NEW DELHI: After historic judgment of the Delhi High Court pertaining to powers of elected government in Delhi and Lieutenant Governor office, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday slams AAP government said that all those decisions of AAP government that are incorrect and violation of the constitutional norms, would be rectified. The Lieutenant Governor said that he had declared as "unconstitutional" only a few orders.
“I do report to the Centre, but (it is) wrong to say we act against interest of Delhi government. Don't think the stalemate has affected governance in Delhi. At least 99.99 per cent matters that not violated the constitutional norms and he objected to only those decisions that were in violation of the constitution,” he said, adding “Arvind Kejriwal and Najeeb Jung are immaterial”.
“What matters is constitutional norms,” he said in his first press conference after AAP formed the government in Delhi.
“Even when the MLAs salary bill is concerned, his office ‘Raj Niwas has sent three reminders to the government that there was no reply,” Jung said.
Responding to a query that now Lieutenant Governor is the boss of Delhi after the High Court judgement, Jung said that the High Court's ruling that he is the "administrative head" of Delhi was neither a victory for him nor a defeat for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, noting its crux is to govern the city as per the provisions in the Constitution.
“Kejriwal may have animosity against me but I do not have any such thing against the Delhi Chief Minister,” he said.
On the slugfest between his office and AAP government, the Jung further said, “My office has never used abusive language against anybody. My DNA is such that I don’t get affected by abusive language. We did not start the slugfest. Whenever we get any papers, (we) validate it with constitutional statutes.”
Jung said a number of decisions including Delhi Government's directions to power regulator DERC, appointment of government representatives to BSES board and certain orders relating to tax will have to be corrected as they did not have his concurrence.
The Lt Governor, who had a long running battle with the AAP government on a host of jurisdictional issues, said he always wanted to protect the provisions of the Constitution and did not agree to AAP government's decisions when he found they were at variance with the laid down norms.
“The court order is a kind of clarification that incorrect things will have to be corrected,” he said.
Asked about AAP government's decision to challenge the High Court verdict in Supreme Court, Jung said, "They do not have a case."
He further stated AAP is not the only elected representative in Delhi. “There are eight parliamentarians from other party, elected representative from two other political parties and my job to take every on along.”
But AAP government took this as an opportunity to attack Centre and Lieutenant Governor.
AAP government said it will challenge the order in the Supreme Court and questioned why the Constitution was amended to have a legislative assembly if the city was to be run by the Lieutenant Governor.
“We respectfully disagree with the High Court verdict,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.
He further said that the High Court says Delhi is merely an Union Territory. “If as per Constitution Delhi is only an UT, then why was it amended to make Delhi an UT with legislature,” he questioned.
Sisodia said people of Delhi had brought AAP to power with a historic mandate hoping that that corruption will ‘end’ in all spheres of governance and when AAP started to fulfill people's aspirations, the efforts to curtail "rights of a democratically elected government" had started.
However, both Congress and BJP slammed AAP for the major setback. Congress state president Ajay Maken said, “Sisodia is playing victim card. When we could perform and deliver in 15 years of Congress government and win six elections as Lieutenant Governor being the administrator. Why can't you (AAP)?.”
Similarly BJP leader and state Leader of Opposition Vijendra Gupta said, “We welcome the decision of High Court and hope it will pave way for better governance as crores of rupees were spent on fighting the avoidable legal battle.”