Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s office on Wednesday clarified that no proposal or file regarding Mohalla Clinics was pending for clearance and termed the conduct of over 40 AAP MLAs who “laid siege” to his office as “rude” and “discourteous”. A statement from the LG office said that as per the appointment, AAP MLA and spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj was to be accompanied by four other MLAs to meet him. However, a delegation of nearly 45 party MLAs assembled in front of Raj Niwas and demanded to meet the LG.
“The LG, after a patient hearing of the views of the MLAs, explained the current status of the proposal (for Mohalla Clinics) and clearly outlined the progress so far. However, the behaviour of the members increasingly became extremely rude and discourteous,” the statement said. The AAP MLAs allege that Baijal was sitting over the files regarding Mohalla Clinics, which was hindering the process of opening more such clinics in their constituencies. There are over 160 Mohalla Clinics in Delhi.
“Despite being given a chronological status of the entire proposal and repeatedly being told by the LG that the proposal has been returned to the Chief Minister (Arvind Kejriwal) on July 5, 2017 with a request to address the complaints, the MLAs continued to behave in a belligerent manner without any interest in responding to facts and logic,” the LG office statement said. LG also spoke to Kejriwal with a view to resolve the matter and explained that in a democratic government decisions are taken on the basis of facts as per law.
“Presently, there is no proposal or file pending in the office of the Lt. Governor relating to Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics. Further, no request for allotment of land for the Mohalla Clinics from the elected government is pending with the LG,” the statement added. The LG office stressed that “laying siege” to the office of a constitutional functionary is no way to resolve issues in a democratic system based on rule of law.
Kejriwal also skipped a weekly meeting with the LG scheduled at 5 p.m. The Lt. Governor on January 9, 2017 had approved a cabinet decision dated July 26, 2016 for opening of Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics porta-cabins at school sites. Complaints against Mohalla Clinics were received in the LG office between September and December, 2016.
The allegations levelled in the complaints say there was no transparent method to select premises for Mohalla Clinics, rent of premises was higher than market rent, premises of party workers was rented for the purpose and no proper accounting was done of the patients examined which decides payment to doctors. “The matter is under further investigation by the Vigilance Department,” the LG office said.
The files pertaining to the cabinet decisions on Mohalla Clinics were sent to the Chief Minister, with the copy of the complaints for his consideration and re-submission of the proposal taking into account the nature of complaints, Baijal’s office said. “These files have not been submitted back as on date,” the statement clarified. Over 40 MLAs were still at Raj Niwas (LG’s official residence) occupying the conference hall till late in the evening.