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AAP hails SC verdict on Delhi govt, BJP says Constitution is 'boss'

The court has said that people are supreme, elected government will be supreme, and the LG has no power to act arbitrarily

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Arvind Kejriwal, Lieutenant Governor, Anil Baijal
(L-R) Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

The on Wednesday hailed the Supreme Court verdict on the confrontation between its government and the LG as a "big victory" for the people and democracy, even as the Delhi BJP said it has been established that the Constitution is the "boss" and there is no room for "anarchism" by the ruling party.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led party also accused the Narendra Modi dispensation of creating "chaos" in the capital in the last three-and-a-half years.

However, the Congress, said the court's decision has done away with all possibilities of a "blame game" between the BJP and the (AAP).

The Supreme Court on Wednesday handed a major victory to Delhi's government in its bitter power tussle with the Centre by ruling that the (LG) has no independent power to take decisions and is bound by the elected government's advice. 

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Soon after the verdict, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal tweeted, "A big victory for the people of Delhi... a big victory for democracy..."

There were two LGs -- incumbent Anil Baijal and his predecessor Najeeb Jung -- with whom Kejriwal was at loggerheads. Both Baijal and Jung did not comment on the verdict.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia termed the judgment as "historic" and recalled the landmark mandate that the people of Delhi had given to the in the assembly elections in February 2015 when the party won 67 of the 70 seats.

"On behalf of the people of Delhi, I want to thank the Supreme Court, and the judges for this historic decision. They have pronounced that the people of Delhi are supreme," Sisodia told reporters.

"The court has said that people are supreme, elected government will be supreme, and the LG has no power to act arbitrarily ('LG ke paas manmani karne ki power nahn hai')," he said.

The judgment by a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra laid down broad parameters for the governance of the capital, which has witnessed the power struggle between the Centre and Delhi government since the AAP formed government in 2014.

The "historic mandate" given to a new party was for development, welfare of the people and to facilitate resumption of long-pending works, Sisodia said.

However, "hurdles" were thrown in the way of the functioning of an elected government through a "wilful interpretation" of the Constitution, he said. 

ALSO READ: SC verdict on Delhi govt vs LG: How Congress spoke in multiple voices

"Whether it was the issue of installation of CCTV cameras, ration scheme, transfer and posting (of officials), interference was being created," Sisodia said.

The party's chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj asked whether Prime Minister Modi can revoke three years and five months of chaos in Delhi. "Will Delhi people forgive BJP for ruining 3 years 5 months (sic)?," he tweeted.

He also drew a parallel between the previous Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government in Delhi and the current AAP dispensation and pointed out how the ruling party was obstructed from working in the capital.

"AAP Govt was formed in Feb 2015, three months later, In May 2015, Modi Govt brought this notification which took away 'services' from AAP Govt. This means Sheila Dixit Govt had all control over her officers/employees, Kejriwal Govt was left with zero control (sic)."

"Modi Govt was formed in May 2014 & just 2 months later, Modi Govt brought a notification which took away powers of Anti-Corruption branch. Means Sheila Dixit had ACB for 15 years but was taken away because Modi was too scared of and his ACB (sic)," Bhardwaj said in a series of tweets. 

ALSO READ: Delhi can't be accorded state status, L-G has no independent power, says SC

Taking a dig at Kejriwal, the BJP said he is celebrating his "loss" as the Supreme Court has rejected the demand for absolute powers for his government.

In a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the apex court has upheld the Constitution in its order on the fight between Kejriwal and the LG over their powers and Delhi's status while speaking against anarchy.

The SC judges must have Kejriwal on their mind, when they wrote against anarchy as the AAP leader is a "self-declared anarchist", he quipped.

The Delhi BJP, too, took dig at the AAP, saying it has been established that the Constitution is the "boss" and there is no room for "anarchism" of the ruling party in the national capital.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the court order is a "final warning" to the Kejriwal government to work according to the established rules.

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court establishes that the Constitution is the boss in Delhi and elsewhere in the country.

"It is also a final warning to the Kejriwal government to shun anarchism and follow the Constitution," he said in a press conference.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said "There is no scope of for any blame game. Delhi gave seven seats to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and 67 out of the 70 seats to the AAP in the assembly elections. Both of them in the last four years have destroyed the development carried out by the Congress government while engaging in blame game."

"Since the apex court has clarified about the powers in Delhi, we hope that the development, which has been stalled ever since the Congress was voted out of power over four years ago, will start again," he said.

First Published: Wed, July 04 2018. 23:50 IST