Past L-G vs CM rows got solved via talks, usually in govt favour

The impasse between Najeeb Jung and Arvind Kejriwal is not the first in Delhi, but previous disagreements between the two top executives have always been resolved through dialogue.

Written by Apurva | New Delhi | Updated: May 22, 2015 6:26 am
kejriwal, arvind kejriwal, najeeb jung, kejriwal vs jung, LG vs CM, AAP government, Delhi govt, Delhi Chief secretary, Delhi principal secretary, Delhi news, NCR news, India news The impasse between Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is not the first in Delhi, but previous disagreements between the two top executives have always been resolved through dialogue and, occasionally, the intervention of the President and the Home Ministry.

Amid the crisis in Delhi between the Lt Governor and Chief Minister over a delegation of powers, there are perhaps lessons to be learnt from those who held the same positions in the past.

The impasse between Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is not the first in Delhi, but previous disagreements between the two top executives have always been resolved through dialogue and, occasionally, the intervention of the President and the Home Ministry.

Read: Lt Governor Najeeb Jung functioning as if there is President’s Rule in Delhi: Manish Sisodia

Consider this.

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In 2011, then CM Sheila Dikshit and Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna disagreed over the increase in property circle rates. For two weeks, the two sparred, through their bureaucracy, and in the end, Dikshit approached the Home Ministry and the President. “The MHA agreed with us and communicated the same to the Lt Governor and the circle rates were increased. It took all of two weeks and no public spat,” Dikshit said.

A year before that, the same leaders had locked horns over the Rao Tula Ram Marg flyover. While Dikshit wanted it to continue as a single carriageway, Khanna recommended building another. “The matter was again referred to the MHA, which agreed with the elected government,” a senior official said.

Read: Lt Governor Najeeb Jung asserts his authority, declares all appointments made in last 4 days void

Almost a decade before the RTR incident, BJP finance minister Jagdish Mukhi had contested the powers of his department with the central government. “I was finance minister in name and actually an expenditure minister. As Delhi’s FM, I had no powers to allocate the budget or even present one and could only monitor spending. It took two years of negotiations with the Prime Minster’s Office, the Finance Ministry and Home Ministry. Finally, I was allowed to present a full budget. It only had to be intimated to the Union government,” Mukhi told The Indian Express.

A former Lt Governor, who did not wish to be named, said: “Whether a Lt Governor or a Governor, there is bound to be disagreement, but without dialogue nothing can be achieved. During my tenure, we never let it come to a situation even close to what is unfolding now. We disagreed, we debated and found a solution.”

Read: Face-off between Arvind Kejriwal and Najeeb Jung reaches President Pranab Mukherjee

Dikshit even decided to follow a strict regimen. “I have worked with a BJP-appointed Lt Governor and one appointed by the Congress. I made it a point to meet the Lt Governor once a week to ensure smooth functioning. Either I would convince the Lt Governor or he would convince me,” she said.

Another Lt Governor maintained that the elected government usually had the upper hand: “Though it is a constitutional post, I had to deal with an elected government and my office did not have an elected cabinet. If I had a difference of opinion, I would communicate the same and the issue was resolved with dialogue, something that is not visible in the present situation.”

Asked if the present fracas could be settled amicably, Dikshit said: “This is a very unfortunate situation, particularly since it stems from the appointment of an acting chief secretary for just 10 days. How can an issue like this bring the Delhi government to a standstill? Instead of writing letters to the media and each other, perhaps it is time they spoke across the table.”

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  1. T
    May 22, 2015 at 10:50 am
    AK67 is not interested in Governance, just recall he is a CM without portfolio
    1. K
      May 23, 2015 at 7:15 am
      On the one hand the system supports full democracy through an elected government, and on the other, the same system supports a full autocracy in the form of LG exercising his authority to make senior bureaucratic appointments. This is contradictory in nature. Negotiations should not be the primary dispute resolution mechanism. If it was, why do we ever need judiciary? The primary dispute resolution mechanism should be statute law - clearly separating the powers of democratically elected government, and autocratic functions of the appointed LG. So, the matter must go to court for a speedy separation of powers and responsibilities. Resolve this once for all!
      1. C
        May 23, 2015 at 9:58 am
        Since independence no. of Chief Secretaries worked but thousand problems still exist in Delhi. CM has just started 2nd innings and not appointing the officer as per his recommendation for 10 days is not making any difference . In his 2nd innings (excluding the 10 days without his selected Chief Secy. ), can you say that all problems as exits is attacked or try to attack . Truth is that 10 days does not destroy Delhi. A true leader has the capacity to do the work done though any situation which requires positive atude and have the bonding his citizen as family . This type of issue making is nothing but to make people monkey.
        1. A
          May 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm
          It is a hypocrisy and gondaraj to not allow the present CM to function fully in Delhi. The existing design of Delhi in issuing orders has only failed miserably since past 65 years . Hence the format has to be changed. Only corruptions, rape and unsafe DELHI has been the result. Today, only AAP governance is the way forward. As AAP logic is working so there is problem for who feel threatened by their existence the CONGREESS and the BJP in particular. Now imagine only ordinary people can be booked for corruption, but officials in police and other departments cannot be, how silly and annoying. The Center which is BJP backs this as they know the reality, AAP will clean corruption. I also like the APP showing muscles to the media. The Media will ensure that to talk against APP will cost them severely if there are no established evidences. I feel sorry for the people who are anti APP, as they are on regular payroll, very shameful.
          1. M
            May 23, 2015 at 1:50 am
            There is clearly a stark difference in AAP and Other parties' ideology when it comes to negotiations...
            1. M
              Manoharan Thangavelu
              May 22, 2015 at 9:48 am
              What is the point in having a separate embly to Delhi?
              1. N
                May 22, 2015 at 2:17 pm
                I think AAP is ridiculous and kejriwal is nothing but a cry baby who I personally am getting sick off! That being said Im not on anyone's payroll. Just because we might not agree with AAP doesn't mean we automatically become corrupt. That is what Kejri is brainwashing you s into believing thereby creating a sort of US AGAINST THEM divide which is very dangerous
                1. M
                  May 22, 2015 at 3:17 pm
                  The 10 days would be over soon
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