Relenting after two days of defiance, the AAP government today sent a file on appointment of its handpicked DCW chief to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung asserting it was not an ego issue but strongly slammed his stand that he was the ‘government’ in Delhi which it said smacks of “dictatorship”.
As the tussle over appointment of Swati Maliwal as DCW chief threatened to widen the rift further, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia met Jung and announced subsequently that the file has already been sent to the LG for clearance. He said it was done so to “stop the conspiracy to weaken the panel”.
Hours later, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sent a terse letter to Jung in which he slammed the LG for his assertion that ‘government’ in Delhi meant the LG, saying it will result in dictatorship and that his stand was not only unconstitutional but “laughable” in a democratic country like India.
The chief minister also accused Jung of forcefully seeking the files from DCW office after locking it down, terming it “blackmail”. He alleged that Jung was working at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that he has made the DCW “completely dysfunctional”.
“The LG says he is the government of Delhi. How can it be? How can anyone call himself the government? This will result in dictatorship in Delhi. Nothing can be more laughable than this. India is a democracy. Delhi has an elected government.
“It’s but a fact that the meaning of Delhi government is an elected government and not any individual,” Kejriwal said in the letter, adding, “But why is the LG making such laughable and unconstitutional statements. The truth is the Lt Governor himself is not doing anything. He is being asked to do things.”
Striking down Maliwal’s appointment Jung had in a letter to Kejriwal on Tuesday referred to a Home Ministry order and said ‘government’ meant the “Lt Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi” appointed by the President and that he was sole authority in deciding on major issues including appointment to top positions.
“This is not a battle of ego for us. Respected LG, PM has won, we all have lost. We fold our hands in requesting you to kindly sign the files pertaining to DCW and make it functional. I am sending the file to you,” the Chief Minister said in his letter.
On Tuesday, Jung had declared Maliwal’s appointment null and void, saying it did not have legal sanctity and was in violation of constitutional provisions.
Sources in LG’s office said he will respond to Kejriwal’s letter in due course keeping the provisions of Constitution.