The “BJP should run the country and let the AAP govern Delhi”, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Saturday, accusing the Centre of “insulting” the people of Delhi by overturning the Cabinet’s decision on the appointment of lawyers in the Republic Day Red Fort violence case.
Kejriwal’s comments came after Lt Governor Anil Baijal rejected the July 16 decision of the Delhi Cabinet to appoint lawyers approved by the elected government, and referred the matter to the President through the Centre. In the interim, the L-G has directed that the panel of 11 lawyers proposed by the Delhi Police be appointed in the case.
“Overturning Cabinet decisions amounts to insulting the people of Delhi. The people of Delhi elected the AAP to power with a historic majority and defeated the BJP. The BJP should run the country and let AAP govern Delhi. Regularly interfering in the affairs of Delhi is an insult to the people. BJP should respect democracy,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The Delhi L-G is nominated by the Union government. Addressing a webcast, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also criticised Baijal’s decision, saying it puts a question mark on the value of the elected government.
Baijal invoked Article 239AA(4) of the Constitution in referring the matter to the President. This provision authorises him to refer issues on which he is in disagreement with the elected government to the President and overrule the Cabinet.
Sisodia said the L-G has overruled the Cabinet decision citing “urgency and sensitivity”.
“Why is the Centre so interested in appointing law officers in cases concerning farmers? What do they want to do against farmers? In that case, what is the value of the elected government? The L-G has special powers but a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court has made it clear that the L-G can invoke that only in exceptional circumstances. That the L-G should not act in a mechanical manner. Why are polls held to elect governments in Delhi? Then just say you (Centre) don’t believe in a democracy. If the Delhi CM cannot even appoint lawyers, then what power does he have?” Sisodia said.
In March, the Parliament had cleared the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in Lok Sabha, reviving the dispute on distribution of powers between the elected government and the L-G. Under the law, the elected government needs to take the L-G’s advice before taking action on any Cabinet decision.
Since then, the tussle between the elected government and the L-G has increased. While the government accuses Baijal of infringing on subjects outside his purview, he has expressed his anguish over the “aspersions cast on him”.