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    June 2015

Whose Delhi is it anyway?


The ongoing power tussle between Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken an ugly turn with the issue becoming more of an ego clash and less a constitutional crisis. And caught in the crossfire between the two are the bureaucrats. With the Kejriwal-Jung rift getting deeper by each passing day and no sign of resolving the issue soon, the bureaucrats are finding themselves in a lurch.

The LG-CM battle has demoralised the bureaucrats to such an extent that many of them have approached the Union Home Ministry for Central deputation or for their postings outside the National Capital, the same Delhi which was till recently the most prized and sought-after place of posting for bureaucrats.

Our Cover Story is a reflection of the prevailing mood of the Delhi bureaucracy.  It is unfortunate that bureaucrats are being dragged into the political fight of personal allegations and brinkmanship. Both the Chief Minister and the Lt Governor should understand that the atmosphere of mistrust and uncertainty which has been created in the Delhi bureaucracy is not conducive to the health of democracy and proper functioning of the Government. The one-upmanship between the two is resulting in delay in decision-making and adversely impacting the Government’s performance in the interest of Delhiites.

Apart from the bureaucratic chaos the AK-LG fight has created, their tussle has also raised the issue of introducing the much-needed reforms to clear the ambiguities involved in the political-administrative status of Delhi. Though Article 239AA of the Indian Constitution creates special provisions for the National Capital, it also leaves room for vagueness in the powers of the Chief Minister and the Lt-Governor.

The ongoing tiff has raised some pertinent questions. If the LG is the supreme authority in Delhi, then what is the point of having an elected Government which has legislative powers but no real executive powers? Is it logical that an elected Government should have no say in matters involving public order? Should not the Delhi Government have control over the subject of land in the Capital?

The AK-LG battle if dealt with pragmatically can find solutions to these questions and help the Centre and the Delhi Government have a clear-cut method to work together. However, for this to happen both the CM and the LG should rise above their ego and break the deadlock which is creating impediments in the functioning of the Government for which the common man is suffering. At the end of the day, both Kejriwal and Jung must realise, it is not either of them but the people of Delhi to whom the city belongs. 
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