The tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal became a topic of intense debate in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday with one MP alleging that the former was being treated like a “chaprasi (peon)”.
As the issue dominated the discussion on a bill related to Delhi, a number of opposition members raised the matter of the chief minister not being invited to the inauguration of Metro’s Magenta Line.
Senior member Raj Gopal Verma said, “When the minister was saying that the inauguration was done in the UP sector, I was silent. All those who possess general knowledge had objection to it as when the Delhi Metro is executing it, the Delhi Chief Minister should have been invited… This is a wrong precedent.”
Verma cited one such instance during former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s regime wherein Vajpayee had refused to attend a function till the chief minister of the state was invited to be a part of it, reported PTI.
Naresh Agarwal of the Samajwadi Party said the Delhi government was not being allowed to function and the Lt Governor treated “Delhi CM as a peon”.
Agarwal said the Delhi government was an elected body and had the right to govern, and questioned the BJP why was it not making the national capital a model city like Varanasi.
T K Rangarajan of the CPI(M) echoed him and said the state government should have been given full powers which were being violated not only in Delhi but also in Puducherry.
D Raja (CPI) questioned as to “how long it (power tussle) will be allowed to continue”. Demanding that the situation be sorted out in Delhi and Puducherry, he said it should be solved immediately.
Md Nadeemul Haque of Trinamool Congress said that the elected government in Delhi was not allowed to work and Baijal dictated what had to be done in the city.
“Why is the elected government in Delhi not allowed to run. Lt Governor is dictating…Recently PM inaugurated Delhi Metro rail but the CM of Delhi was not invited,” he said.
Haque said, “In the name of development, this political oneupmanship should stop.”
A stretch of Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, cutting down the travel time between Noida and parts of south Delhi by more than 30 minutes.
(With inputs from PTI)