Capital Gets Ready for One Man One Party Rule
By Express News Service
Published: 15th Dec 2013 07:07:10 AM
The thunder of electioneering is over and both mainstream parties are caught in a political morality trap laid by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, which has, however, generated an unprecedented democratic irony. The Congress party with merely eight MLAs out of the 70 Delhi Assembly seats looks set to rule the state again, but by proxy. The city seems destined to come under President’s Rule and will be governed by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung who will be taking all decisions until the state goes to polls again—most likely along with the general elections in 2014.
It is the Home Minister with the tacit approval of the Congress High Command who appoints the Lt Governor. It’s a ten-day impasse with both the BJP and the Aam Admi Party refusing to form the government, though Kejriwal has asked Raj Niwas Road for another 10 days to reply to Jung’s invitation to form Delhi’s fifth Government. The Congress has offered unconditional support to Aam Aadmi Party provided Kejriwal decides to form the government with 28 members. Kejriwal’s ploy to delay government formation by sending a letter to the presidents of both mainstream political parties enumerating 18 demands as a precondition for AAP forming the government will only pave the way for President’s Rule in Delhi for the first time since it got a state Assembly in 1993.
RULE BY PROXY: One of Kejriwal’s demands is full-fledged statehood for Delhi, which even the UPA government had denied its own CM Sheila Dikshit, who was projected as the face of the city’s development in its disastrous poll campaign. Delhi’s chief minister controls many government bodies, but ironically most decisions have to be ratified by the Lt Governor—read Centre. Delhi’s CM lords over departments such as transport that includes DTC, procurement of buses, renovation and construction of all state terminals and bus stops; the PWD which is in control of the multi crore developmental contracts that includes flyovers, bridges and roads; the health department that handles Delhi’s hospitals and health centres, procurement of medicines and surgical equipment; the department of labour that controls industry and restaurants; the finance ministry under which comes excise, VAT, luxury tax etc; the food and civil supplies ministry which procures and distributes food grains worth hundreds of crores every year and departments like SC/ST welfare and minority grants that run into crores of rupees; the education department that deals in construction of schools and the appointments of teachers; the urban development ministry that governs the 1639-odd unauthorised colonies and DSIDC that controls and constructs all industrial areas and socio economic programmes.
In Delhi, land holds the key to power. No project in the city can move without land being made available without the sanction of the DDA, which reports to the LG. Sports complexes, DDA colonies, road construction, civil works ranging from even installing a handpump to building a road is under the Lt Governor’s purview.