The tussle between Delhi’s elected government and its Governor appointed by the BJP-ruled Centre escalated today as VK Saxena invited Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to “discuss issues threadbare”. But the sting that accompanied the invite was not missed. “At the outset, I’d like to express my appreciation that you have started taking governance in the city seriously and gotten into the intricacies of Constitutional provision statutes and Acts that outline the multi-layered scheme of administration” in Delhi, the Lieutenant Governor wrote.
Mr Kejriwal responded promptly, pointing out the “sarcasm” and e,arked that many BJP Chief Ministers, besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, were campaigning at the time.
Recd a letter today from Hon’ble LG inviting me for discussions on various issues. I will certainly seek his convenience and soon meet him.
My response to his letter pic.twitter.com/Qgdb768XMW
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 9, 2023
He also wrote that the system of regular meetings between the Chief Minister and the Lieutenant Governor was discontinued since October after Mr Kejriwal expressed his “inability to meet due to your preoccupation with State Assembly and Municipal Elections”.
The letter came two days after Mr Kejriwal accused him of taking “illegal” and “unconstitutional” decisions on subjects he has “no powers over”.
“Strange things are happening in the governance of the capital of India,” Mr Kejriwal had written to the Lieutenant Governor a day after a massive brawl at Delhi’s civic body over the appointment of a temporary speaker and 10 aldermen by Mr Saxena.
The Aam Aadmi Party contended that the appointment of aldermen has to be done in consultation with the government and instead of the seniormost member of the council, Mr Saxena had appointed a BJP member as a temporary speaker.
The brawl, where chairs flew and tables were hurled, had put a stop to the election of the Delhi Mayor, which was due that day.
In a tweet, Mr Kejriwal had termed Mr Saxena’s move “unconstitutional”.
He had also accused the Lieutenant Governor of having complete control over the bureaucracy and asserted that officials follow “illegal” orders, as they are “all very scared of consequences” of a refusal.
“The government elected by the people with such thumping majority has been rendered irrelevant,” the letter read.