Thursday, Sep 05, 2002
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By Sujay Mehdudia
According to a circular issued by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, P.K. Jalali, all the powers under the transaction of Conduct of Business Rules, which were diluted in 1998, would now be vested in the Lt. Governor, Vijai Kapoor. All business, legislative or administrative, would be conducted through the Lt. Governor and the Council of Ministers would be accountable to him. The Council of Ministers would have to route all decisions through Raj Nivas. The move was seen as an attempt by Raj Nivas to create obstacles in the smooth functioning of the Congress Government in view of the Assembly election next year.
Terming the move a conspiracy by the Vajpayee Government to clip the wings of a duly-elected Government, Ms. Dikshit shot off protest letters to the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, terming it a "retrograde step" and against the basic norms of democratic functioning of any government or institution. She has also written to the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, apprising her of the development.
The Chief Minister was unsparing in her attack on the Lt. Governor. "The Central Government, through Mr. Kapoor, has tried to stall all developmental works and initiatives that my Government has taken for the welfare of the people of Delhi. Everything is either delayed or stalled on political considerations. The BJP is stooping to the lowest level to target a Congress Government," she said.
She alleged the BJP and the Centre had not lost a single opportunity to take back the legitimate powers and erode the authority of her Government. She said she had asked the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister what kind of a situation they wanted in Delhi.
She ruled out approaching the court on the issue because the Centre's decision was "politically-motivated".
"It is a conspiracy not to allow a duly-elected Government from discharging its democratic functions. The NDA Government at the Centre does not allow the Delhi Government to function nor does it allow it to participate in any decision-making process vital for the planned and integrated growth of the Capital. Important policy decisions are controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Delhi Government feels handicapped and disadvantaged at every step."
Another instance of BJP doublespeak, says Cong.
The Congress today took strong exception to the manner in which the Central Government had stripped the Sheila Dikshit Government of all legislative and administrative powers. According to the AICC, this was yet another instance of the BJP's doublespeak given the fact that the party's manifesto for next year's Assembly elections called for full Statehood to Delhi.
Also, the Congress objected to the manner in which the Centre was increasingly trying to take credit for all the projects that were undertaken by the Delhi Government upon their completion; the latest case in point being the much-awaited Delhi Metro.
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