Lashing out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the state of Yamuna, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shehzad Poonawalla said the ruling party had failed to deliver his promise of cleaning the river.
Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken on Tuesday opposed supporting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the issue of Centre’s ordinance that effectively nullifies Supreme Court order over control of services in Delhi.
Kejriwal had announced that he would be travelling across the country to lobby support from the Opposition parties against the Centre’s ordinance giving the control of ‘services’ back to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor.
In a long twitter post titled “An examination of reasons to not oppose the ordinance – administrative, political, and legal aspects”, Congress leader Maken, who was also the minister in the Sheila Dikshit government in Delhi said, “The discussion must begin with two critical observations. First, by backing Kejriwal, we are going against the decisions and wisdom of numerous respected leaders: Baba Sahib Ambedkar on 21st October 1947, Pandit (Jawaharlal)Nehru and Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel in 1951, another decision of Pandit Nehru in 1956, Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji as Home Minister in 1964 and as Prime Minister in 1965, and Narasimha Rao in 1991.”
He said, secondly, if the ordinance isn’t passed, “Kejriwal gains a unique privilege previously denied to Chief Ministers like Sheila Dikshit, Madan Lal Khurana, Sahib Singh Verma, and Sushma Swaraj”.
Delving into the administrative, political, and legal viewpoints against opposing the Ordinance, the former Union Minister, citing administrative reasons, said that primarily, cooperative federalism principles don’t fit in Delhi’s context.
“It’s not just a State or Union Territory, it’s the “National Capital”. It belongs to the Union and, thus, to every Indian citizen. Delhi residents stand to benefit from this status. As the National Capital, the Union Government annually spends approximately Rs 37,500 crores on various services, a burden not shared by the Delhi government,” Maken pointed out.
The Central government has brought an ordinance to set up a permanent authority known as the National Capital Civil Service Authority whose chairperson will be the Delhi chief minister along with chief secretary, Delhi; Principal Secretary (Home), Delhi to make recommendations to the Delhi L-G regarding matters concerning transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters. However, in case of difference of opinion, the decision of the L-G shall be final.
On May 11, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court ruled that it is ideal to hold that a democratically elected Delhi government should have control over its officers and the L-G is bound by the advice of the elected government in everything other than public order, police, and land. The top court stressed that if the government is not able to control and hold to account the officers posted in its service, then its responsibility towards the legislature as well as the public is diluted.
The ordinance came after the apex court gave the Delhi government control in services matters, including transfer and posting of officers.