The Delhi government is finding the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) “particularly difficult to deal with”. So much so that a section of the AAP and the government have hinted to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that it is the MHA he should watch out for, said sources.
The nudge comes even as Kejriwal keeps targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre, alleging non-cooperation and interference in the functioning of the AAP government.
According to sources, projects and initiatives involving other central ministries have been seeing smoother facilitation but the Delhi government is finding the going tough with the MHA.
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AAP’s Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey told The Indian Express, “We have been noticing lately that while all other ministries at the Centre have been cooperating with us and there are no significant complaints of stalling projects, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been particularly difficult to deal with.”
He added, “Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj and even Nitin Gadkari (who had filed a defamation complaint against Kejriwal) have been cooperating with our government but the same cannot be said for the home ministry. Though the home minister (Rajnath Singh) comes across as polite and benevolent in our government’s interactions with him, when it comes to getting anything done, the ministry puts a spanner in our works.”
According to sources, this has been the status since the AAP made a fresh start. Soon after the AAP government came to power again in February, it began to spar with the Centre over issues such as the appointment of the chief secretary, transfer of bureaucrats, control over the Anti-Corruption Branch and the Delhi Police, and the jurisdiction of the Delhi government. In most of the cases, the MHA either directly or through Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung set aside the Delhi government’s proposals.
“Even as Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the state government locked horns over the parole plea of former Haryana CM O P Chautala, allotment of land to the BJP and other issues, the home ministry looked the other way and did nothing to mediate. Who is the Lt Governor’s first point of contact at the Centre? Isn’t it the home ministry,” said a government official.
According to Pandey, the MHA’s “intentions are becoming increasingly suspicious”. To make his point, he said, “During the transfer of VAT commissioner Vijay Kumar, the Lt Governor and home minister kept shifting the blame on each other but appeared to be hand in glove.”