AAP government in the past six months have been declared “void” by the Lt Governor which is unprecedented. He said Delhi government tried to ensure that the day-to-day lives of people are not affected by the “Centre-State conflict”.
“There are so many things which have happened during the past seven months that have never happened in 23 years of the democratic tradition in Delhi,” he said.
Elaborating on the issues, Kejriwal said never before has the LG declared the orders issued by the democratically- elected government of Delhi as illegal and null and void.
“In the last six months, several orders of elected government of Delhi have been declared void by Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor for the first time,” he said.
Kejriwal’s letter to Modi came two days after a Supreme Court bench had said both the sides should sit together and resolve the disputes and give good governance.
“I fully agree with the sentiments expressed by the Hon’ble bench of the Supreme Court of India. Indeed, the situation in Delhi is unprecedented,” Kejriwal said. He said never before has the Lt Governor issued direct orders to the officers of the city government which are “contradictory to the legal and valid orders issued by the democratically elected government”.
“Never before has the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is a part of a separate legal entity i.e. Government of India declared illegal and ab initio void the orders of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi,” he said.
Kejriwal alleged that the Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi government has been “usurped” by the Lt Governor through an executive order depriving the government of its primary tool to combat corruption.
“I have no doubt that had appropriate cooperation been received from Government of India and the Lieutenant Governor, the progress of Delhi during the same period would have been much more,” said Kejriwal. He said he made sincere efforts to resolve the difference but did not succeed.
“I, for one, have made all possible efforts to resolve the situation. I have personally met all the concerned ministers of government of India, and also approached the Lt Governor, several times in this direction. I even met yourself and also the President of India on couple of occasions on this issue,” said Kejriwal.
The Union Home Ministry had declared a number of orders of the city government “null and void” including appointment of a Commission of Inquiry to probe the CNG fitness scam and cancellation of appointment of Anti-Corruption Branch chief M K Meena.
Last week, Jung had directed Delhi government officials not to follow illegal orders of AAP government and warned them that punitive action would be taken if his directive was violated.