Updated: August 26, 2016 7:22:49 pm
The Delhi High Court verdict must have made things “clear” to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today said, while asserting that he was in the process of overturning “illegal decisions” taken by the AAP government.
Jung rubbished Kejriwal’s oft-repeated claim that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have tried to stop the AAP’s governance initiatives. Why will the Prime Minister do so when he looks after the entire country, Jung asked. “The CM has gone on record asking why the value of an electors vote in Delhi will be half when the AAP government has won a stupendous majority. But that is his interpretation. Which hopefully must be to clear to him now.
“But unfortunately illegal decisions were taken during without my knowledge. Then I wrote to the officials to set things right after the HC verdict. I have received around 250 files till date. Now that the court has drawn the line, they have sent the files. I am working with the hope that things will improve,” Jung said.
The Lt Governor was speaking on ‘Complexities of Governance’ at an event organised by former BJP MLA Vijay Jolly here. In his address, Jolly lambasted Kejriwal saying the city was in mess under the AAP dispensation. In a major setback to AAP, the Delhi High Court on August 4 held that the LG is the administrative head of National Capital Territory and the AAP Government’s contention that he is bound to act on the advice of Council of Ministers was “without substance”.
Underlining the importance of the Constitution, Jung said that it does not allow any person in position to “cut corners” and the liberty or permission to interpret “as we think is correct”. Jung said in cases where anyone feels the need for a change, one has to go through the right forum and failing to do so would tantamount to taking an “exceptionally dangerous route” that lead to “dictatorships”.
“Go back to Parliament to change it. Or if there is an Act or law that which you find is outdated then you have to again change the law but while it is there I do not have any authority to challenge it,” Jung said. Referring to the referendum in United Kingdom leading to Brexit, he said it was a sign of a true and a mature democracy. He said such options can also be availed where “it is allowed”.
Jung, who has been particularly vocal since the HC stamped his primacy in the city’s administration, said it was “unfortunate” that an impression was created that Modi and him put spanners in the AAP government’s functioning. “Why would the PM who looks after the whole country do that? I have not stopped any legitimate initiative till date. But I advised in few cases which I felt were against a certain law or the constitution. Despite that it was said I tried to put spanners.
“I did not go to court, the government did. And the court clearly spelt out that LG is the representative of the President. Here the Lt Governor can advice the government if he feels anything being done is against the Constitution and it will have to abide by it,” he said.
Jung said the best scenario in Delhi’s complex governing pattern was where the LG restricts his interventions to the bare minimum and that he was doing just that. “To what extent should the governor interfere in the government. After all it’s a democracy. So I still seek the answer to this question within myself. But my effort has been to limit my interventions to the least possible,” Jung said.
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