Amid the ongoing tussle between Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, fresh friction between the two began again after the Chief Minister skipped a pre-decided combined program of Tree Plantation drive at Asola Bhatti Mines.
“After absenting from the scheduled weekly meeting with Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Friday citing ill health, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday again skipped a pre-decided combined program of Tree Plantation at Asola Bhatti Mines in the national capital gain due to ill health,” informed LG office sources. The said program of Tree Plantation corresponding with the ‘Van Mahotsav’, was to be undertaken jointly by the Lieutenant Governor and Chief Minister.
A mutual decision in this regard had been taken on July 4, 2022. A total of 1,00,000 trees are planted as a part of the program, and the Lieutenant Governor and Chief Minister were to launch the same together today.
“One is left to wonder if recommending a CBI inquiry into an apparently illegal Excise Policy is taking the focus of the CM away from Delhi’s environmental concerns,” said LG sources.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government sources have claimed that because the government programme was turned into a political BJP programme the Chief Minister and other ministers decided not to attend the event after Delhi Police forcefully took over the stage of Van Mohatsav before the programme.
“Delhi Police forcefully took over the stage of Van Mohatsav before the programme. It is a Delhi government event, CM and LG were to attend jointly. Posters showcasing Prime Minister Narendra Modi were put and the government programme is turned into a political BJP programme. This is the reason Delhi CM and ministers decided not to attend the event,” said Delhi government sources.
Delhi Chief Minister on Friday skipped the weekly meeting called by Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, according to sources.
Aam Aadmi Party sources alleged that the LG had “skipped” a similar meeting on July 8.
Responding to the claims by the party, the LG office sources said that Saxena had not “skipped” the meeting on the said date, rather he was in Jaipur to attend the Northern Zonal Council Meeting.
This comes amid simmering tensions between the Delhi Chief Minister and the LG over some issues including the delay in holding MCD elections arrest of Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain in connection with 4.8 money laundering case.
Recently, after the Delhi Lieutenant Governor denied permission for Kejriwal’s Singapore visit to attend the World Cities Summit, the AAP convener said he differs with the LG’s advice and would go ahead with the visit.
Notably, Saxena also recommended a CBI probe into the alleged violations of the Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s contentious new excise policy including “deliberate and gross procedural lapses” made by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to “provide post tender undue benefits to liquor licensees.”
The LG office said that Sisodia also extended “undue financial favours” to the liquor licensees much after the tenders had been awarded and thus caused huge losses to the exchequer.
Sisodia’s role is under the scanner for alleged deliberate and gross procedural lapses which provided undue benefits to the tender process for liquor licensees for the year 2021-22, officials in the Lieutenant-Governor’s office told ANI.
The excise policy was passed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Cabinet in the middle of the deadly Delta wave of Covid pandemic in 2021.
However, the Delhi CM dismissed the allegations and said that the Centre “cannot” see AAP rising to the national level and thus is “resorting to such measures”.
A report on July 8 by the Chief Secretary established prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR) 1993, Delhi Excise Act 2009, and Delhi Excise Rules 2010.