It is a battle of files between two former bureaucrats-one an ex-IAS officer and the other who quit the IRS.
The former is the 19th Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, while the latter is its Chief Minister.
The strategic warfare between the soft-spoken, nattily dressed, theatre loving, Najib Jung and the hectoring, muffler-sporting and drama- obsessed Arvind Kejriwal has escalated to open warfare.
Years after Jagmohan retired in 1982, from the colonial era Raj Niwas in North Delhi’s leafy Civil Lines, no other occupant has been a major political player in Delhi like Jung.
The latest controversy is over the Lt Governor seeking Attorney General Mohan Parasharan’s opinion on the constitutionality of Kejriwal’s AAP Government tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill, which the Chief Minister has promised to launch with much fanfare at Ramlila Maidan.
The AAP called Jung a “Congress agent.” Referring to the communication between Jung and Parasaran, AAP leader Ashutosh told media that when anything from the Aam Aadmi Party Government goes to LG, parts of it become public via the media.
As Delhi is a Union Territory, all bills tabled in Delhi Assembly, are by convention, sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for approval before being tabled in the state Assembly.
The AAP-led Government doesn’t, however, agree. Media leaks exposed the opinion of the Solicitor General’s office that introducing a bill directly in the Assembly would be‘unconstitutional’. Ashutosh questions whether the “LG’s office is involved in the leak”.“Just as you had sought the opinion of the Solicitor General, the Delhi Government has also sought an opinion from three noted lawyers and a former chief justice.
“All these four experts are of the opinion that the MHA order is unconstitutional.
“Their names are: Justice Mukul Mudgal, Mr P V Kapoor, Mr K N Bhat and Mr Pinaki Mishra.
“After getting their opinion, the Delhi Cabinet in its meeting on February 3, 2014, passed a resolution recommending that the MHA should withdraw its order and till such time decided not to accept it,” said Kejriwal in a letter written to Jung.However, Mishra and Mudgal denied being consulted.
The AAP’s main worry is that clearance of the bill from the Centre could take a long time, which the Aam Aadmi Party can ill-afford since it has promised to get the Janlokpal Bill passed within fifteen days of coming to power; that deadline is already over.
Though Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor is appointed by the Centre, Jung’s background as an eminent academician and a prominent member of Delhi’s Muslim community is seen as a Congress attempt to woo both the minorities and their urban base.