The AAP government’s reading of the Constitution in terms of Delhi’s status leads to conflicts with the Centre, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung said on Saturday. “The conflict will arise only when if you have a different understanding of the Constitution…I cannot interpret even a comma of the papers under the Constitution in front of me,” he said at the ‘Times Litfest’ in New Delhi.
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“Their (AAP) understanding of the Constitution was different from that of the court,” he said alluding to the August 4 verdict of the Delhi High Court that stamped the LG’s primacy as the city’s administrative head. Jung, who shares an embittered relationship with the AAP government, said the Constitution is clear in terms of Article 239 AA, which determines Delhi’s status and charts out its administrative hierarchy.
He said the Centre has a major say in criticial policy initiatives of Delhi pertaining to law and order, police, land and services, and that there are “caveats” on dealing with issues that fall outside the purview of these areas. The Lieutenant Governor said that he was not bound by the advice of an elected government and takes decisions depending on the overall situation in the country.
“…whatever the Delhi government approves should be examined by the Union to see if it falls in the broad policy of the Government of India. For that it comes to the LG and therefore the clear distinction here is that he needs an advice of the Council of Ministers in Delhi. He is not bound by that and will take decisions depending on the overall situation in the country,” Jung stated.
The Lt Governor added that he shared a “personal rapport” with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and that the latter “has always been good and a gentleman.”
“We never had any altercation,” Jung said.