This one is a rarely seen event, even in Indian politics. We regularly political ups and downs. But we have not seen so, at least, in the recent political history of India.
Hopefully, now, with President Pranab Mukherjee’s advice in, attitudinal airs will see some reversal from tomorrow. Yesterday, they both, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung, met separately the President.
Even if Manish Sisodia called it a good meeting with the President and called the meeting of the Delhi secretaries next morning, only time would tell what transpired in the meeting.
The Aam Aadmi Party alleges that the L-G cannot dictate the elected government of Arvind Kejriwal in choosing its own secretaries. The party has gone ahead in its offensive and has ordered the city-state officials to not follow the L-G orders without consulting the Delhi government.
L-G says he cannot tolerate such orders and whatever he did was within Constitutional limits and to save Delhi from a Constitutional crisis after he found the government was sitting on the file of acting chief secretary appointment.
What followed after it in this round was a bitter battle then. And it is still ongoing.
The Delhi power struggle is on – to decide who is more powerful – the Delhi L-G or the Delhi CM?
The AAP finds the minds of Rajeev Dhawan and Indira Jaising the ‘best ones’ in interpreting the Constitution of India because they were consulted by the AAP. The party is quoting their ‘favourable views’ in the matter everywhere. It didn’t find any worth in ‘opposing’ interpretations. I heard on a TV channel that Rajeev Dhawan had represented the AAP leader Ashutosh in past.
Dhawan said in his letter, “The Chief Minister has a perfect right to a Chief Secretary of his choice. I am firmly of the opinion that this crisis has been created entirely by the LG.”
Supporting Kejriwal, India Jaising said, “There is no provision granting the LG the power to act at his own discretion in the matter of appointment of the Chief Secretary.”
But the contrary views are also many.
According to the Economic Times, “In the nasty “follow the Constitution” face-off between Arvind Kejriwal and Najeeb Jung, the odds are stacked against the chief minister due to the unique administrative character of Delhi.”
The article quotes S. K. Sharma who served as the chief secretary for four chief ministers, saying, “There has never been such a fight. Even when CMs did not get along with the Centre, they found a way to get work done. In Delhi, L-G is more powerful.”
The article further quotes a Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap. He says, “The Union Territory is administered by L-G. The Council of ministers is to aid and advise him. In case of service matters, it is the L-G’s call. In such a matter the CM should go to L-G and sort out these matters.”
Another article on the Firstpost says, “The law under which Delhi was converted into a state is the main villain of the piece, not Jung. So, while Kejriwal is right in principle to demand the right to appoint his own bureaucrats, the constitution gives Jung the effective power in many areas. Unlike the central government and other states, where the elected government is the real power and the President or Governors mere titular heads who are bound by the advice of the council of ministers, in Delhi the Lt Governor (LG) is also the executive authority in many domains.”
So, like many, even the political analysts and Constitutional experts are divided on it.
Let’s hope the matter will not go to the courts after the Presidential intervention yesterday. But, then, we can only hope so.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/